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

VIP Updates!
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 3 through Sunday, November 7. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please go to to pre-register and reserve your vehicle. 

VIP Lounge Table Service on the Terrace at SOFA CHICAGO 2016.  
Phil Stefani's Riva will be offering table service and a private bar on the Terrace at SOFA CHICAGO.  To make reservations, please call 312.644.7482.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 VIP Tour | Rebecca Sive Private Collection

Location: Private Residence
Time: 3:00 pm
Edmund de Waal
Rebecca Sive is a noted collector of contemporary ceramics whose collection features (primarily women) artists who work in both sculpture and functional ware. Sive is a past member of the board of directors of the Archie Bray Foundation, one of the premier ceramics artists residencies. Her collection includes work by such well-known Bray artists as: Linda Sikora, Linda Arbuckle, Zemer Peled, Beth Lo, Ayumi Horie and Julia Galloway. The collection also features work by several dozen other artists, whose careers span the 1970’s to today, including such modern American and British masters as Edmund de Waal, Kate Malone, Chris Staley, Anne Hirondelle, Wesley Anderegg, Sergei Usupov, Ann Agee, Molly Hatch and Bryan Hopkins.
Rebecca Sive is the author of Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House; a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy; and a frequent public speaker. She and her husband also have extensive collections of contemporary Mexican prints, rare books, and Brazilian folk art.

This tour is full. Request to be put on waitlistTransportation not provided.

2016 VIP Event | DIFFA/CHICAGO Cocktails by Design & Chef's Tasting

Location: Merchandise Mart
222 Merchandise Mart, Floor 7
Chicago IL 60654

Time: 5:30 - 9:30 pm
Dining By Design
DIFFA/CHICAGO's Dining by Design brings together internationally celebrated designers and local talent to create dining installations that inspire and delight.  These extraordinary dining environments, from the lavish and romantic, to the outrageous and whimsical, set the stage for fun and fundraising.  Visit for tickets to Cocktails by Design & Chef’s Tasting.  

Transportation not provided. Tickets required for entry. To purchase tickets, visit 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

2016 VIP Tour | Howard and Judith Tullman Private Collection

Location: Private Residence

Time: 10 am
Howard and Judith Tullman Collection
The Howard A. and Judith Tullman art collection is among the largest and most diverse collections of contemporary realist art in America.  Mainly known for Realism and Photorealism, the Tullman collection includes work by over 1500 artists. 

Howard Tullman is an American serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator, writer, lecturer, and art collector extraordinaire. His art-filled loft in the heart of Chicago has been featured in American Art Collector magazine.  He currently serves as CEO of 1871 Chicago, Managing Partner of G2T3V LLC, and the Managing Partner of Chicago High Tech Investment Partners LLC.

Transportation not provided.


2016 VIP Event | SOFA CHICAGO Opening Night Preview

Location: SOFA CHICAGO 2016
Navy Pier Festival Hall
600 East Grand Avenue 
Entrances 1 and 2
Chicago IL 60611

Time: 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Join us for SOFA CHICAGO 2016’s much anticipated Opening Night Preview for collectors, museum curators, art advisers, interior designers and architects, artists and cognoscenti, and enjoy first viewing and the best selection of outstanding masterworks, as well as the opportunity to meet and mingle with leading members of the art and design communities.    

No RSVP Required. VIP Pass or ticket required.
Tickets available here >

Note: SOFA CHICAGO takes place at Navy Pier Festival Hall.  We suggest that if you are coming via cab or driver, please ask to be dropped off at Entrance 1 or Entrance 2 on the north side of Navy Pier.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

2016 VIP Tour | Susann Craig Private Collection

Location: Private Residence
Time: 9:30 am
Susann Craig's Loft
A private tour of local collector Susann Craig’s Logan Square loft, designed by famed architect Jeanne Gang and featuring an outstanding collection of outsider and self-taught art. A founding member of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (celebrating its 25th year!), Craig served as an early champion of William Dawson, many of whose pieces adorn her walls and brighten cozy nooks. Her collection also includes art by Emery Blagdon, Sister Gertrude Morgan and Lee Godie while showcasing an array of work by Chicago artists; pieces by Diane Itter, Dave Shaner, and Toshiko Takaezu, as well as crafts culled from her travels around the globe.

Read more about Craig's home and collection.

This tour is full. Request to be put on waitlistTransportation not provided.

2016 VIP Tour | DePaul Art Museum

Location: DePaul Art Museum
935 W Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

Time: 3:00 pm

Guided tour of On Space and Place: Contemporary Art from Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Vancouver and Matt Nichols: SomethingDivine
Joined by their commitment to free public access to contemporary art and innovative arts education, DePaul Art Museum has partnered with the Peabody Award-winning documentary series ART21 to exhibit the sixteen artists featured in the show’s new season. Dedicated to engaging audiences, ART21 shows contemporary visual artists at work as they strive to achieve their artistic visions. This collaboration’s extensive representation of artistic activity including painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, installation, video, cartooning, and filmmaking made by today’s most significant and innovative artists showcases Chicago, LA, Mexico City, and Vancouver as vibrant and diverse centers for art.

