Offering SOFA CHICAGO 2017 patrons and collectors new ways to navigate the extraordinary artwork at the show, SELECTS highlights pieces chosen by noted curators, designers, and critics. Vice President Donna Davies has tapped top professionals in the art and design communities to review the fair and make their picks, which will also be noted at the fair and accessible online for easy reference. “We’re adding these selections to give our audience another opportunity to connect with the artwork,” said Davies. “Seeing what pieces each of these curators, designers, and critics have noted gives our visitors opportunities to further engage with artworks at the fair.”

2017 SELECTS participants to date include:

Sarah Arison, President, Arison Arts Foundation 

Hannah B Higgins, Writer/Academic 

Suzanne Lovell, Architect/Designer, Suzanne Lovell Inc 

Nicholas Moriarty, Principal/Owner, Nicholas Moriarty Interiors

Michael Del Piero, Founder, Michael Del Piero Good Design

Sarah Arison

President, Arison Arts Foundation

Pascal Oudet, Kirsten Muenster Projects

"I am amazed by these bowls- they look so delicate that it's incredible to think that Pascal crafted them from oak! I think they are perfect and powerful in a grouping like this."

Harumi Nakashima, Duane Reed Gallery

"I love these free-form ceramic sculptures which are whimsical and beautiful- a wonderful accent to any room!"

Kazumi Nagano, Galleri Noel Guyomarc'h

"I'm drawn to these bracelets because they look delicate yet very strong, and invite the viewer to touch and wear them!"

Sarah Arison is a passionate supporter of the arts who is committed to cultural institutions that increase access to arts education, support aspiring and emerging artists, and encourage world-class artistry. She is known throughout the artistic community for her stewardship of young talent and for building networks amongst organizations, individuals, and companies who share her vision.

Born and raised in Miami, Sarah is President of the Arison Arts Foundation, a private grant-making organization that supports emerging artists and the institutions that foster them. She was immersed in the arts from a young age by her grandparents, visionary philanthropists Ted and Lin Arison, who founded Arison Arts Foundation, the National YoungArts Foundation, and the New World Symphony, among their many philanthropic endeavors.

Sarah is active across a broad cross-section of national arts organizations. She is a trustee of the National YoungArts Foundation, where she has developed strategic partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sotheby’s, Sundance Film Festival and more to provide aspiring talent with presentation and mentorship opportunities. She is Vice-Chair of the board of MoMA PS1; a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and member of the Committee on Education; a trustee of American Ballet Theatre and Chair of the Education Committee; a trustee of the Brooklyn Museum and Chair of the Education Committee; a trustee at New World Symphony; a member of the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts; and a trustee of the Americas Foundation of the Serpentine Galleries.

In addition to creating alliances between cultural institutions, Sarah has capitalized on her professional experience in the fashion industry to help build partnerships between luxury brands, such as Swarovski and Khirma Eliazov, and likeminded non-profit organizations. In 2016, she helped initiate MaxMara’s Young Visionary Award, an annual prize for an exceptional YoungArts winner. Sarah has also ventured into film producing, supporting projects that shed light on lesser known aspects of the arts. In 2015, she produced her first feature film, Desert Dancer, starring Freida Pinto. She later went on to co-produce The First Monday in May, a documentary film chronicling the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute blockbuster exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass.

Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and French with a minor in Art History from Emory University.



Hannah B. Higgins


Louise Nevelson, Adamar Fine Art

"...Louise Nevelson is an artist who could be described as a surrealist assemblage artist. She took fragments from the everyday manufactured world and made them into tight, intensely interesting forms that she often painted black..."

Amber Cowan, Heller Gallery

"...Amber Cowan’s Bridesmaid’s Forest reminds me of Louise Nevelson in her use of a single color and tight organization of found elements. However, instead of painting existing materials a different color, she uses vintage chameleon green glass to create a cohesive, tight form..."

John Garrett, Duane Reed Gallery

"...John Garrett belongs to tradition of artists that includes Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades which included everyday small things organized for sensory study..."

