The American Craft Exposition is open to all artists who are residents of and working in the United States. Work must be produced in the U.S. by the craftsmen or under their personal supervision. Work should be made by hand or with appropriate tools. Eligible media categories include baskets, ceramics, fiber decorative, fiber wearable, furniture, glass, fine/precious jewelry, contemporary/semi-precious jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper and wood. Categories not accepted: fine arts such as painting, photography, lithography, etc., except when incorporated into an otherwise acceptable craft category; dried flower arrangements; pressed flowers; seed and pod decorations; cut bottles and embellished objects such as painted boxes, weather boards, shells, buttons, decorated furniture and handmade reproductions. Objects made from commercial kits or commercially available plans are also not acceptable.
The function of the work rather than the material should determine the media.
DEFINITIONS OF MEDIA CATEGORIES:
BASKETS: Functional and sculptural work; material used is woven or plaited.
CERAMICS: Functional and sculptural work; primary material is clay.
FIBER DECORATIVE: Wall hangings, quilts, rugs, etc.; primary material is fiber.
FIBER WEARABLE: Work that is primarily intended to be worn.
FURNITURE: Work that has the primary function of furniture. All materials are included.
GLASS: Functional and sculptural work; primary material is glass.
FINE/PRECIOUS JEWELRY: Work which has the primary function as jewelry; material used is platinum, gold, sterling silver, precious gems.
CONTEMPORARY/SEMI-PRECIOUS JEWELRY: Work which has the primary function as jewelry; material used is metal, enamel, glass, paper, fiber/fabric/felt, polymers, clay, wood, leather, recycled materials.
LEATHER: Functional, wearable and sculptural work; primary material is leather.
METAL: Functional and sculptural work; primary material is metal.
MIXED MEDIA: Work which is the union of two or more media.
PAPER: Functional and sculptural work; primary material is handmade paper.
WOOD: Functional and sculptural work; primary material is wood.
A craftsman who wishes to apply in different media categories must submit applications in each category. If only one application is accepted, only work in that category may be exhibited. More than one application in the same media category is not acceptable. We reserve the right to place a craftsman in another media category. An artist may bring up to 10% of items from a different category; however, the different items must be done in the same media (i.e., an artist who has juried in under the wood category may bring wood jewelry). A slide of this work must have been included in the artist’s application.
Application and Fees:
Applicants should submit their information and five (5) electronic images: Do Not Send Booth Images. A nonrefundable application fee of $50 is payable online by American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA if paid by March 15, 2021. The fee will increase to $75 for applications submitted March 16 through March 29, 2021.
To encourage the participation of craftsmen who are beginning their careers, an Emerging Artist category is available. This option is open only to those who have been practicing their craft for six years or less and who have never exhibited at ACE. If you choose to apply as an emerging artist, you must do so exclusively. The application procedure and fees are the same as for other applicants. However, those who check the emerging artist category will be juried separately from the other applicants. Those who are accepted will share a booth space with other emerging artists, thereby reducing their booth expenses.
Notification of the jury's decision will be by e-mail directly following the jurying. Contractual information will be emailed to all artists who have been accepted or waitlisted. If an “in-person ACE show” is prohibited due to Covid-19 restrictions for the safety of our artists, guests, and volunteers, contractual information for a “virtual ACE show” will be emailed to all artists who have been accepted or waitlisted.
The Chicago Botanic Garden offers exhibitors a magnificent setting with both indoor and outdoor booth space options. Booth fees range from $1,250 - $2,525. Each Emerging Artist’s Gallery fee is $600. If an “in-person ACE show” is prohibited due to Covid-19 restrictions for the safety of our artists, guests, and volunteers, accepted artists will be notified of the fee to be included in a “virtual ACE show”.
No commission is taken on sales. The net proceeds from ACE admission tickets and other revenue sources are donated to research and/or healthcare services at NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Cash awards are made for outstanding work in the following categories:
- Best New Artist
- Show Directors’ Award
- Artistic Expression Award
- Founders’ Award
- Best of Show
Security will be provided, but each craftsman exhibits all work at his or her own risk and should carry appropriate insurance. The American Craft Exposition Committee, The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem, NorthShore University HealthSystem and the Chicago Botanic Garden are not responsible for damage, theft or loss of an individual’s work. An overnight lock-up will be available to jewelers for a fee.
Show Dates and Hours
Tuesday, September 21, Move-In/Set-Up 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 22, Move-In/Set-Up 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 23, Set-Up 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 23, Judging 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 23, Benefit Preview Party 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday, September 24 - Show 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 25 - Show 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 26 - Show 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 26, Load Out 5:00 p.m. - Midnight CST
All artists must be out of the facility by midnight on Sunday, September 26, 2021.
All remaining and unclaimed items left after midnight shall become the property of ACE.
Office Phone: (224) 364-7270
Office Fax: (224) 364-7245
Written correspondence should be addressed to:
American Craft Exposition
c/o The Auxiliary of NorthShore
1033 University Place, Suite 450
Evanston, IL 60201
Show Director Chair:
2021 Show Co-Chairs: