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House of Spirits

House of Spirits Riverbox was created in 2009 by artist Mark Soppeland. House of Spirits Riverbox was inspired by mail art, a 30-year collection of found objects and the Indonesian custom of building a small elaborate house – a Spirit House – that was placed on a pedestal in the corner of one’s property. The house was intended to provide a shelter for spirits that could cause problems if not appeased. Offerings were customarily left at the house to soothe the spirits. An old spirit house should never be discarded but placed together with others somewhere in a field or a wood. Although they aren’t maintained anymore, it is common practice for passers-by to leave a gift at the spot.


Mark Soppeland lives in Akron, Ohio. His versatile artwork encompasses many mediums and themes, often resulting in whimsical, yet thought-provoking castles, shrines and guardians. He has created more than 45 public art projects and is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Akron.

Clue #1

Park in the middle lot next to Leatherlips. Walk straight ahead, toward the conifer of steel.

Clue #2

Walk past the black cage to the edge, then take the path to the right.

Clue #3

Go up the slope, until you see the House on your left.

Amberleigh Park is located off of Dublin Road north of the Brand roundabout. Turn right on Amberleigh Way. Immediately turn right on Carrigan Ridge Drive. Follow the street until it ends at the court. Parking is limited. Please be courteous and respectful of residents.

N 40º07.019'
W 083º06.665'


N 40º07.068'
W 083º06.635'


Be inspired! 

Mail art was a popular art form in the 1960s. Artists would send visual art, music, sound and poetry through the international postal system instead of displaying their works in a gallery because they believed that the commercial gallery was limited and possibly corrupt.

Soppeland combined the artistic concept of mail art with the Indonesian custom and spiritual belief of spirit houses to create his riverbox. Indonesian beliefs state that when people move into a new home they disturb the natural world. In order to re-balance the natural surroundings, residents must build a smaller, more detailed model house on the property, known as a spirit house. The spirit house is a sign of respect and is meant to shelter and appease the displaced spirits.

Learn more: 

Indonesian Culture

Build your own Spirit House

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