The Top 10 Reasons to Apply to ACE 2015!

If you’ve been thinking about applying to the American Craft Exposition (ACE), now is the time to do so! Not only is the show among the most popular in the country, welcoming thousands through its doors each and every year, but 2015 marks a new chapter for ACE as it is being held on a new date and at a different location! The world-renowned Chicago Botanic Garden will host this year’s Expo during the weekend of September 25 – 27, 2015, with the Benefit Preview Party on Thursday, September 24th.

There are many reasons for artists to apply to ACE, but we thought it might be best to share our “Top 10” list to help you make the decision and start the process. We look forward to welcoming you to ACE 2015!

  1. ACE is among the country’s most prestigious of juried art shows, featuring the work of approximately 150 of the nation’s most creative and innovative artists annually. You could be among them!
  2. If you’re a new artist, there’s a place for you! ACE encourages the participation of craftsmen who are just beginning in their careers. An “Emerging Artist” category is available for those artists who have been practicing their craft for six years or less.    ACE 2014 - 015 - 4x6 print
  3. For the first time ever, ACE will be held at the magnificent Chicago Botanic Garden on Chicago’s vibrant North Shore. The grounds are spectacular and are sure to provide the perfect canvas for your art. More than one million people visit the Chicago Botanic Garden each year, and the ACE weekend will be no exception.
  4. ACE is truly unique in that it’s a fundraiser. All proceeds from ticket sales support pioneering research at NorthShore University HealthSystem to help prevent ovarian cancer in at-risk women. Ovarian cancer is often called the “silent killer” because symptoms are easy to dismiss and the disease is often diagnosed too late for effective treatment. Your participation as an exhibitor will help support this important cause.
  5. ACE comes to life each year because of an extraordinary team of volunteers who are committed to excellence and do everything possible to ensure that each and every artist’s experience is first rate.ACE 2014 - 013 - 4x6 print
  6. As an exhibitor, you will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with the country’s elite artists and art enthusiasts. People travel from all over the Midwest (and the country) to attend ACE, knowing that it is one of the best shows of its kind. This year, they could be seeing you!
  7. ACE’s audience is highly educated and truly appreciate fine craftsmanship. They are interested in the artists, they ask questions about the creative process, and they are often looking for the perfect new piece to accessorize their walls, halls or themselves!
  8. Our Benefit Preview Party on Thursday, September 24th, features fabulous food and cocktails. Attendees look forward to this event year after year. You will not want to miss this chance to showcase your work to hundreds of area art aficionado’s and VIP’s.ACE 2014 - 087 - 4x6 print
  9. Our new Fall 2015 date sets us apart from many of the outdoor art fairs and festivals held throughout the summer – We cannot wait to watch the leaves change colors at the Chicago Botanic Garden!
  10. There’s so much to do on Chicago’s North Shore! You may want to consider coming into town a day or two earlier or stay on the back end to make time to enjoy the area’s 5-star restaurants, fabulous shopping, and special attractions.

To learn more about the application process, and apply today – CLICK HERE!


New Date and New Location for 2015 ACE

We’ve got some very exciting news to share! Not only will ACE have a new location in 2015, but the show will be moving to a new weekend – Friday, September 25th through Sunday, September 27th. Please be sure to save the date and help us celebrate the 31st Anniversary of the American Craft Exposition in its new home, the world-renowned Chicago Botanic Garden! Our fabulous Benefit Preview Party will kick off the festivities on Thursday evening, September 24th.

The 2015 ACE Co-chairs, Debbie Kerr and Liz Dauten, are very excited about the chosen venue and are looking forward to planning ACE’s 2015 event. “The Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect place for ACE,” says Kerr. “During the weekend, guests will have an opportunity to stroll the magnificent grounds while enjoying the work of the country’s finest and most respected artists,” adds Dauten. “It’s going to be quite spectacular.”

