VIP salon

VIP salon

The SOFA CHICAGO VIP Program is open to VIP ticket and pass holders. All events are open on a first-come basis.
Off-site event transportation is not provided unless noted.  

Our VIP Program offers many exclusive benefits to experiencing the fair which include:  

      · First look preview with return access throughout the weekend   

      · Dedicated easy access VIP entrance 

      · Exclusive VIP Events and Tours both on-site and off-site

      · Access to fully staffed VIP private bar and lounge area

Early previews of the fair as a VIP heightens the overall experience of the individual by offering better, intimate engagement with the gallery owners, artist and artworks presented. VIPs also have access to additional areas of the fair, including a private bar and lounge area. Upgrade to a SOFA CHICAGO VIP Pass here

Cadillac Car Service 

As the Official Automotive Sponsor of SOFA CHICAGO, Cadillac is pleased to offer exclusive transportation for select SOFA CHICAGO VIPs during all admission hours Thursday, November 1 through Saturday, November 3. This exclusive service will provide transportation for residents who live within a 10-mile radius from Navy Pier. Drop-offs and pick-ups will be located at Navy Pier Entrance 2.

Catering provided by Eataly 

Eataly will offer a curated selection of Italian favorites, such as housemade mozzarella, cured meats, artisanal cheeses, antipasti, pastries, and more.


VIP Events Calendar



Build A Mosaic Interactive Demo

Friday | 10 - 11 am  | Society of American Mosaic Artists

SAMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and promoting excellence in mosaic arts. Learn the art of mosaic through helping to create a piece with the artist Julie Dilling.

Artist Talk: Deanna Clayton

Friday | 10 - 11 am | Mattson's Fine Art, Booth A31

An intimate conversation with glass artist Deanna Clayton who has been working with glass for over 20 years.

Artist Talk: Roland Kulla, Making 2D Look Like 3D

Friday | 12 pm | George Billis Gallery, Booth B45

Chicago artist Roland Kulla talks about his painting process and technique in his photorealist bridge paintings.

From Function to Art - Wood Turning Interactive Demo

Friday | 12:30 pm | Chicago Wood Turners

Wood artist Kristin Levier (Kirsten Muenster Projects) and Alan Miotke (Chicago Woodturners) will provide an overview of how wood art is created with a focus on taking designs from being functional to artistic pieces. A number of design options will be discussed with the attendees then the speakers will demonstrate the process for creating a few artistic forms. Audience questions and participation in the designs is encouraged.

Artist Talk: John Peralta

Friday | 1 pm | George Billis Gallery, Booth B45

The subjects artist John Peralta choose for the Mechanations series are icons of utility and invention. John also likes to think they hold memories that we've long forgotten. They've watched generations pass; recorded every scene, love letter, and document. Each image, word, and note is permanently imprinted on them.


Artist Talk: Andrew Myers

Friday | 2 pm | Cantor Fine Art, Booth B34

Andrew Myers creates progressive mixed media works with screws, oil paint, charcoal, bronze, cement, and found objects. To truly experience Andrew’s art, it must be seen and even touched.

Artist Talk: Debra Steidel

Friday | 2 pm | Steidel Contemporary, Booth B32

Debra Steidel’s career dates back to the American Craft Councils shows of the 1990’s where she debuted her marine-inspired textural, ceramic sculptures and was widely represented by numerous international galleries. The composition of her ceramic carvings and ornamental lids are reminiscent of the works by French visionaries Émile Gallé and René Lalique.

Artist Talk: Kate Blacklock, The Art of 3D Printed Ceramics: Process and Content

Friday | 3 pm | Maria Elena Kravetz, Booth B30

Kate Blacklock is a Providence based artist who received her undergraduate degree from University of California at Santa Cruz and her MFA from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Blacklock’s studio work has moved from sculptural and functional ceramics to 3D printing, photography and painting. She has had solo exhibitions around the country including, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence and Ann Arbor.

Designer Vignette Cocktail Reception

Friday | 3 pm | Living with Art Lounge

Join Modern Luxury for a cocktail reception in the Living with Art Lounge before the panel discussion.

Book Signing: Kevin Wallace, VIP Signed Book Event

Friday | 3 pm | Schiffer Publishing

Kevin Wallace is an arts advocate, educator, author and curator. His most recent book Intersection: Art & Life shares the value of the arts in modern society by placing contemporary art within the context of the history of humanity. Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, California, Wallace is a regular contributor to international publications and guest-curates exhibitions for museums.

