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Events

On top of all the great demonstrations, the AAW Woodturning Symposium features events where you can see inspirational wood art, try out new tools and gear, celebrate your peers' accomplishments, support charities, and get your family involved.

Join us June 1 - 4, 2023

Instant Gallery

Every registered (paid) attendee is welcome to bring three pieces to display in the huge Instant Gallery. Take your time to enjoy the world’s largest display of turned wood. This nearly 30,000 sq.ft. exhibit will amaze and inspire. With work by turners of every level, this is a great chance to see an enormous variety of woodturnings. New this year – Showcase Louisville and Kentucky’s roots in Bourbon by bringing your own bourbon-inspired woodturned pieces to display in the gallery. A prize will be drawn from the Instant Gallery entries.

Learn more about the Instant Gallery here.

AAW Benefit Live Auction  (P)

Join in the excitement of live bidding on museum-quality woodturned work. Funds raised support AAW members and the AAW’s educational mission and programs. The auction will be held Friday, June 2 live in person and online. You can participate in person, or bid (and watch!) from your phone, tablet, or computer before and during the event.

Start bidding here.

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(P) = Free Public Access

Intimate Critiques

Want honest, qualified feedback on your work? Sign-up for an Intimate Critique to get constructive feedback from some of the most knowledgeable and respected woodturners, woodworkers, and curators. Register in advance for a timeslot in the Instant Gallery

POP Artist Showcase  (P)

Each year the Professional Outreach Program (POP) showcases two outstanding wood artists at the AAW Annual Symposium. They are either experienced artists who have made significant contributions to the woodturning field but have not received appropriate recognition or emerging artists who have the potential for making significant contributions to the field. This year's featured artists, Nicole MacDonald and Elizabeth Weber, will give two demonstrations and their work is displayed prominently in the Instant Gallery.

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(P) = Free Public Access

Special Exhibitions

POP Merit Award Show  (P)

This exhibition features the work of 2023 POP Merit Award winner J. Paul Fennell. This honor is awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional development in their careers as artists and whose artworks have directly influenced or had a significant impact on other woodturning artists.

POP Exhibition and Live Auction  (P)

The POP exhibition features work by a mix of professional-level international, emerging and established artists. The auction will be held Saturday, June 3 live in person and online. You can participate in person, or bid (and watch!) from your phone, tablet, or computer before and during the event.

Start bidding here.

AAW Member Exhibition: Out of the Woods  (P)

The theme for the 2023 AAW member show is Out of the Woods, embracing the versatile and beautiful medium we work in and referring to the many challenges and changes of the past few years.

The Largest Woodturning Tradeshow

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The AAW Symposium Tradeshow is jam-packed with all the latest and greatest equipment, tools, jigs, wood, and supplies. You’ll be captivated and fascinated. See merchandise and tools up close and in action – and get your questions answered. Buy whatever you need for your shop. Featuring:

Advanced Lathe Tools, LLC
Airbrushing Wood
Alumilite Corporation
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
AZ Carbide
Big B Farm And Apiary
Big Monk Lumber Company
Branches To Bowls Ltd.
Carter and Son Toolworks
Cindy Drozda Woodturning
Clark's Arts Beyond
Curt Theobald Studios
Easy Inlay
Easy Wood Tools
ExoticBlanks.com
FedEx
Hunter Tool Systems
International Wood Collectors Society
John Jordan Woodturning
Klingspor's Woodworking Shop
Lyle Jamieson Woodturning LLC
MDI Woodcarvers Supply
Niles Bottle Stoppers
Odd-Not.Com

Ornamental Turners International

Peke Safety

Planet Plus Ltd

Powermatic, JET

Real Milk Paint Co.
Robert Sorby Ltd
Robust Tools
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
Spiracraft
Stainless Bottle Stoppers
Starbond Adhesives
Stuart Batty Tools
Teknatool USA
The Walnut Log LLC
Thompson Lathe Tools
Tom's Tools
Trent Bosch Tools
Uneeda
VincesWoodNWonders

Woodturning Magazine
Woodturners Wonders LLC
Woodturning with Tim Yoder

Free Public Access
Make Your Own Souvenir Pen in the Exhibit Hall 

Join the live, hands-on pen turning class to craft your own custom pen. Make your own Louisville Symposium souvenir pen from wood donated by the Louisville Slugger Factory – the same wood used to make baseball bats used all over the world. Purchase a pen kit and experienced instructors will be on hand to help you make your own souvenir.  