Jim Rose, Gallery Victor Armendariz

"...Hard and soft work together to remarkable effect, reminding me that the repurposed world of ready made art, art often described as ‘institutional critique’ for what it says about the art market, has a place in the world of high art design as well..."

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Anthropocene, our present global epoch that is marked by the impact of human beings on the planet. The subject/object divide that was so important for of the Italian Renaissance when they invented modern pictorial space, is a huge part of the problem. It lies behind the invention of the camera lens, which depicts the world in virtually every medium. Sculptors and the folks who use sculpture principles in design, have a huge opportunity to blur the boundary between person and thing, or person, thing and world because sculptures operate in the two, three and four dimensions of the plane, the world, and time.

Louise Nevelson (Adamar Fine Art) is an artist who could be described as a surrealist assemblage artist. She took fragments from the everyday manufactured world and made them into tight, intensely interesting forms that she often painted black. The viewer’s eye turn corners, explores the origins of her compact forms and in doing so is retrained to be an active (not passive) participant in the world of images.

Amber Cowan’s (Heller Gallery) Bridesmaid’s Forest reminds me of Louise Nevelson in her use of a single color and tight organization of found elements. However, instead of painting existing materials a different color, she uses vintage chameleon green glass to create a cohesive, tight form. Unlike Nevelson’s cubist, industrial object, however, Cowan’s object tells a story, or rather many stories, of a bridesmaid standing peacefully in magical forested underbrush of duck, whale, turtle, flower and toadstool. Like the very best Grimm’s Fairy tales, however, this Arcadian fantasy conceals a warning. Chameleons blend in, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an inner life.

In the Anthropocene, we will need to learn how to recycle and reuse object, both by turning environmental debris into art, and by repurposing things. John Garrett (Duane Reed Gallery) belongs to tradition of artists that includes Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades (most famously his inverted urinal, Fountain, 1917, as well as Fluxkits, boxes made in the 1960s by Fluxus artists and which included everyday small things organized for sensory study. The discarded waste of industrial life tells a morality tale, a memento mori cautioning us to attend to the discarded artifact of our lives for beauty instead of just throwing things away.

Jim Rose’s (Gallery Victor Armendariz) cabinets, I’m thinking of the quilt cupboard in particular, repurpose found painted steel in making their clever quotation of a classic quilt pattern. Hard and soft work together to remarkable effect, reminding me that the repurposed world of ready made art, art often described as ‘institutional critique’ for what it says about the art market, has a place in the world of high art design as well. ”



Suzanne Lovell

Designer, Suzanne Lovell Inc.

Alex Katz, Adamar Fine Arts

"Alex Katz’s highly stylized aesthetic always appeals, and the long format and palette are striking!"

Harumi Nakashima, Duane Reed Gallery

"Harumi Nakashima’s biomorphic ceramic sculptures are elegant expressions of blue and white on all sides, a very contemporary expression."

Louise Nevelson, Adamar Fine Arts

"We’re always inspired by Louise Nevelson’s assemblage sculptures. Her willingness to abandon traditional methods and materials has created a body of work that is superior in the world of proportion and scale."

Suzanne Lovell is an architect, interior designer and passionate collector. She is Founder and Principal of Suzanne Lovell, Inc., a design studio with offices in Chicago and projects located across the country and around the world. Known for its distinct approach to design, Suzanne Lovell, Inc. creates couture environments through the complete integration of architecture, sophisticated materials, custom furniture and textiles, antiques and fine art collections to express each client’s unique point of view. Through extensive travels and a significant portfolio of work, Suzanne has formed a global network of talented artisans and craftspeople to facilitate her boundless creativity. Through these artisans and her group of 20 architects and designers, she creates sophisticated, approachable interiors.

Her firm prides itself on resourceful solutions through a broad spectrum of services that provide peace of mind to its clients while delivering the pinnacle of design. An innovator practicing at the intersection of architecture and interiors, design and fine art, Suzanne is a sought-after lecturer and keynote speaker addressing the topics of passionate collecting as well as the intelligent integration of architectural interiors with sophisticated furnishings and textiles.

Suzanne’s work has been widely published and she is honored to be among Architectural Digest’s “Top 100 Interior Designers and Architects.” She is the recipient of three Acanthus Awards from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. Artistic Interiors: Designing with Fine Art Collections, a monograph documenting the work of her firm, is published by Abrams Books.