Season 8 of ART 21 focuses on sixteen artists in four North American cities: Chicago: Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Barbara Kasten, Chris Ware, Los Angeles: Tala Madani, Liz Larner, Edgar Arceneaux, Diana Thater, Mexico City: Pedro Reyes, Minerva Cuevas, Damián Ortega, Natalia Almada, and Vancouver: Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, Liz Magor, Brian Jungen. The exhibition includes work by all of these artists, displayed alongside the ART21 video segments introduced by actress Claire Danes.

Exhibited in the museum’s public restrooms, Matt Nichols's SomethingDivine addresses the subversion of the institution’s gallery space through the presentation of hand-carved white soap and embroidered hand towels made by the artist. The duality of the work’s high/low nature raises questions concerning traditional art value, faith, and ritual as they relate to utilitarian and metaphoric uses.

Limited to 20 participants. Transportation not provided.

2016 VIP Tour | The Renaissance Society

Location: The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago
5811 South Ellis Avenue
Cobb Hall, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60637

Time: 3:30 pm
Ben Rivers, Urth
In a 2013 interview, Ben Rivers described being driven by “a desire to make cinema that is not a representation of the world, but that comes from actual people and places—and is then transformed through cinema into something that isn’t the world, it’s new.”
Explorations of community, landscape, freedom, and flux are at the center of this London-based artist’s practice. Working with both feature-length and short formats, Rivers draws on elements of documentary and fiction, experimental film and mainstream cinema.

Urth, Rivers’s first solo presentation in the United States, presents new and recent moving image works. The exhibition takes its title from the Old Norse word suggesting the twisted threads of fate (as cited by Timothy Morton in his recent book, Dark Ecology). The films in the exhibition share an interest in utopias—in particular, the tension be tween a yearning for an idealized world and the impossibility of such a place. For Rivers, utopias are necessarily hermetic and subjective spaces, conditions that are reflected in the settings of these works.

The Renaissance Society commissioned Rivers to produce a new project for this exhibition. Filmed inside Biosphere 2 in Arizona, it forms a cinematic meditation on ambitious experiments, constructed environments, and visions of the future. Writer Mark von Schlegell contributes a text—read as voiceover to Rivers’s moving images—that considers what an endeavor such as Biosphere 2 might mean today in terms of human kind’s relationship with the natural world.

Two previous films by Rivers explore similarly curious objects and places. Slow Action (2010) offers a fictional study of island biogeography across four locations, considering how these self-contained sites have and might continue to evolve. The accompanying quasi-ethnographic narrative, also written by von Schlegell, imagines future societies grappling with rising seas and soon-to-be-lost ecologies. Things (2014) is a film collage divided into four “seasons,” juxtaposing found imagery, objects, and sounds with domestic and nature scenes that are at once intimate and unsettling. It is presented alongside a series of drawings and photographs.

This exhibition is curated by Solveig Øvstebø.

Film will be introduced by Karsten Lund, Assistant Curator, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago and guests are invited to watch at their leisure. Later in the evening, The Renaissance Society is hosting a performance by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, who performs under his own name or as Lichens.

Limited to 20 participants. Transportation not provided.

2016 VIP Tour | Art Shay Booth Talk

Location: Ann Nathan Gallery
Booth 820
Navy Pier Festival Hall
600 East Grand Avenue

Time: 6:00 pm

Join the Ann Nathan Gallery in welcoming Art Shay to SOFA CHICAGO.  For over 70 years, Art Shay has documented his life, combining his gifts of storytelling, humor and empathy. His legendary street photography has been featured in Life, Time, Ebony, Sports Illustrated and his work is included in permanent collections of museums including the National Portrait Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Photography - Chicago.

Limited to 20 participants. Transportation not provided.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

2016 VIP Tour | Roger Brown Study Collection

Location: Roger Brown Study Collection
1926 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Time: 10:00 am
Roger Brown, Feeding Time at the Dunes
Doris E. Lane, Ladies, First

Guided tour of The School of the Art Institute's Roger Brown Study Collection and the exhibition Doris E. Lane -  Ladies, First 

Homes, studios, and collections sometimes overlap. The Roger Brown Study Collection (RBSC) is one such place. It is a house museum, archive, and one of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) special collections. Preserved in SAIC alum Roger Brown's (BFA 1968, MFA 1970) former home and studio, RBSC is filled with objects from the far corners of the world of thing-making. You will find works by Chicago Imagists and nonmainstream artists, folk and tribal art, material and popular culture, costumes, furniture, and things found wandering here and there as well as Brown’s Ford Mustang still parked in the garage. 

