Media Contacts:

Maura Bruton

Sophia Weiss Lapat

For Immediate Release


CHICAGO (November 20, 2017) ­– The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair: SOFA CHICAGO, which took place at Navy Pier November 2-5, experienced high attendance and rave reviews from galleries, artists, curators and attendees. The 2017 edition saw an overall audience increase of 8,254 patrons attending the Fair, presented by 75 established and emerging galleries from across the globe, displaying the very best in ceramics, wood, glass, fiber, studio jewelry, metal, painting, photography and works on paper.


“We are thrilled with this year’s fair, which featured a great mix of new and returning galleries, compelling Lectures, glassblowing Demonstrations by the Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Roadshow, Booth Talks as well as our Opening Night Preview beneficiary, Americans for the Arts. The Galleries reported strong sales and energy on Opening Night, which carried on throughout the weekend as private collectors and art patrons attended SOFA CHICAGO, some for the first time ever,” said Donna Davies, Fair Director, SOFA CHICAGO.


"It was an honor to have Americans for the Arts partner with SOFA CHICAGO. This support helped us make great strides in advancing our advocacy efforts. I, as well as the many artists, collectors, educators, students, and arts lovers that I talked to came to SOFA to be inspired, to experience beauty, to connect with the community, and learn about art, and we were able to do that as well as make new friends who will help us generate public support for the arts in our country. I am grateful for the opportunity to share the work of Americans for the Arts to advance the arts and arts education nationwide," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, the Opening Night Beneficiary of SOFA CHICAGO 2017


Special thanks to this year’s sponsors, including: Chubb Personal Risk Services, one of the world’s preeminent insurers of fine homes, art, antiques, jewelry, automobiles, yachts, and other prized possessions, who returned for the 13th consecutive year as a sponsor of SOFA CHICAGO.  Other sponsors included Official Automotive Sponsor, Cadillac, plus supporting sponsors Room & Board and media partners the Chicago Tribune, WBEZ and Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago.

SOFA CHICAGO has been known for attracting a roster of some of the world’s preeminent galleries, and this year was no exception. The 2017 edition featured 75 of the world’s most established galleries including: AaronFaber Gallery (New York), Adam Blaue Gallery (Cleveland), Ai Bo Gallery (Purchase), Alida Anderson Art Projects (Washington DC), Art United Gallery (Venice), Arteria Gallery (Bromont), Axiom Contemporary (Santa Monica, CA), Bender Gallery (Asheville), Berengo Studio (Murano), Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe), Casterline|Goodman Projects (Aspen), Charon Kransen Arts (New York), Collection Ateliers d’Art de France (Paris), Donna Schneier Fine Arts (New York and Palm Beach), Duane Reed Gallery (St. Louis), Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h (Montreal), Galleri Gronlund (Hundested), Gallery19 (Chicago), Gallery K.A.G. (Annapolis), Gallery LVS &LVS Craft (Seoul), Gallery Sklo (Seoul), Gallery Tableau (Seoul), Gallery Victor Armendariz (Chicago), George Billis Gallery (New York and LA), Graariel Ltd (Twickenham), Habatat Galleries (Royal Oak, MI), HAVOC Gallery (Burlington), Hawk Galleries (Columbus), Hedone Gallery (Leonia), Heller Gallery (New York), Hive Contemporary (Havertown). John Natsoulas Gallery (Davis), K. Allen Gallery (Sister Bay), Kim Brooks Fine Art (Marinette), Kirsten Muenster Projects (San Francisco), Long Sharp Gallery (Indianapolis and New York), Lyons Wier Gallery (New York), Maria Elena Kravetz (Cordoba), Masterworks Fine Art Gallery (Oakland), Mattson’s Fine Art (Atlanta), The McLoughlin Gallery (San Francisco), Michael Warren Contemporary (Denver), Momentum Gallery (Asheville), MuranoMidwest (Oak Park), Nil Gallery (Paris), NINE Gallery (Dong-gu), Okay Spark (Norfolk), Opera Gallery (Aspen), Option Art and CREA (Montreal), Origenes Gallery (Havana), Orley Shabahang (New York), Palette Contemporary Art and Craft (Albuquerque), Pascoe and Company (North Miami), Phoenix Ancient Art (New York), Pigment Gallery (Barcelona), Pistachios (Chicago), projects + gallery (St Louis), Ransom Art (London), Rebecca Myers Collection (Baltimore), Richard Norton Gallery (Chicago), Sabbia (Chicago), Schantz Galleries (Stockbridge), Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance (Rancho Santa Fe), Sol Art (Dublin), Steidel Contemporary (London), Studio 21 Fine Art (Halifax), TAI Modern (Santa Fe), ten| Contemporary, Travelogues Fine Arts (Placitas), Traver Gallery (Seattle), Winterowd Fine Art (Santa Fe), Xylem Gallery (Walnut, CA), and Yvel (Jerusalem).