2015 ACE Co-Chairs Liz Dauten and Deb Kerr with Gustavo Rodriguez, MD, NorthShore University HealthSystem.

2015 ACE Co-Chairs Liz Dauten and Deb Kerr with Gustavo Rodriguez, MD, NorthShore University HealthSystem.

The staff of the Chicago Botanic Garden is equally enthusiastic. “We are looking forward to hosting this nationally recognized and celebrated event, its artists and devoted patrons at the Chicago Botanic Garden,” says Harriet Resnick, Vice President, Visitor Experience and Business Development. “The Auxiliary of NorthShore’s purpose to promote health and wellness is perfectly aligned with the Garden’s mission to cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. We are confident that our venue will set the stage for a fabulous ACE.”

The stunning Chicago Botanic Garden will set a beautiful stage for ACE 2015! (Chicago Botanic Garden photos)

The stunning Chicago Botanic Garden will set a beautiful stage for ACE 2015! (Chicago Botanic Garden photos)

Presented by The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore), this juried exposition and sale of fine craft features one-of-a-kind pieces, luxury collections and uniquely creative artwork from the country’s finest craftspeople. Now celebrating its 31st year, this highly anticipated event gives guests the opportunity to appreciate and purchase stunning artwork while supporting pioneering ovarian cancer research at NorthShore…all in a beautiful new setting!

Thank you for Supporting ACE!

We would like to thank everyone who came out to the 30th Annual American Craft Exposition (ACE). Over 6,000 supporters attended this year’s ACE, which raised more than $240,000 to fund pioneering research at NorthShore University HealthSystem that is already showing promising results in preventing ovarian cancer in at-risk women. Without the support of our sponsors, volunteers, artists and attendees, this tremendous fete would not have been possible.


Whether you joined us at our Benefit Preview Party or the Craft in Action Stage, we hope you had a chance to enjoy all of our unique event offerings.

ACE 2014 - 039 - 4x6 print

Stay tuned for exciting updates as we plan for ACE 2015!


ACE 2014 is Finally Here!

The day has finally arrived! Artists from all over the country have taken over Evanston, Illinois, bringing their one-of-a-kind pieces, luxury collections and uniquely creative artwork to the 30th Annual American Craft Exposition. You don’t want to miss this!


The festivities kick off this evening with the Collector’s Hour followed by the Benefit Preview Party. From jewelry, to leather, to ceramics, and even furniture, tickets have been selling out fast to a wide-array of dedicated art enthusiasts. Tickets are still available at the door if you didn’t have a chance to buy them in advance online!

While ACE provides a perfect opportunity to bring family and friends together to check out the work of the country’s finest craftspeople, it is also a time to show support for ovarian cancer research at NorthShore University HealthSystem.


There are plenty of great free special events for you throughout the weekend:

Craft in Action Stage – ACE wood-turners and ceramicists artists will share their talents and demonstrate their skills.

Emerging Artist Gallery – View the work of America’s most promising new craftsmen.

Fashion Show – On Saturday, August 23 at 1:00 p.m. a lavish display of wearables from ACE artists, including clothing, jewelry, handbags and other accessories will be modeled on our ACE runway.

We hope to see you all there this weekend! It is sure to be an outstanding event, surrounded by talented artists, friends and of course, amazing fine art!

For more information, be sure to visit

Craft For a Cure

The American Craft Exposition (ACE), presented by The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore), uses its passion for art as a way to gain awareness for ovarian cancer research. By bringing together hundreds of the country’s most renowned and skilled artists, ACE not only functions as an art exhibition, but also as a fundraiser supporting critical ovarian cancer research at NorthShore.

