ACA began with an inspired idea. I was at a business award event, and I thought, “Why shouldn’t artists also be acknowledged for what they do?” And when I think back to that first year of ACA, it seems like such a long time ago. I remember standing on a bucket at Pendleton Art Center to call out artists' names and to hand out awards (see the image below for the very first ACA!). Fast forward ten years, and it has grown beyond my wildest dreams!
By the Numbers: In ten years ACA has . . .
- Given $1,800,000 in purchase awards, gallery contracts, publishing contracts, publicity, and cash!
- Supported over 1,500 artists nationwide!
- Sold 350 pieces of art to art-industry insiders such as interior designers and art galleries as well and prestigious corporate and private collectors locally and nationally!
ACA is, First and Foremost, For and About Artists
The art industry wouldn’t exist without the blood, sweat, and tears of artists. They put so much effort and love into creating their art that they should be acknowledged for it and encouraged to continue, and there is no better way to do this than by providing them with awards and opportunities. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to see them smile and laugh as they walk up to the stage to receive their awards!
ACA Never Really Stops
I could not do this without the immense collective effort from my amazing staff! Putting together a call to artists and show like ACA is an incredible feat, and it doesn’t stop with the award ceremony. The exhibition remains open until Friday, December 6th, and during and after this time my staff and I will begin planning next year’s competition. We will determine the date for the ceremony, reserve the location, and communicate with potential sponsors and jurors. The “Academy Awards of Art” requires immense focus for the marketing plan and execution strategy and artist communication and management.
ACA Builds Artistic Community
ACA’s artist community began on a smaller, local level, but over the years it has grown leaps and bounds to become an internationally recognized and revered competition. In 2019, we had entrants from all over the United States and Canada as well as Australia, Vietnam, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Poland, Greece, China, India, and Russia.
ACA Builds Partnerships
- With over 20 jurors who are world-renowned gallery owners, art industry experts, and collectors, ACA provides artists with opportunities for their artwork to be seen and sold, and every year, we add new jurors who are looking for new art and new mediums.
- ACA Purchase Award Partners make a dollar-value commitment to purchasing artwork from the final ACA exhibit. For example, Platinum Partnerships are worth $5,000 which equals guaranteed spending of $5,000 on purchasing artwork from ACA Accepted Artists!
ACA artists have been placed in some of the most prestigious corporate and private collections in the country. ACA helps artists be more successful and introduces their work to a new audience of collectors, gallerists, and professional art buyers. Many artists have said that ACA has changed their lives and provided them with opportunities they would not have had otherwise. Photographer Scott McHenry said, “I now have work in the Christ Hospital Health Network, Macy’s Group, more law firms than I can count, and many more.” This year we have over $300,000 in awards to give away to artists!
Opening Night Awards and Recognition
Throughout the past ten years, ACA has come to be known as the “Academy Awards of Art!” Artists receive incredible career-changing awards such as purchase awards, gallery contracts, publishing contracts, publicity, and cash. In addition, artists are recognized with Best-of-Show awards, awards by subject and medium, and specialty awards like Emerging Artist of the Year, Summit Artist of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement Award.
ACA Celebrates Artwork
This is what ACA is all about—the artwork—and artists bring their A-game every year. This year was another record-breaking year where we had over 600 artists enter, and jurors scored over 3,000 pieces of art in a variety of mediums like ceramic, digital art, drawing, fine-craft art, glass art, illustration, jewelry, metal art, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video art. The competition is intense, and the work is amazing!
Special Thanks to My Family
- My Husband and Daughters – As always, I couldn’t do what I do without the support and love of my husband, Van, and our daughters—Sophia, Angel, and Hannah. They bring me so much joy and love, and each of them have helped to lift me up when I needed it while also celebrating my successes with me.
- My Sister – Sylvia has been there for me literally since day one. She is my inspiration and best friend, and I am so thankful she has joined us at ADC.
- My Parents – I am endlessly thankful for my parents, Petros and Sophia, who left everything behind in Greece so that they could give Sylvia and me the lives they dreamed for us. I’m so grateful for the sacrifices they made and the love they’ve given over the course of my lifetime.
See the Exhibition
ACA is ADC’s biggest, signature event of the year. It’s a must-see showcase that includes 200 pieces of art from some of the best national and international artists. The exhibition is free and open to the public weekdays beginning Monday, October 7th through Friday, December 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ADC is located at 310 Culvert Street, 5th Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Complimentary guest parking is available in an adjacent lot.