Artist Talk: Gary Traczy, Kinetic Steel Sculpture

Friday | 4 pm | Mattson's Fine Art, Booth A31

The perfect marriage of medium and artist occurred when Gary Traczy of Miami, Florida found his muse in steel. He manipulates metal into breathtaking arabesques of seemingly lightweight form.


Designer Vignette Panel Discussion

Friday | 4 pm | Living with Art Lounge

Panel discussion with Chicago based designers and artists Douglas Van Tress, Marco Miller, Nicholas Moriarty and Vincere lead by Modern Luxury's Editor-In-Chief Andrea Mills.

The Golden Triangle VIP After Party

Friday | 7 - 9 pm | The Golden Triangle, 330 N Clark St

Join The Golden Triangle and The River North Design District Friday Night at 7pm for an exclusive VIP kick-off after party in a grand mansion full of modern art & antiques. The event features stunning artwork by Adam Siegel from his new show Archetype: Excavation + Expectation. The secret night of culture includes dance and performance art, chic music, innovative food and artisanal libations. Event orchestrator Jon Cotay, Chicago's elite party maven, will collect the best of Chicago and the world under one roof, for an event you won't want to miss. Event will be held at the Golden Triangle on 330 N Clark Street, and tickets cost $35 each to benefit the River North Design District.



Build A Mosaic Interactive Demo

Saturday | 10 - 11 am | Society of American Mosaic Artists

SAMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and promoting excellence in mosaic arts. Learn the art of mosaic through helping to create a piece with the artist Julie Dilling.

Artist Talk: Alexis Silk, Hot Glass Sculptor

Saturday | 10 - 11 am | Mattson's Fine Art, Booth A31

This young sculptor is breaking exciting ground with dramatic new works in blown glass and metal that are at once timeless and thought provoking.

Designer Fair Tour with Steve Kadlec

Saturday | 12 pm | Living with Art Lounge

A tour of the SOFA fair lead by Steve Kadlec a registered architect with over 25 years experience in residential architecture and interior design including the past 20 years in Chicago. Previous experience includes architecture and interior design firms in London and Boston, where emphasis on integrating modern design within a strong historic environment developed his sensitivity toward contemporary contextual design.

From Conception to Execution - Wood Turning Interactive Demo

Saturday | 12:30 pm | Chicago Wood Turners

Wood artists John Beaver (Kirsten Muenster Projects), J. Paul Fennell (Beatrice Wood) and Curt Theobald (Blue Rain Gallery) will take you through their journey from conceiving their work, through overcoming the challenges of producing the work. They will each take a single piece, or a series, and discuss how they came up with the concept and how they were able to execute the final version. They will be talking about how the idea developed, how it changed and how they managed the challenges along the way. There will be time for questions and answers from the audience.

Artist Talk: Bruce Schuettinger/MosArt

Saturday | 1 pm | Joseph Gallery, Booth B38

A half hour talk on historical furniture from many cultures and time periods and how that knowledge and experience conserving, so many pieces, has propelled Bruce to create the furniture he is currently producing. By pointing out specific areas of construction, decoration, furniture forms, within his furniture on display, relating it to the period work.

Book Signing Group

Saturday | 1 pm | Schiffer Publishing Bookstore

A family-owned, independent publisher of high- quality, nonfiction books since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers' passion. From traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles to arts and crafts, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on contemporary art and artists.

Artist Talk: Michael Alfano, Bronze

Saturday | 2 pm | Steidel Contemporary, Booth B32

For over twenty years, Michael Alfano has been creating fine art sculpture that is figurative-based and often surreal and philosophical. His art relates to the everyday, yet causes people to experience, think, and understand life more fully. He sculpts in clay and typically uses the lost wax method to cast in bronze or other materials. At juried shows, he has won over 60 awards, including the designation “Sculptor of the Year.”

Designer Fair Tour with Vincere

Saturday | 2 pm | Living with Art Lounge

A tour around the SOFA fair led by the local interior designers Michael Stornello and Tom Konopiots of Vincere. Committed to providing its clients distinctly personalized homes that are elegant, beautiful and livable, Vincere's work emphasizes the core principles of precision, proportion, scale and form.

