The weather outside may have been bleak, but it did not stop the women of the ACE committee from enjoying the kick-off party inside the lovely Clarke House, home to the Evanston Art Center. There were plenty of refreshments for everyone, and the gallery exhibition couldn’t have been more fitting.The physio|tasma|gorical exhibition curated by Susan Sensemann perfectly blended art with human anatomy and science. But beyond the atmosphere was the mood of the attendees. Board officio, Auxiliary members, ACE committee chairs, Dr. Gustavo Rodriguez, and Aaron Macsi were all on hand to share in the excitement for ACE 2011.
Marge Gambow and Melissa David , co-chairs of ACE 2011, introduced and welcomed everyone. They shared new information which generated much discussion such as: new preview party details, the online auction coming back and getting youth involved in this year’s show.
But most interesting were Dr. Rodriguez’s comments as he introduced himself to the committee. “There are three sources of funding for our research—clinical funds, NIH grants,and philanthropic funds, the latter which is most pivotal in our search for preventing ovarian cancer.” As a huge fan of his research, I was delighted to hear that he believes “from what we know now, we think we can prevent up to 90% of ovarian cancer,” and that “funding from ACE will contribute to helping fund research to figure out how to exploit the mechanism and customize treatment in our clinical program.” He also said that “from what we know, the mechanism clears genetically damaged cells—something that was validated in human trials.” Thus, it is obvious that the beneficiary is currently working on top tier, significant research.
Furthermore, a short talk with Aaron Macsai shed much light on the creative brilliance and mastery that is a common denominator of ACE artists. His inspiration originated from his jewelry teacher (daughter of the late Enrico Fermi) at the University of Chicago Lab School. Since then he has mastered the art of texture and jewelry making. There is a common theme among his work—gold, copper, and a myriad of colored gemstones reminiscent of Egyptian art. When asked about the inspiration of his work, he credits the Oriental Institute (located at the University of Chicago). Clearly, he is a master who is very passionate about his work. It is evident from our conversation that he is obsessed with perfection, texture, and form. Macsai was educated at the California Institute of Art and Southern Illinois University.