Category: Art

All things in the Art program

Gallery wall with photo portraits and shadow boxes

MakeXpression Art Opening at Ace Makerspace

Over 60 people came out to celebrate the culmination of an 8 month collaboration between Ace Makerspace and local artist, Miriam Levenson on a line of laser-cut jewelry representative of the Ace’s vision of a world where making is for everyone. This artwork, made possible through a grant from The Blue Heart Creator’s Fund, explores the idea that identity isn’t given, it’s made and disrupts exclusionary cultural narratives around who can be considered a maker. The exhibition featured 8 shadow boxes with laser-cut jewelry and 20 photo portraits taken by Greg Habiby of folks in the community who volunteered to model the artwork. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed tasty vegetarian snacks catered by Chef Terry Betts, a pop-up store hosted by The Spooky Haus, and micro tours of the Ace Workshops led by Member Services Associate Saron.

Read more about the making of this project:

5 people smiling under gallery wall with photo portraits
From left: Photographer Greg Habiby, Ace Communications Associate Jacky Rossiter, Artist Miriam Levenson, Ace Makerspace Executive Director Rachel Sadd, Exhibit Designer Liz Patrician
4 people smiling in front of gallery wall
From left: Blue Heart Program Director Ashley Kelly;  Artist Miriam Levenson, Emeryville Mayor Courtney Welch, Ace Makerspace Executive Director Rachel Sadd
Large group of people posing for picture in front of art gallery
MakeXpression models from top left: Ollie, Chloe, Liz, Obi, Ali, Miriam (artist), Momo, Jacky, Greg (photographer)
Large group of people mingling in brightly lit space
Folks mingling at the MakeXpression Opening
Colorful booth with laser-cut, resin, and leather accessories
Miriam putting the finishing touches on the Spooky Haus Pop-up Store.


Laser cut acrylic "Maker" necklace, laser-cut acrylic jewelry.

MakeXpression at Oakland First Fridays

Over the past 6 months, we collaborated with local artist and co-founder of The Spooky Haus, Miriam Levenson, to create a collection of wearable art that embodies Ace Makerspace’s core values— diversity, community, inquiry, growth, and action—and celebrates the diverse identities held by makers in the Ace Community!

This work made possible through The Blue Heart Creator’s Fund, disrupts exclusionary cultural narratives around who can be considered a maker, and explores the idea that identity isn’t given, it’s made. To celebrate the completion of the project and to share it with our East Bay community we brought the exhibition to the last Oakland First Fridays of the year!

Person smiles with shadow box full of pink laser-cut acrylic jewelry.
Folks stopped by the booth to look at the exhibit, buy their favorite pieces, and meet the artist, Miriam (above).
Shadow boxes with laser-cut acrylic jewelry.
The finished MakeXpression collection mounted in shadow boxes at the Ace First Friday Booth. These designs were inspired by the Ace Community who shared words and thoughts representing the diverse identities they hold for the project.
Necklace display, laser-cut acrylic jewelry.
Miriam explicitly created this collection using only Ace Makerspace tools, and beginner-friendly acrylics to encourage makers of all skill levels to experiment with lesser known materials for Laser-cutting (like the neon and glitter acrylics pictured above), and to explore new pathways and methods on their maker journey. Through this participatory design process and choice of materials, Miriam foregrounds agency in a makerspace context and exemplifies the Ace Vision: Making is for Everyone!
Person in pink shirt, looking at exhibit.
Ace Member, Margret, takes in the finished exhibit.
Person smiling in pink "Ace" shirt and "Freak" necklace.
Ace Communications Associate, Jacky, one of the collaborators on this project, models a necklace from the collection.
Booth with display items, lights.
The MakeXpression exhibit in the glow of the Ace Oakland First Fridays Booth.

Light-up Holiday Cards at the Library

We had a blast making light-up holiday and birthday cards with families at the Golden Gate Branch Library. Each person started by designing their very own circuit with 1 to 4 LED lights, a battery, and a switch. Pushing the switch lit up the card!

Reindeer games!
Lighting up the night sky
Cats and christmas trees… need we say more?


Some folk crafted their own pictures, while others added lights to art paper. Either way, each person brought their own spark to the experience.

Oakland Pride Jewelry at the Library

We celebrated pride with some Oakland love at the Golden Gate Library!

We brought laser-cut Oakland trees and alcohol ink. Families brought their creativity and spark. Together, we made lots of rainbow-colored, Oakland-themed earrings and key rings. A wonderful way to show our Oakland Pride!

Crafty Painting Extra treas for the librarians
Trees painted with alcohol ink
Oakland pride trees coming off the laser
Pretty painted oakland pride trees