A special exhibition, Roger Brown & Andy Warhol: Politics, Rhetoric, Pop is on view at the Kavi Gupta Gallery (219 North Elizabeth Street). This exhibition includes five reassembled arrangements from Brown's La Conchita, CA home, which amplify the conversation about how acquiring objects of interest and creative practices intersect and coalesce. 

Penning a list of pop artists including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and himself, Roger Brown writes in the 1980 Who Chicago? that “what is shared is attitude and not style.” Brown’s admiration for—and aesthetic affiliation with—Warhol’s work positions him far beyond the superfluity of purely regionalist designations. Like many pop artists, Brown interrogated popular imagery, politics, and the role of the periphery in constructing centered narratives of art and culture, using a vocabulary of vibrant interpretations of popular media imagery. Juxtaposing Brown and Warhol provides opportunities for rethinking the scope of pop art, which takes cues from a diverse array of aesthetic traditions and conceptual techniques. Read more about the exhibition here.

Gallery Talk at Kavi Gupta Gallery
Saturday, November 5 at 4 pm 

Roger Brown: Decline and Fall of the American Empire (Queer Politics) at Kavi Gupta Gallery with Jonathan Odden (Curatorial Assistant at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta) and William Simmons (Art Historian). Moderated by David Getsy.

Also on view at the Roger Brown Study Center
Doris E. Lane -  Ladies, First
We've gone politically, historically, conceptually, and most fashionably correct here at 1926. We're elated to unveil the modest exhibition, Doris E. Lane -  Ladies, First  –– a collection of dolls bedecked in the most exquisitely crocheted First Ladies inaugural gowns (plus the Tricia Nixon Wedding Party), lovingly made by Doris E. Lane.
We know little about Ms. Lane other than she was in fashion design in the Bay area and in the 1960s she began crocheting doll garments––eventually completing over 300––representing a broad range of people and types of people. She was in her mid 80s in 2010 (or thereabouts), when she donated her whole collection to the Oakland Museum of California, to be sold individually at the Museum's White Elephant benefit sale.
The First Ladies collection was discovered by Dr. Jacqueline Fulmer, folklorist in doll history and culture at Berkeley, and rescued by the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles. Friends at the MJT graciously agreed to loan the collection to the RBSC, sharing our desire to soften the election season tension with attention to beauty and craft-of-the-highest order. The collection embodies Roger Brown's ardent commitment to conjoining the so-called high style with the so-called not-so-high style and the celebration of popular culture and popular crafts. 

Limited to 20 participants. Transportation not provided.


2016 VIP Event | Meet Artist Bertil Vallien

Location: Hawk Galleries
Booth 701
Navy Pier Festival Hall
600 East Grand Avenue

Time: 11:30

Swedish artist Bertil Vallien will greet SOFA CHICAGO patrons immediately following his SOFA CHICAGO lecture at 10:30 am, Lecture Room B, Navy Pier Festival Hall. Vallien will lecture on his legacy piece, a monumental cast glass piece titled Passage, which will be unveiled for the first time at the fair.  This piece pays special tribute to Vallien’s 53-year partnership with Kosta Boda, Sweden’s oldest glasshouse, which has proclaimed that Passage, aka The Million Dollar Boat, is the most prestigious project that has been undertaken since 1742. Vallien is represented in many of the most prominent metropolitan museums in the world, including the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and The Louvre.  In addition to Passage, Vallien will be available to discuss the numerous other pieces on display. 

Transportation not provided.

2016 VIP Tour | Anne Wilson Studio Tour

Location: Anne Wilson Studio
Evanston, IL 

Time: 2:00 pm
Anne Wilson, Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Anne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist who creates sculpture, drawings, performances and video animations that explore themes of time, loss, and private and social rituals. Her artwork embraces conceptual strategies and handwork using everyday materials -- table linen, bed sheets, human hair, lace, thread, glass, and wire.

In 2015-16 her work is included in Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC (traveling to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.) and Art_Textiles at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, England. Her 2014 performance commission, To Cross (Walking New York), was staged at The Drawing Center in NYC within the exhibition Thread Lines. Her work was also included in Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present, originating at the ICA Boston and traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Des Moines Art Center. In 2013 Wilson's solo exhibition Dispersions opened at the Rhona Hoffman Gallery and her work was included in the Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber at the Zhejiang Art Museum in China. 

Wilson's art is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Museum of Glass, Tacoma; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, among others.

Wilson was named a 2015 United States Artists Distinguished Fellow and​​ is the recipient of awards from the Driehaus Foundation, Artadia, the Tiffany Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council. Wilson's work is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago and Paul Kotula Projects, Detroit. She is a Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Limited to 20 participants. Transportation not provided.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Schedule to be announced.

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