30th American Craft Exposition opens in Evanston

Meredith Morris
For Sun-Times Media
Aug. 15 1:50 p.m.

American Craft Exposition

Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, Northwestern University, 2311 N. Campus Drive, Evanston

Friday 10 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

$13 for three-day entry online in advance; $15 at the door

Tickets and information at americancraftexpo.org

Collectors’ Hour and Benefit Preview Party

Collectors’ Hour, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21; tickets $200, include 3-day show admission

Benefit Preview Party, 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21; tickets $150, include 3-day show admission

Tickets and information at americancraftexpo.org

The American Craft Exposition keeps getting better.

Now in its 30th year, the American Craft Expo is returning August 21-24 to Northwestern University’s Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, 2311 N. Campus Drive in Evanston.

A highly competitive juried show, the expo is considered by many to be among the nation’s leading craft events. The expo is also is also a major fundraiser to benefit breast and ovarian cancer research and care at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

The American Craft Expo annually features work by 150 juried craftspeople recruited nationwide who work in about a dozen different media, from basketry to wood, glass and wearable fiber.

In addition to perusing displays and being able to talk directly with expo artists about their work, visitors to this year’s show can experience a new “Craft in Action” stage that complements the expo’s popular “Wearables Fashion Show.”

“The fashion shows have drawn so much attention to those artists, we were thinking of how to bring similar attention to non-wearable art,” said Susan White, of Lake Forest, 2014 American Craft Expo co-chair along with Debbie Hulick of Winnetka.

The Craft in Action stage will showcase wood artists on Friday and ceramic artists on Sunday, White said. The expo’s traditional fashion show will be held on Saturday.

In addition, a new “Living With Craft” display will include video vignettes that demonstrate how people can incorporate functional art into their everyday living spaces.

“It’s a visualization that we hope will help people see how they can accessorize a home with art and functional pieces. We hope it will excite people,” White said, adding that she personally enjoys living with art created by artists she has met and can look forward to seeing again.

“It’s such a different experience than buying things in a store; to have a connection with the artists and know the back-stories,” she said.

This year’s show features 40 new artists, including nine in the “emerging” category. One 2014 emerging artists, Mary Mowry, is thrilled to be bringing her “Imperfect by Design” jewelry to the expo.

“I haven’t done anything like this before. I’m entering new territory,” Mowry said of the show.

Though Mowry, a Michigan native who’s lived in Lake Forest for 35 years, studied fine arts and interior design and has long been a painter, making jewelry is a relatively new endeavor.

Her passion for working with gemstones and precious metals started about four years ago with a class at the Highland Part Art Center.

“The first time I lit the torch, it was like, ‘Wow! I’ve found something,’” Mowry said. “This is the first time I’ve wanted to spend 12 hours in a studio.”

Mowry finds the “hardness” of metals and gemstone intriguing.

“It’s taught me patience,” she added.

For Mowry, exhibiting at the American Craft Expo is a milestone toward her development as an artist.

“I decided this is what I want to do, and I want to do it really well. It’s working, for a means to be an artist and to live as an artist,” she said. “The fact that I got into this show I love, and that it’s its 30th anniversary — it’s really cool.”

American Craft Exposition

Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, Northwestern University, 2311 N. Campus Drive, Evanston

Friday 10 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

$13 for three-day entry online in advance; $15 at the door

Tickets and information at americancraftexpo.org

Collectors’ Hour and Benefit Preview Party

Collectors’ Hour, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21; tickets $200, include 3-day show admission

Benefit Preview Party, 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21; tickets $150, include 3-day show admission

Tickets and information at americancraftexpo.org

0 Comments

Read about Ernest Hemingway and his ties to Oak Park by clicking here.

Modal