The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. On par with Art Basel and TEFAF Maastricht, SOFA is produced by Urban Expositions, a Clarion Events company.
Critically acclaimed and continuously running since 1994, what distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation, with an elite selection of international dealers presenting for sale one-of-a-kind masterworks in handsome, custom-designed gallery exhibits.
SOFA is held annually in the fall at Chicago's major destination, Navy Pier, with an average of 80 dealers and 35,000 people attending. Sales at the fair are estimated at 15-20 million dollars per show.
With a strong educational emphasis, SOFA CHICAGO includes an acclaimed lecture series and special exhibits exploring the artworks on view and surveying new trends in the art world. A VIP program includes exclusive events tailored to high-profile gallery clients and collector/museum groups.
SOFA has evolved into a dynamic international marketplace and community – a confluence of perspectives where art, design and people intersect.
1994-Present. SOFA CHICAGO was inaugurated at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in 1994, with 58 exhibitors and 14,000 persons attending. In 1995, SOFA Chicago moved to Festival Hall at Chicago's historic Navy Pier. Since then, the fair has grown steadily in the number of exhibitors, averaging 85-90 galleries in recent years, and attendance has increased over 100%. The attendance has increased to 35,000 people attending over four days in recent years.
SOFA NEW YORK was held at the Park Avenue Armory from 1998-2012. Averaging 40 dealers, this boutique-style fair was a favorite for dealers and attendees alike. Read wrap-up report here.
about urban expositions
Based in Kennesaw, GA, and founded in 1995, Urban Expositions produces and manages a portfolio of 40 events. Urban serves seven industry sectors including Gift, Souvenir, Art, Aviation, Foodservice, Pet and Gaming. Urban also produces Airport Revenue News, a publication focused on the airport concession industry. Urban has offices in Shelton, CT and Boca Raton, FL, and is represented by employees in California, Colorado and Illinois. www.urban-expo.com
about clarion events
Clarion Events operates over 200 events in 35 countries from offices in the UK, South Africa, USA, Brazil, Germany, Singapore, UAE, Turkey, and the Netherlands. Clarion can trace its roots back to 1947 and takes great pride in being one of the oldest independent event organizers in the UK. The teams at Clarion create uniquely effective and stimulating environments that can serve as a platform to build businesses, enhance customer relationships and accelerate product awareness. www.clarionevents.com