“New faces and renewed energy sums up Heller Gallery’s feelings about this year’s event. Being one of show's original exhibitors gives us the long view perspective. Team SOFA is doing an exemplary job in keeping the fair vibrant and relevant, and it’s no wonder it has such a large and devoted audience.” Doug Heller, Heller Gallery


“SOFA CHICAGO brought a flurry of new faces, which descended upon the studio glass collecting world in full force. Eager to be educated by asking questions, eager to place an object by demanding measuring tape and eager to enhance their collection by walking home satisfied with their newest acquisition of glass from Habatat. Thank you for the red dots SOFA CHICAGO!” Corey Hampson, Habatat Galleries

"Chicago’s market has always been one of the best for our gallery’s specialty of contemporary Japanese bamboo art, and SOFA CHICAGO 2017 was a great fair. The crowds on Opening Night were fantastic, and there were engaged visitors throughout the weekend.” Arianna Borgeson, TAI Modern

“We are excited to announce The Arkansas Art Center acquired a piece from Betty Scarpino for their permanent collection. David Huang had his most successful show to date, selling a record 23 pieces.” Kirsten Muenster, Kirsten Muenster Projects


Eclectic Mix of Artists and Artwork

SOFA CHICAGO boasts significant artist attendance each year, and 2017 was no different. Hundreds of artists were in attendance including Lino Tagliapietra, Dan Dailey, Peter Bremers, Peter Schmid, Betty Scarpino, Michael Boroniec, Davide Salvadore, Dante Marioni, Mel Douglas, and Sung-won Park who all attended SOFA CHICAGO.


Strong Lecture Attendance, Special Exhibits and Design Reception

The SOFA CHICAGO Lecture Series received rave reviews. Lectures welcomed more attendees than ever before, with over 2,200 attendees taking part in compelling presentations from galleries and artists on Friday and Saturday.


SOFA CHICAGO also featured a series of Special Exhibits presented by prestigious arts organizations who reported a hugely successful fair with much excitement and crowded special exhibit areas. The Special Exhibits at SOFA have become a beloved and anticipated feature of the Fair with exciting museum-style presentations including the American Association of Woodturners: MATERIAL EVIDENCE, Ball State University School of Art: Fostering Dialogue and Collaboration, Gallery of Contemporary: Contemporary Virtuosos, Film Screening: Sonia, MFA Applied Craft + Design: Thinking Through Making, Pittsburgh Glass Center: Dissolution, The International Museum of Dinnerware Design: Timeless Dinnerware Design, THE DOCUMENTA PROJECT: Building an Archival Collection of the Contemporary Glass Movement and The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.


"Incredible objects, incredible artists, great panel sessions. SOFA CHICAGO was a big hit once again!" Arne R. Flaten, Ph.D., Director, School of Art, Professor of Art History, Ball State University


“SOFA CHICAGO 2017 provided a gorgeous environment for us to show off one aspect of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design with our special exhibition “Timeless Dinnerware Design.” Visitors really connected with our exhibition. It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the museum to a wide and varied audience.” Margaret Carney, The International Museum of Dinnerware Design


"SOFA is an invaluable opportunity to not only sell artwork, but also to network with other artists, galleries, collectors, and appreciators from around the world. Every year we participate we find that the connections that we uncover at the show provide opportunities for our gallery and our artists to continue to grow and develop new work." Heather McElwee, Pittsburgh Glass Center


The Design Reception, held Friday afternoon was well attended by interior designers, architects and artists. The lively panel on Art and Interior Design in Today's Home: Inspiring the Next Generation was led by top professionals in art and design including Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago’s Editor-in-Chief Andrea Mills, Susan Brunstrum, of Sweet Peas Design; Jorge Simes, of Simes Studios; Michael Del Piero, of Michael Del Piero Good Design; and Linc Thelen, of Linc Thelen Design.


CONNECT, the highly-acclaimed student design competition now in its fifth annual year, highlights design and innovation at universities throughout the country. Six Schools were invited to create a series of lounge environments, which incorporated seating, lighting and staging, which provided areas where visitors could sit, relax and “connect” directly on the fair floor. This year’s participating universities included Columbus College of Art + Design (Columbus, OH), Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University (Indianapolis, IN), Metropolitan State University of Denver (Denver, CO), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), University of California | Davis (Davis, CA) and this year’s winner, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN). Purdue received a $3000 cash prize awarded by Chubb Personal Risk Services.


“The Purdue students formed a great team. They worked together to make a design not one of them could have come up with individually.  Special thanks to Laura Drake’s Furniture class who joined the original group to help finish the project. Persistence was the character of the Purdue Industrial design team.  From early failures through many challenges until the student and faculty pushed until they succeeded.” Steve Visser, Purdue University

For more information, please visit

www.sofaexpo.com or call 800.563.SOFA (7632)



SOFA CHICAGO is open Thursday 5 pm – 7 pm for VIP Preview ticket holders and from 7 pm – 9 pm to the Public Preview ticket holders; SOFA CHICAGO is open Friday and Saturday 11am –7pm; and Sunday 12 – ­6pm. Tickets are available in advance or at the door, and they allow access to all aspects of SOFA CHICAGO. Tickets are $20 for general admission in advance, and $25 at the door; $30 for three-­day pass. For advance ticket sales and more information, please visit www.sofaexpo.com or call 800.563.SOFA (7632).


Presented by international art galleries, SOFA CHICAGO (November 1-­4) offers the best in museum-­quality contemporary art and design. Artist talks, panel discussions and special exhibit are included with admission. 

For more information visit www.sofaexpo.com For more information on art and design fairs produced by Urban Expositions, visit the following websites: SOFA CHICAGO is owned by Atlanta-­based Urban Expositions, which also produces Art Aspen, Art Palm Springs, and FORM MIAMI (December 6-­ 10). All art fairs are presented by galleries from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed-­media. For more information about Urban’s art and design fairs, visit the following websites: Art Aspen: August 2-­5, 2018 | www.art-­aspen.com | SOFA CHICAGO: November 1-­4, 2017 | www.sofaexpo.com | FORM MIAMI: December 6-10, 2017 | www.formmiami.com | Art Palm Springs: February 16-­18, 2018 | www.art-­palmsprings.com

Copyright © Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Produced by Urban Expositions, a Clarion Events Company | Privacy