Ceramics – Antoinette Badenhorst, Booth #52
Jewelry – Ashley Buchanan, Booth #133
Jewelry – Namu Cho, Booth #11
Jewelry ­– Devta Doolan, Booth #93
Fiber Wearable  – Betsy Giberson, Booth #77
Ceramics – Peter Karner, Booth #94
Jewelry – Christy Klug, Booth #104
Ceramics – Thomas Marrinson, Booth #2
Jewelry – Rebecca Myers, Booth #81
Fiber Wearable  – Susan Otterson, Booth #119
Wood – Peter Petrochko, Booth #138
Metal ­– Michael Szabo, Booth #156
Jewelry – Jacob  Albee, Booth #144
Fiber Wearable – Elyse Allen, Booth #108
Fiber Wearable – Marjolaine Arsenault, Booth #74
Jewelry/Metal – David Bacharach, Booth #15
Fiber Wearable– Tregea Bevan, Booth #33
Metal – Bozenna & Lukasz Bogucki, Booth #66
Emerging Artist  – Shauna Burke, Booth #209
Jewelry – Bongsang Cho, Booth #60
Jewelry – Petra Class, Booth #65
Jewelry – Martha Collins, Booth #84
Fiber Wearable – Deborah Cross, Booth #21
Jewelry – Kate Cusack, Booth #112
Jewelry – Donna D’Aquino, Booth #20
Jewelry – Jaclyn Davidson, Booth #59
Ceramics – Nell Devitt, Booth #153
Wood – Sharon and Mark Diebolt, Booth #92
Basketry – Sue Fedenia, Booth #43
Fiber Decorative – Martha Fieber, Booth #91
Fiber Decorative – Amy Gillespie, Booth #36
Glass – Wes Hunting, Booth #26
Emerging Artist – Rickie Jacobs, Booth #207
Jewelry – Judith Kaufman, Booth #55
Jewelry – Tiara and Tai Kim, Booth #34
Jewelry – Kim Koch, Booth #24
Furniture – Steve Kratzer, Booth #39
Leather – Michael and Michelle Lalonde, Booth #35
Jewelry – Ken and Dona Look Loeber, Booth #17
Jewelry – Terri Logan, Booth #28
Jewelry – Susan Mahlstedt, Booth #155
Jewelry – Lee Marraccini, Booth #22
Leather – Rob and Barbara Mathews, Booth #140
Fiber Wearable – Joan Mcgee, Booth #41
Emerging Artist – Mary Mowry, Booth #206
Leather – Dick and Dianne Muller, Booth #120
Fiber Wearable – Amy Nguyen, Booth #4
Fiber Wearable – Patricia Palson, Booth #67
Fiber Wearable – Gina Pannorfi, Booth #29
Fiber Wearable – Jeung-Hwa Park, Booth #123
Paper – Rosella Pat Peck, Booth #114
Emerging Artist – Blaise Peluso, Booth #205
Fiber Wearable – Maria Navarra Pino, Booth #150
Paper– Lynn Pollard, Booth #8
Glass – Joseph Pozycinski, Booth #50
Fiber Decorative – Leora Pruessing, Booth #58
Fiber Wearable – K. Riley, Booth #80
Fiber Decorative – Gretchen Romey-Tanzer, Booth #13
Metal – Jon Michael Route, Booth #9
Wood – Michael Scarborough, Booth #154
Jewelry – Biba Schutz, Booth #46
Metal – Elaine Unzicker, Booth #110
Jewelry – Adrienne Wiegmann, Booth #32
Jewelry/Mixed Media – Roberta and David Williamson, Booth #98
Jewelry – Susan and Jeff Wise, Booth #27
Jewelry – Genevieve Yang, Booth #37
Basketry – Jennifer Zurick, Booth #78
Jewelry – Rob Greene, Booth #49
Jewelry – Aaron Macsai, Booth #125

A number of artists at this year’s event have volunteered to participate in ACE’s “Craft for a Cure” program, agreeing to donate a percentage of the sale of a designated item to ACE’s funding goal. The following list details the artists who will be participating in “Craft for a Cure.” Visit their booth at the show!

We are also grateful to the many artists who have made generous donations to our raffle and online auction.

Funds raised at ACE 2014 will support pioneering research at NorthShore that is already showing promising results in preventing ovarian cancer in at-risk women. Ovarian cancer is often called the “silent killer” because symptoms are easy to dismiss and the disease is often diagnosed too late for effective treatment. However, research from Gus Rodriguez, MD, and his team have found that using routine use of the combination estrogen-progestin oral contraceptive pill results in a remarkable 30-50 percent reduction in the risk of developing not only ovarian cancer, but also in endometrial cancer.