Nicholas Moriarty

Nicholas Moriarty INTERIORs

Pascal Oudet, Kirsten Muenster Projects

"Fundamentally changing the aesthetic of a known object is not always obvious or successful. Here, Pascal Oudet elegantly pushes the storied art of wood turning through his sandblasting process. Manipulating the known ridged nature of wood into a lacey ethereal vessel that looks like it was effortlessly carved by nature itself. The restraint of texture enhances the arresting quality of these pieces drawing the viewer in for close examination."

Sugiura Noriyoshi, TAI Modern

"Form, function, or beauty; what came first? Noriyoshi’s elegantly complex woven bamboo sculptures are a perfect candidate for this age-old question. Decidedly modern in shape, his work evokes a yearning for the “olden days” when life progressed at a slower pace. Familiar yet foreign, you find yourself scratching your head regarding the object’s purpose. His mastery of architectural-like proportion makes the viewer hover around the object to take in every possible angle of intrigue. Ancient craft only get lost to archeology if artists stop resurrecting the past, and for that reason alone, we should celebrate Noryoshi."

Ivan Markovic, Option Art

"As of late humanity seems to be lost on most people. Because of this, Ivan Markovic’s work has more importance now than possibly ever before. The ability to recognize the beauty in everyone, despite their station in life, is a skill that should be ingrained in people from birth. The humble beauty present in his sculpture gives me hope in humanity – a possibility that understanding will prevail over prejudgment and cultural bias."

NMI is a multi-disciplinary interiors firm focused on full scale interior renovation and design projects. We excel at interior architecture, space planning, kitchen design, and bathroom design. Recognized as forward-thinking and client-focused, NMI strives to create unique environments that fundamentally change the way the client interacts with their space. By drawing on a passion for a variety of design styles, from traditional to the avant-garde, our work is consistently recognized for its depth of texture, personality, and warmth. Through our knowledge of art, fashion, and design, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to the design process that allows us to draw out as much personal information from each client as possible. Thus, we create an environment that reflects every client’s individual life experiences.

Educated at the University of Northern Iowa (BA Marketing) and Harrington College of Design (AA Interior Design), Nicholas utilizes his diverse background to provide every client with a holistic interpretation of their respective style and a solution that accommodates their needs and desires. Nicholas is a modernist at heart with his earliest aesthetic memories revolving around Le Corbusier, the Bauhaus Movement, and artists like Andy Warhol, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, and Jasper Johns. It is through Nicholas’ fundamental understanding of Modernism that he is able to interpret and actualize a variety of design styles. Le Corbusier once said, “good design is intelligence made visible” – a sentiment that stands firm at the roots of NMI. 



Michael Del Piero

Michael Del Piero Good Design

Pascal Oudet, Kirsten Muenster Projects

"I love the fine workmanship and beautiful movement of this piece. The mood evoked while engaged is one of calm. I like calm so naturally, I was immediately attracted to this piece."

Sugiura Noriyoshi, TAI Modern

"Steel, bronze, and wire appeal to me on a visceral level. Typically I prefer hefty metal sculpture however, the elegant quality of this pierce is eye catching."

Lori Katz, Alida Anderson Art Projects

"I love the possibilities of using this piece in an interiors project. I might commission the artist to create a piece covering an entire wall. This texture and color would work well in a larger scale. Overall, the tone of dirty white and off black appeals to me."

Over the last decade, internationally-renowned interior designer Michael Del Piero has carved her space amongst the industry’s leaders with her sophisticated and traveled aesthetic. Her work is unified by three core principals: strive for balance, create interiors as unusual as they are beautiful, and treat clients like royalty. To date, Michael's spaces have appeared in hundreds of digital and print publications including Traditional Home, House Beautiful, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. Prior to embarking on her interior design career, Michael spent two decades as an Executive Coach and raised two daughters in Wilmette. Michael currently resides in the Gold Coast and has offices in Chicago’s West Town and the Hamptons’ Amagansett. She takes residential and commercial projects internationally. 






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