SOFA CHICAGO Returns to Navy Pier This Fall to Celebrate Women in the Arts

SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design.​ Founded in 1993, SOFA has proven to be a highly-anticipated event within the Chicago area and art world. Returning again to Navy Pier this Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, the fair will bring approximately 80 galleries, dozens of partners, and thousands of art lovers to Festival Hall for a weekend full of art and culture.

Returning again this fall is the fair’s new and improved floor plan from its 25th anniversary fair last year. The new floor plan improves visibility and walkability throughout the show floor, so you can make the most of your experience and view as much artwork as possible. Fairgoers can also experience SOFA demos with the Society of American Mosaic Artists, Chicago Wood Turners, and Corning Museum of Glass. Changes to this year’s fair include several new partners and fresh educational content.

Amber Cowan; “Young Love Resting in Grey Meadow,” 2019; Flameworked American pressed glass/mixed media; 22 x 19 x 11 inches; Courtesy of Heller Gallery

SOFA is also known for its dynamic Lecture Series with a wide array of speakers including artists, gallery owners, curators, designers, and art history buffs. One highlight will be the Art History Babes comprised of Corrie Hendricks, Natalie De La Torre, Virginia Van Dine, and Jennifer Gutierrez recording their insightful podcast live from the fair.

The Special Exhibit programming for the upcoming fair will be its most ambitious yet featuring museum styled exhibits intended to be thought provoking and educational to SOFA’s audience. Heller Gallery will be presenting Collaborations with Queer Voices neon exhibition originally featured at their gallery in New York City that coincided with the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. SOFA has also decided to launch a theme at this year’s fair, which will be Women in the Arts. The Female Design Council will be curating a Special Exhibit, local Chicago designer Emily Mackie from Inspired Interiors is working with a group of women artists on commissioned pieces to be displayed at the fair, and there will be extensive programing supporting the theme.

SOFA CHICAGO: Mirjam Hiller
Mirjam Hiller; “Luftschloss;” Brooch, Steel, powder coated; Courtesy of Charon Kransen Arts

SOFA’s CONNECT program, a student design competition highlighting innovative design programs at universities throughout the country, will also be back this year. The concept challenges participating schools to design environments incorporating seating, lighting, and conceptual staging elements into a place for attendees to “connect.”

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