New Pieces Ready for Debut at ACE!

I spent most of June and all of July making new pieces for the ACE show. And now it’s August and I’m still making work at a pace that sometimes surprises me. I’ve made three flip rings so far. These are rings based on ancient Roman and Greek jewelry where the center stone rotates within a stirrup shaped band. I’ve combined red spinels with black spinel, black diamonds with jade from New Zealand and black diamonds with a beautiful Ceylon moonstone.

Devta Earrings_1

I’ve always been excited by crystals especially if the color is really bright. I’ve made two pairs of earrings like this. The first uses red spinel crystals from Burma in a circular pattern and dangles from the ear. It’s enthralling how the light comes through the crystals when they’re being worn.

Devta Earrings

The second pair is also circular and employs super bright diamond crystals. These are sliced off the tip of a diamond crystal called a dodecahedron and if I hadn’t gotten to them first they would have been cut into traditional diamond shapes! They are really bright and sparkly. Both of these earrings are set in 22 karat gold which gives a rich counterpoint to the crystals.

At the Tucson Gem Show last year I was able to find some polished sections of a meteorite that had landed in Russia. I’ve made earrings and rings with this fascinating material. They have a lot of iron in them and this gives a shiny silvery contrast with the darker olivine. It’s crazy to me that these minerals were in a liquid form in outer space and then solidified when they entered the earth’s atmosphere.

At the Tucson Gem Show this year I found some mabe pearls grown in Mexico in the Sea of Cortez. They have a dark grey body color with an iridescent sheen. They look great as earrings and I have one large ring that is stunning.

Devta Ring_1

There are two types of jade: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is the rarer of the two and comes in a variety of colors including the bright apple green that is so highly prized. Nephrite tends to be a darker green and also can be an appealing black. I grew up in New Zealand and have frequently used the nephrite that is so abundant there. This year, again at the Tucson Gem Show, I found some fine jadeite that is a rich, almost emerald green and have made that into a sweet pair of earrings. I also have two jadeite rings.

Devta Ring_3

I just finished a necklace that uses a variety of ancient beads including turquoise, carnelian, blue chalcedony, coral, rock crystal and jade. The sources range from Tibet to the Near East to South America. The beads range in age from 500-200 years old and together create a wonderfully colorful necklace.

It’s been a very productive time for me and I’m not finished yet! I’m so excited to be doing the ACE show which has always been one of my favorite shows to do.

I hope to see lots of old friends and new ones too August 21-24.

A special thank you to ACE artist Devta Doolan for this guest post.

Purchase Your ACE Tickets Today!

General Admission Tickets
For a limited time, general admission tickets are being offered at a discounted price! From now until August 18, tickets are just $13 for all three days that the show is open to the public:

Friday, August 22, 2014                      10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 23, 2014                 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 24, 2014                    11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

After August 18, general admission tickets will be available for purchase at full price ($15) by calling 224.364.7270 or at the door. Click here to purchase your ticket today!

Benefit Preview Party Tickets
What better way to peruse and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art than at the ACE Benefit Preview Party? Enjoy gourmet appetizers, desserts and cocktails while getting a first glimpse of the show before it opens to the public. The Preview Party takes place Thursday, August 21 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Tickets cost $150 and include admission to the three-day exposition.

Collectors’ Hour Tickets
For those art aficionados looking for an intimate shopping experience, the Collectors’ Hour provides a first look at the incredible items available for purchase at this year’s show. The Collectors’ Hour begins at 5:30 pm on Thursday, August 21 – an hour prior to the Preview Party opening. Tickets cost $200 and include admission to the Benefit Preview Party and the three-day exposition.

Click here to purchase your Benefit Preview Party or Collectors’ Hour tickets!

Friends of ACE Tickets
Looking for a fun and unique outing to take with friends? Come to ACE with a group and take advantage of our “Friends of ACE” promotion. Purchase 4 tickets now for you and your friends and receive each ticket for only $10! Tickets can be purchased here!