This weekend marks an important annual date on the city’s arts calendar. That’s because the art fair Sofa Chicago docks at Navy Pier the first weekend of November. SOFA stands for “sculptural objects and functional art,” but the content of the fair has an even broader scope.
Tom Neis, Dwight Zivo, Amelia Sweet, and Melissa Neis, representatives of Parr Insurance, were all present at the VIP Opening Night Preview. The event was hosted by Chubb Group of Insurance Companies (http://www.chubb.com), the standard bearer for high value homeowners insurance .
Donna Davis, Fair Director for SOFA Chicago, says you can expect to see modern and contemporary art and design, objects and sculpture. “You’ll see world-class galleries showing fiber, glass, ceramic, wood and studio jewelry,” Davis said. This year, SOFA also included painting, photography and works on paper. The nearly 70 galleries represented at SOFA include both local stalwarts and visiting galleries from around the world, including those from London, Paris, Turkey and Italy. Davis says that many exhibitors return year after year. “They like to come back,” she said. “But we also have 17 new exhibitors this year, which is a record for us.”
At times the range of work can feel overwhelming to some, so there is a selection of choices put together by critics called Sofa selects. “It is a selection noted tastemakers – curators, critics, designers, architects – who select their favorite pieces in the fair before the fair opens,” Davis explained. “You can go to SOFAexpo.com and select ‘Sofa selects’ and see those people who have chosen those pieces and why.”
SOFA Chicago runs Nov. 5-8 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, from 5-9 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-6 p.m. Sunday. General admission tickets cost $20; $15 for seniors and students. For my information visit http://www.sofaexpo.com/visit