SOFA Chicago Announces Participants and Programs for 26th Edition

By CGN Office via PR

SOFA CHICAGO has released its list of exhibiting galleries for its 26th annual edition, October 31–November 3, 2019 at Navy Pier's Festival Hall. The full list is below, as well as online. The fair's October 8 announcement lists 68 participating galleries, primarily from around the United States, plus several participants from Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, and more and other countries. 

Always a crowd favorite because of the reputation for being an accessible, yet high-end fair, built up over the course of more than 25 years, fair organizers said at the end of last year's fair that 2018 was their most successful fair to date. 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. Guests can expect to see an expanded collection of glass works, wood and metal sculpture, textile art, and contemporary jewelry alongside traditional paintings. The fair reports an average of 35,000 people attending, with sales at the fair are estimated at $15-20 million dollars per show.

You can preview works at the fair via Artsy.

And of course CGN will be on site all weekend from our booth at the Partner Pavilion, so please come and visit us to say hi, to subscribe and to get your copies of CGN. We will also have details on free shuttles running between Navy Pier, the MCA and River North on Friday and Saturday, as well as a host of openings taking place on Friday, November 1.


Sandra Davolio Vessel With Blue Edges, 2019, Porcelain. Image Courtesy of J. Lohmann Gallery


Programming and Lectures

The Art History Babes


SOFA will also present its unique slate of on-site programming again this year, including new partnerships, lectures and one-of-a-kind experiences. A notable addition is this year is a partnership with the Art History Babes as part of SOFA 2019. The Art History Babes platform, presented by Corrie Hendricks, Natalie De La Torre, Virginia Van Dine, & Jennifer Gutierrez, is a space for open-minded, unabashed discussion of art, visual culture, and creativity. While sipping wine and discussing all things visual culture, the Babes chat about everything from Paleolithic cave art, to the Renaissance masters, to contemporary internet memes, ultimately seeking to educate, encourage, and expand on the study of art history in an honest, entertaining, and accessible way. 

Join the Art History Babes in a live podcast at SOFA in the lecture hall:

  • Friday, November 1st: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Saturday, November 2nd: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Sunday, November 3rd: 2:00PM - 3:30PM

More programs will be listed online soon.


Special Exhibits

Liz Collins, Royal Embrace, 2019, USA

• One special exhibit happening this year is Female Design Council Presents Intricate: Complexity & Beauty Sewn Up. Since its launch in 2016, Female Design Council has been dedicated to bringing together women in design and art to foster dialogue and spur action on the difficult issues facing women in a predominantly male industry as well as broadening awareness of exceptional, contemporary design and art made by women. 

Intricate: Complexity & Beauty Sewn Up, a powerful group exhibition featuring 7 dynamic female textile artists weaving pathways to pertinent conversations through the exciting medium of fiber arts. These unique, collectible works highlight issues surrounding the view and function of the female body, the need for self-preservation, social impositions, sustainable materials, the appreciation of handmade imperfections, and a consistent vulnerability of being female. This body of work serves to capture and release a visual and meaningful conversation around the universal female experience using the lens of textiles to tell the story.

Detail from "Savage Liaisons"


Savage Liaisons is an exhibition that is the result of an ongoing artistic collaboration between two artists who, through experimentation in sculptural mosaics, have developed a visual partnership in their respective studios 9,670 miles apart. This show explores aspects of identity through the artists’ processes of utilizing their shared language of storytelling through interpretations of masks and facades in both classical and unexpected mosaic materials.

In Savage Liaisons, artists Karen Ami (Chicago, USA) and Pamela Irving (Melbourne, Australia) expand upon their individual practices and ongoing visual discourse manifested in their mosaics and drawings. Pulling inspiration from roles of characters in both American and Australian cultures, the artists explore dualistic qualities in the form of masks that reference contemporary icons and personalities. Ami and Irving each incorporate materials which challenge the norm; their methodology questions the traditions that exist within contemporary mosaic. This unique and shared language incorporates handmade ceramic pieces, broken china, byzantine glass, and miscellaneous objects that connects us viscerally to both the past and present worlds. 

Ami and Irving have the same veins of material training and education in art history, ceramics, sculpture and mosaics. The two met over a decade ago while leading their newly formed Mosaic Arts organizations in their respective countries. Both artists have become outliers and influencers in the modern mosaic movement. Their aesthetic connections- appreciation for fetish objects, underground humor, as well Paul Klee and Picasso- became the basis for an ongoing trade of work conversation and a visual chemistry, culminating in several exhibitions, despite their geographical differences. 

View all the 2019 Special Exhibits here.


Fair Dates and Times

Opening Night Preview
Thursday, October 31 |  5 - 9pm
VIP Ticket Holders Only | 5 - 9pm
Public Preview | 7 - 9pm

General Admission
Friday, November 1 | 11am - 7pm (10 - 11am VIP hour) | All Ticket Holders
Saturday, November 2 | 11am - 7pm (10 - 11am VIP hour) | All Ticket Holders
Sunday, November 3 | 12 - 6pm | All Ticket Holders


Festival Hall, Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Jim Rose, Six Drawer Starburst Counter, 2017, Hot-rolled steel, found painted steel, 38 x 50 x 15 inches, Courtesy of Gallery Victor Armendariz

2019 Participants

917 Fine Arts | Miami

Aaron Faber Gallery | New York

Adamar Fine Arts | Miami

Ai Bo Gallery | Purchase

Arica Hilton International | Chicago

ArtBlend | Pompano Beach

Awesome Art | Santa Fe

Axiom Contemporary | Santa Monica

Bender Gallery | Asheville

Bertrand Productions | Philadelphia

Blue Gallery | Delray Beach

Blue Rain Gallery | Santa Fe

Blue Spiral 1 | Asheville 

Bruce Lurie Gallery | Los Angeles 

Charon Kransen Arts | New York

Cube Gallery | London

Duane Reed Gallery | St Louis

Evan Lurie Gallery | Carmel

Faust Gallery | Santa Fe

Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h | Montreal

Gallery Giuseppe | New York

GallerySP | Seoul

Gallery Victor Armendariz | Chicago

George Billis Gallery | New York + Los Angeles

Gugsa Black Art Collective | New York

Habatat Galleries | Royal Oak

Heller Gallery | New York

Hilton | Asmus Contemporary | Chicago

Hive Contemporary | Havertown

Hugo Fine Arts Galerie | New York

Ignite Glass Studios | Chicago

JG Fine Art | Grand Rapids

J. Lohmann Gallery | New York

John Natsoulas Gallery | Davis