The Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions, better known as ACRE, isn’t your typical residency. It is a science lab, playground, classroom, workshop, and a studio. It is a place for artists to make new connections or strengthen old ones, and then learn the glamour and grunt of putting together an exhibition from beginning to end. In one year ACRE has become all of that and more for quite a few artists inside and outside of Chicago. Whether you’re speaking of the 100+ acres of land in Steuben, Wisconsin or ACRE Projects exhibition space in Chicago, founders Emily Green and Nicholas Wylie have created quite the breeding ground for interaction between some very promising artists. (The results of ACRE‘s first year can be seen in the dozens of weekly exhibitions on their 2010-2011 calendar.) To kick off a series of SIFC interviews with ACRE and some of their residents I sat down with Emily Green to learn more about how ACRE started, her background in photography and textiles, where ACRE will be going in the future and to get her reflections on its inaugural year.