Family-Friendly Activities

(P) = Free Public Access
Learn To Turn: a Woodturning Experience for the Whole Family

Free for kids ages 10 to 18 to learn to use the lathe with experienced woodturning insructors. Space is limited and each registered youth must be accompanied and sponsored by an adult who is a paid registrant for the event. Students will make a variety of projects including a tree ornament, ring holder, honey dipper, twist pen, egg-leidoscope, cupcake box, and yo-yo. Advanced registration required.

Make Your Own Souvenir Pen  (P)

Join the live, hands-on pen turning class to craft your own custom pen. Make your own Louisville Symposium souvenir pen from wood donated by the Louisville Slugger Factory – the same wood used to make baseball bats used all over the world. Purchase a pen kit and experienced instructors will be on hand to help you make your own souvenir.  Hosted by Midwest Penturners and Penmakers International.

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Kentucky Kingdom

For family fun just steps from the Expo Center, the Kentucky Kingdom offers theme park roller coasters and water park attractions. A fun outside adventure to add to your vacation. Click here to learn more.

Louisville Slugger Museum

Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory Tour June 1-4 and get $1 off admission with your AAW Symposium nametag.

Charitable Activities

Empty Bowls

Recipient: Stormhaven Youth Ranch, Shelbyville, KY
Bring a bowl (or two or three!) to contribute to the Empty Bowls fundraiser–then purchase a bowl to bring home! All profits directly benefit Stormhaven Youth Ranch, a local nonprofit selected by the Louisville Area Woodturners.
Stormhaven Youth Ranch rescues horses and provides a safe haven for families with children who are struggling, whether physically, emotionally, or behaviorally. Volunteers from Stormhaven will be available in the Empty Bowls booth to talk
with you about their incredible program.

Learn how you can participate here.

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(P) = Free Public Access
Beads of Courage

Beads of Courage is a program that provides innovative Arts-in-Medicine initiatives for children coping with serious illness, their families, and the clinicians who care for them. In the past, AAW has collected donated boxes for this program, but this year we encourage you to connect with their representatives at the Symposium or visit their website to learn about other ways to support such a worthwhile cause.

Auctions Supporting Educational Programs  (P)

Proceeds from the AAW Benefit Live Auction and the Silent Auction support the AAW’s educational mission and programs. Consider donating a turned piece of artwork, woodturning-related supplies, or something else to AAW’s silent auction. Drop your donation off in the Gallery and Exhibition Hall.

Social Events

Opening Reception & Tradeshow Preview 

Mingle with other woodturning enthusiasts and get a sneak peek of the latest products and tools in the tradeshow while you enjoy hors d'oeuvres and drinks.

Evening Banquet (paid ticket required)

Join your peers in the ballroom for a seated dinner to celebrate the woodturning community and bid on the Silent Auction items.

Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction

Join us in celebrating AAW's Honorary Lifetime Member, POP Merit Award Artist, Chapter Newsletter and Website award winners, AAW Member Exhibition Masters' Choice and People's Choice winners. The Silent Auction offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere for browsing and bidding on artwork, tools and more. Consider donating a turned piece of artwork, woodturning-related supplies, or something else to benefit the AAW’s educational mission and support its educational programs. Drop your donation off in the Gallery and Exhibition Hall. 

Best of Louisville Trolley Tour 

Come and experience Louisville during our two-hour tour in an old-time classic trolley!  This narrated tour covers the best of this booming city as we explore the downtown and the waterfront, Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby and America’s largest collection of Victorian-style homes in Old Louisville. There is limited availability and registration closes May 15, so sign up soon!

Learn more here.

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