GAS, Chihuly Garden and Glass Introduce REFRACT

Saturday | 3 pm | Traver Gallery, Booth A2

Traver Gallery will host a booth event in cooperation with GAS, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and a few other glass organizations to introduce the REFRACT glass event that is happening in Seattle, October 2019.


Artist Talk: Sue Averell

Saturday | 3 pm | Gallery Sausalito, Booth B37

Visual artist and entrepreneur Sue Averell was born in the US in 1957. Using the tools of an artist, a palette of color and inspiration gathered from the world around me, I approach my work with the intent to create a narrative. The result is a visual story told with color, form, texture and content.

Designer Fair Tour with Nicholas Moriarity

Saturday | 4 pm | Living with Art Lounge

His skillful interpretation of the Shaker design is a result of intense research and field study of Shaker furniture, architecture, culture and history.

Artist Talk: Jim Rose, Featured at SOFA for 25 Years

Saturday | 4 pm | Gallery Victor Armendariz, Booth B9

Jim Rose has been exhibiting his steel furniture at SOFA since it's first fair 25 years ago. His skillful interpretation of the Shaker design is a result of intense research and field study of Shaker furniture, architecture, culture and history.

Artist Talk: Lino Tagliapietra

Saturday | 5 pm | Schantz Gallery, Booth A10

Enjoy some prosecco and pastries provided by Eataly while mingling with one of the world's most eminent living glass artists Lino Tagliapietra.
[This Event is Full]



Build A Mosaic Interactive Demo

Sunday | 12 pm | Society of American Mosaic Artists

SAMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and promoting excellence in mosaic arts. Learn the art of mosaic through helping to create a piece with the artist Julie Dilling.

Designer Fair Tour with Janet Shiff

Sunday | 12 pm | Living with Art Lounge

A tour around the SOFA fair led by local interior designer Janet Shiff. Blutter/Shiff Design Associates was founded over 50 years ago by her dear mother Joan Blutter. Blutter/Shiff Designs is driven by quality and timeless designs, with a genuine commitment to the highest level of service.

Wood Turning Interactive Demo

Sunday | 12:30 pm | Chicago Wood Turners

The Chicago Wood Turners have partipated in SOFA for over 20 years. Learn how to turn a bowl at this interactive demo.

Artist Talk: David Barnett

Sunday | 1 pm | George Billis Gallery, Booth B45

Artist David Barnett will discuss the age-old struggle between nature and the man-made industrial world. He will question whether we are losing our personal identity because of our dependence on technology.

Designer Fair Tour with Mitchell Channon

Sunday | 2 pm | Living with Art Lounge

A tour around the SOFA fair led by local award-winning residental intertior designer Mitchell Channon. “Great design is great art,” he declares. Mitchell will guide you around SOFA and point out his favorite pieces.


Artist Talk: Monica Wilson, Ceramics

Sunday | 2 pm | Steidel Contemporary, Booth B32

Monica Wilson received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003 from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan with a major in Ceramics and Sculpture where she graduated magna cum laude. From 2005 to the present, Wilson has given artists' talks and or taught Fine Arts at Pewabic Pottery, Brigham Young University, Muskegon Overbrook Gallery, Summers-Knoll School, Blue Lake Fine Arts, Center for Creative Studies, Interlochen Center for Arts and Siena Heights University

Artist Talk: Ken Bortolazzo, Kinetic Sculpture - Art and Movement

Sunday | 2pm | George Billis Gallery, Booth B45

Artist Ken Bortolazzo will speak on his kinetic stainless steel sculptures and his work as fabricator for the father of kinetic sculpture George Rickey.

Artist Talk: Theodore Gall, Sculpture

Sunday | 3 pm | Mattson's Fine Art, Booth A31

Theodore Gall intends for his sculpture to be intriginging, both visually and psychologically, to draw your imagination into the pieces themselves, allowing you to come to your own conclusions. While not limited to, his primary focus is the human form.


Designer Fair Tour with Robin Thomas

Sunday | 4pm | Living with Art Lounge

A tour around the SOFA fair led by Chicago artist and interior designer Robin Thomas with over 20 years of experience and is the founder of of Robin Thomas Design & Gallery, a Chicago-based boutique interior design firm and in-studio gallery.

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