Application Information, Deadlines, and Fees
Applications for the 2018 American Craft Exposition are now open. Click here to apply. Applications will be accepted through March 9, with late applications through March 23, 2018.
Applicants must use the electronic application and submit five (5) images for consideration by the jury. Images must be of current work and representative of work the applicant plans to exhibit at the Show. Please do not submit booth display images.
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 less than six years 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 above, however those applying in the Emerging Artist category will be juried separately from other applicants. Those who are accepted will share a large booth space with other Emerging Artists, thereby reducing their booth expense.
The American Craft Exposition is open to all craftsmen who are residents of and working in the United States. Work must be produced 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, furniture, glass, 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.
Definition of Media Categories
Basketry Functional and sculptural works where the material used is woven or plaited.
Ceramics Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is clay.
Emerging This category is open to any medium but is exclusive to those who have been working in their medium for six (6) years or less and who have never exhibited at the Show.
Fiber Decorative Wall hangings, quilts, rugs, etc., where the primary material is fiber.
Fiber Wearable Work where the primary intention is to be worn and where the primary material is fiber (not including leather).
Furniture Work where the primary intention is furniture, including clocks and lamps. All media are included.
Glass Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is glass that has been handformed, handworked, handblown or handcast.
Jewelry/Precious Work primarily made from materials including 14k gold, 14k gold & precious stones, sterling silver & precious stones and enamel on 14k gold.
Jewelry/Semi-Precious Work primarily made from non-precious metals and or other materials such as glass, clay, paper, fiber, wood, leather, and polymer clay.
Leather Work where the primary material is leather, including belts, handbags, wearables and sculptural work.
Metal Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is metal.
Mixed Media Work where the primary intention of the work is the union of two or more media. Soft sculptures and musical instruments are included in this category.
Paper Functional and sculptural work created primarily from handmade paper.
Wood Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is wood.
Completing the Application
When choosing a media category, allow the function of the work to determine the category rather than the material (i.e., metal furniture should apply in furniture and not in metal). For further information, see media definitions. When preparing images, remember it is the majority of work that determines the media category. Do not send booth shots. If an individual craft artist wishes to apply in two different media categories, two separate applications using different images must be submitted. If only one application is accepted, only work in that medium may be exhibited. If an individual is working in a variety of styles within one medium, then he or she should submit only one (five images) application reflecting these various styles. If an individual does both one-of-a-kind and production work, for example, images of each kind of work must be shown in the same proportion to be exhibited at the show.
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Email notification of the jury’s decision will be sent no later than April 15, 2018. Contractual information will be sent by email to all artists who have been accepted or waitlisted.
Cash awards will be made for outstanding work in various categories. Over $17,000 in award money was presented to craftsmen at the 2017 show.
The Chicago Botanic Garden offers exhibitors a beautiful indoor and outdoor setting in which to display your work.
Booth Space Fees range from $1,200 – $2,500
Emerging Artist Fee is $600
- Artists must furnish or rent their own display equipment including booth walls or pipe & drape, carpet, chairs, display cases and lights.
- Booth space fees include 500 watts of electricity.
- Artists must be present in their booth during show hours.
The American Craft Exposition Offers the Following Free of Charge to Exhibiting Artists:
- Porters to assist during artist load in/out
- Beverages and Snacks in the Exhibitor Lounge
- Sign with Name, City, State and Booth Number
- Listing and Thumbnail image included in Show Directory
- Show postcards for mailing to customers
- Booth sitting by volunteers
- Online Directory listing and link to website
Liability and Insurance
The American Craft Exposition will provide security on the grounds both day and night; however, each craft artist exhibits at his or her own risk and should carry appropriate insurance. Neither The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem, NorthShore University HealthSystem or the Chicago Botanic Garden is responsible for damage, theft or loss of an individual’s work. An overnight lock-up will be available to jewelers for a fee.