Fall’s Art Fair Trio

Fall is the season for art in Chicago. In addition to dozens of gallery openings each month, several international art fairs are coming to town, showcasing the best of what's happening in several areas of the contemporary art world. Below are details about three such fairs taking place from September-November.


September 18-20 - Navy Pier

EXPO CHICAGO returns for its fourth year this September, boasting an exhibitor list of 140 international galleries and kicking off a major arts season around the city.

EXPO, together with Chicago Gallery News, presents one of fall’s most energetic gallery nights during the fair: Art After Hours takes place on Friday, Sept. 18, 6-9pm. This city-wide open gallery night invites EXPO visitors and the community to experience the city’s vibrant art scene, including galleries, alternative exhibition venues and performance spaces. Art After Hours is the cornerstone event of EXPO ART WEEK, highlighting the arts and cultural offerings in Chicago during the week of September 14–20.

Free shuttles will run all evening for AAH, as well as all weekend, from Navy Pier and stop in River North, West Loop, and in the Loop at SAIC. Details are at

Visit during EXPO for special on-site reports about special exhibitions, installations, news and more. 



October 29-November 1, the Merchandise Mart

The Harlem Fine Art Show returns to Chicago for its second year, with many plans to build on 2014’s growth. The show, part of a four-city tour that includes New York, Atlanta and Martha’s Vineyard, is devoted to creating a platform for fine art of the African Diaspora. 

A range of Chicago community-oriented events and programs have been arranged, including a Youth Empowerment Day and a Salute to Minority Owned Businesses Awards Reception. Details at



November 6-8 - Navy Pier

SOFA CHICAGO, the world-renowned art fair dedicated to Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design returns to Navy Pier November 6-8, for its 22nd year. On view will be museum-quality works of art from 70+ galleries. 

New this year, SOFA unveils a revamped floorplan created by Chicago architects Cheryl Noel and Ravi Ricker of Wrap Architecture. The re-envisioned design will create a more open and cohesive show layout, allowing visitors to explore the fair in a more engaging way. Changes include a new, centrally located main entrance, as well as moving the popular Lecture Series to the show floor. Other changes include a second café, additional lounges, and a redesigned Partner Pavilion.

CGN also partners with SOFA to coordinate free shuttles between the fair, River North galleries and the MCA all weekend. See or for details. 


Top image: Sheila Hicks, from browngrotta arts, at SOFA Chicago