Celebrating 19 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine

Arts and Culture

Barrington’s White House

A Cultural & Community Center: 2023 Spring Season of Events

Presented in Partnership with the Barrington Cultural Commission

The Aznavoorian Sisters: Piano and Cello

The Aznavoorian Sisters: Piano and Cello Recital

Sunday, March 5, 3:00 p.m. / $35 In-Person OR Virtual
(Students 18 and under free with paid adult ticket)

World-renowned and Barrington-raised, the award-winning sister duo Marta and Ani Aznavoorian return home to Barrington to perform once again. As Armenian-Americans, the duo has just released their debut album of Armenian musical gems on Cedille Records. The recording features works by Komitas, Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babajanian, and more, plus a special commission by Peter Boyer.

“The Sister House”: A Play Reading by Stephanie Walker

Sunday, April 16, 3:00 p.m.
FREE (Donations encouraged)

Inspired by her childhood home in one of the three Queen Anne “Sister Houses” on Lake Street in Barrington, playwright Stephanie Walker and a group of talented Chicago actors bring us a reading of this vampire comedy about grief. When Ramona decides to rent out her deceased husband’s office to a mysterious stranger, her daughter Ryan rebels. Three women and one imaginary vampire collide in a historic Victorian home with a past of its own, in this play about immortal love, mothers and daughters, and new beginnings.

Mezzo soprano Audrey Johnson

We’ve Come a Long Way, Ladies! A Musical 100-Year Celebration of the 19th Amendment

Sunday, March 19, 3:00 p.m.
$25 Per Person (Students 18 and under free with paid adult ticket)

Go back in time to the American Women’s Suffrage Movement and the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment with this interactive, multisensory experience. Mezzo soprano Audrey Johnson and pianist James J. Morehead celebrate the 100th anniversary of American women’s right to vote through historical songs, engaging narratives, corresponding historical images, costume transformations, and audience participation.

A City-Inspired Jazz Brunch

Sunday, March 12, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
$50 per person; $30 students 18 and under

Enjoy a scrumptious buffet brunch while you revel in jazz standards from Chicago-based musicians Cheryl Wilson (vocals), Scott Mertens (piano), and Roger Reupert (trumpet). Brunch features tasty frittatas, French toast, breakfast charcuterie board, yogurt parfaits, and favorite drinks including Bloody Marys and mimosas. No need to travel to the city for great music when our intimate ballroom is the perfect place to listen to the toe-tapping tunes of our jazz eras.

“I Knew I Belonged When…” An Evening of Storytelling

Friday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.
$20 In-Person OR Virtual (Students 18 and under free with paid adult ticket)

Back for a third engagement, this always-enjoyable storytelling event uses a family- friendly version of the popular “Moth Radio Hour” as its model. Featuring professional storytellers Jim May and Megan Wells, a group of local storytellers will explore the theme “I Knew I Belonged When…” Presented by  the Barrington Cultural Commission.

Tickets for all events on sale now.

Go to BarringtonsWhiteHouse.com/events or call 224-512-4066.

A full listing of all fall events can be found at the Barrington White House website: www.barringtonswhitehouse.com/events

Join Us for 3rd Thursdays: Your Art Night Out

Each 3rd Thursday features a local artist exhibition with works for sale, complimentary appetizers, and a cash bar. It’s a great night out with friends.


Cheryl Cook: Surrounded by Art

Thursday, March 16, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE, In-Person (Donations Encouraged)

Cheryl Cook draws her artistic inspiration for her exhibit “Surrounded by Art,” from her vast experiences as an artist first at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, and then working in Chicago creating packaging, movie and theatre posters, and storyboards for the advertising agencies. She is a painter and teacher and also still working as a courtroom sketch artist for the television networks and the Chicago Tribune.

Left: Anna Toberman. Right: Anita Maher

Anna Toberman and Anita
Maher: Portraits and Oils

Thursday, May 18, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE, In-Person (Donations Encouraged)

Painting partners and friends Anna Toberman and Anita Maher, present this joint exhibit of portraits and oils. Anna Toberman creates portraits that reveal something deeper, speaking to the personality and spirit of each subject, which she hopes will be appreciated as heirlooms with warm affection by future generations. Anita Maher’s work focuses on oils with live models, as well as watercolor and collaging with a variety of materials. She enjoys plein air painting and has taken several sojourns to Provence for painting workshops. Along her journey, she also began working with watercolor and collaging with a variety of papers, feathers, leaves, stamps, old letters and/or anything that she finds interesting.

Gail Collier: Celebrating Contemporary Still Life

Thursday, April 20, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE, In-Person (Donations Encouraged)

Barrington artist Gail Collier celebrates the still life form with her colored pencil drawings that evoke the feelings and emotions of daily life. Ordinary, often overlooked objects come to life through Gail’s unique perspective. Her extraordinary Alzheimer’s series is particularly evocative of the emotion that families endure when touched by this disease. From her brightly colored pieces to the more subdued drawings of Maine rocks and beach finds, Gail’s artwork will bring you a brief respite from today’s hectic world.

Uncommon Ground

B Y  M A R Y  K L E S T

The house on Hillside Avenue in Barrington before and after renovations. Two stories and a basement are made real. The reimagined house awaits final touches for its occupants.

House on the Hillside

The two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath house on Hillside Avenue in Barrington was tired, for sale for many months, and unoccupied. Some may say, unloved. But then something happened.

The owner had a vision for the house and local architect Mark Swanson got to work. Swanson has lived and worked in the Barrington area since 1980. His portfolio includes thousands of houses. “I listen to what the owners want to achieve for their property. There may be many ideas, but what fits and what’s possible?” he must ask. He finds those answers.

For the house on Hillside, he determined that the Arts & Craft Bungalow was structurally sound and true to its historic style. Its single story was preserved by raising it and building a new first story and foundation underneath it. A canopy was added, period style windows were installed, and an exposed, textured foundation was built with concrete blocks similar to those used in the 1940s. The now two-story house is double the square footage with an open floor plan, two-and-a-half baths, and a lengthened garage that fits two cars. It’s a win, win, win project. The owners were so satisfied they’ve decided to live in the house. Swanson is proud of its preservation. The town of Barrington and neighbors are glad to see the period house reborn.

Though this house is not in the historic district, Swanson tells me Barrington has the largest historic district in Illinois. As if staying true to his own authentic style, Swanson employs some old-school ways. He foregoes computers and instead creates his drawings on vellum with a pencil and ruler on a drafting table. “I can do it just as quick with a pencil. I had someone ask what I do if I need to change something and I replied, ‘I have an erasure.’” For any who question his methods, there are those who admire it. One young couple gushed over his hand-drawn ability. With a laugh he says, “I’m retro-cool.” And so is the house on Hillside.

Tips on Renovating

  • Find a residential architect, learn their fee structure, and review their built projects.
  • Know what restraints may be on the property including setbacks, floor area, and impervious surfaces.
  • Understand local building codes so you know what you can and can’t do. Swanson usually works with the Barrington building inspector and the Planning and Zoning Office. 

Pictured: Architect Mark Swanson


Mary Klest is a Barrington-based writer and local journalism advocate. She can be reached at mary@maryklest.com.

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