SOFA's Programming Goes Online for Intersect Chicago's Virtual Fair, Nov 6-12

From the exhibition The United at Pittsburgh Glass Center. May Maylisa Cat, The Three Stupas, 2019.
Photo by Nathan J Shaulis / Porter Loves.



Ginny with art super fan Derek. Four days at our CGN booth at SOFA let us catch up with a lot of friends. We miss you! 



CGN has had a booth at SOFA at Navy Pier  every year in November since the fair was founded in 1994. Our small booth has usually been located at the entrance to the fair, and over the course of the weekend, from the Thursday evening VIP preview through Sunday evening at 6pm, we interact with thousands of eager visitors, from artists to collectors to students, sharing copies of our magazine while also answering questions about what else to see and do in Chicago galleries, or which restaurants not to miss. SOFA weekend has a very familiar feel and rhythm for us after so many years. This fall is obviously different. 

In addition to the fair's varied exhibitor lineup, still featuring galleries from around the world this year, SOFA has long been known for its extensive programs and lectures that fill up the weekend, offering opportunities to network and connect while discussing key topics in the fields of art and design. 

This year, under new ownership and with a new name (Intersect Chicago) SOFA still promises a solid programming lineup that you may enjoy from home or anywhere in the world. Take a look at the list of all that's on offer below. There's even a panel about collecting art in challenging times, led by yours truly (CGN Publisher Ginny Van Alyea) on November 9 at noon, in partnership with the River North Design District...

We will miss seeing so many friends, colleagues and CGN subscribers (sign-up here!!) in person this year, as well as taking our regular strolls up and down every aisle in search of new art, but we hope you enjoy SOFA in new ways online, and we will see you in 2021! 



Intersect Chicago will be online from November 6-12, 2020 at with a dedicated VIP Preview Day by invitation only on November 5.

Cultural Partners of Intersect Chicago will be featured on different days of the fair with special programming, talks, virtual tours, and more. The full list of cultural partners is available here.

Exhibitors participating in Intersect Chicago include 106 galleries from 25 different countries. See the full list here.

Programming: Daily Calendar of Events

Intersect Chicago will feature special programming on each day of the fair. In addition to the schedule listed here, special exhibitions, video tours, and other content will be available on the Intersect Chicago website.

See Full Events Calendar


Jae Yong Kim's "glazed" donuts at SOFA in 2019. 



10:30am CST: 

Pilchuck Glass School
On the eve of Pilchuck Glass School’s 50th anniversary in 2021, Ben Wright, current Pilchuck Artistic Director, will lead an engaging conversation with three artists: Benjamin Moore, Tina Aufiero, and Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda, exploring the school’s enduring and symbiotic relationship with the glass community of Murano, Italy. 

12pm CST: 

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) 
The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass will present a panel discussion, “The Merging of Contemporary Glass With Contemporary Art.” moderated by Larry Sibrack, AACG; with Koen Vanmechelen representing Glasstress and Fondazione Berengo of Venice, Italy; Kristin Qualls, Museum of American Glass, representing the Emanation Program; and Tim Tate representing 21st Century Contemporary Glass.

1pm CST: 

The Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) 
PGC will present a panel discussion titled, “Hanging on Every Word: Listening and Learning on Immigration Art” with several of the artists in the current exhibition The United, in conversation with Curator Johanna Lasner and Program Director Valerie Bundy. They will also share images and video content from the exhibition on Intersect Chicago’s website.

2:30pm CST: 

The Corning Museum of Glass
Director of The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, Amy Schwartz, will host a panel discussion about the Museum’s Expanding Horizons program and related programming for underserved communities. 

4pm CST: 

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
MAD will present a recorded virtual tour led by Curator of Collections Samantha De Tillio of the exhibition Beth Lipman: Collective Elegy, followed by a live question and answer session with Samantha and Beth. For more than twenty years, Lipman has transformed glass, metal, clay, video, and photographs into powerful statements addressing mortality, temporality, identity, and excess. 

5pm CST: 

The Corning Museum of Glass
Curator of Post-War and Contemporary Glass, Susie Silbert, will lead a live tour of the recently reinstalled Contemporary Art + Design Galleries of The Corning Museum of Glass.

Craft, Cocktails & Conversation will be an evening of dialogue that joins art, design, and craftsmanship across practices with a well-known mixologist, an artist from the UrbanGlass community, and Devin Mathis, Executive Director of UrbanGlass. Our mixologist will be creating a custom cocktail for a drinking vessel designed by our studio artist. While drinks are being prepared, the artist will demonstrate the making of this particular vessel from the UrbanGlass studio. In the midst of this, the three of us will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of making in all forms.

Special programming will include the exhibition The Desire for Transparency: Contemporary Artists Working with Glass, organized by critic and curator Paul Laster (Time Out New York, Galerie, Art & Object, Sculpture, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Cultured, and ArtAsiaPacific) and independent curator and art advisor Renée Riccardo (ARENA), presenting an innovative group of artists—Ai Weiwei, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Monica Bonvicini, Amber Cowan, Tony Cragg, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Shahla Friberg, Michael Joo, Misha Kahn, Jim Lambie, Vik Muniz, Kohei Nawa, Hans Op de Beeck, Sung-Won Park, Jaume Plensa, Tristano di Robilant, Laura de Santillana, Judith Schaechter, Thaddeus Wolfe, and Dustin Yellin—who are using glass to address formal and aesthetic concerns that transcend the traditional uses of the medium.

GlassRoots ignites and builds the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark, New Jersey, with a focus on underserved youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience. Explore the possibilities offered within GlassRoots through their selection of videos. 


Anthony James at SOFA 2019



10:30am CST:

The Mint Museum 
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Project Ten Ten Ten, The Mint Museum is presenting studio visits with three featured artists over the next two days: Tom Joyce, Danny Lane, and Kate Malone (Kate is featured on Sunday, November 8th at noon ET). In conversation with Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion at The Mint Museum, the artists will discuss the impact of The Mint Museum commissions on their work, as well current and future projects. 

The Mint Museum will present virtual studio visits with artists Danny Lane 11:30-12:00 pm ET and Tom Joyce 12-12:30pm ET. 

12pm CST:

National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA)
NMWA will present “The Power of Paper,” a discussion with the curators, and six of the 22 artists featured in the new exhibition Paper Routes—Women to Watch 2020. The talk will feature NMWA’s Associate Curator Virginia Treanor and Assistant Curator Orin Zahra in conversation with artists Mira Burack, Rachel Farbiarz, Dolores Furtado, Julia Goodman, Annie Lopez and Sa’dia Rehman.

2:30pm CST: 

Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency
Join Ox-Bow School of Art's Executive Director, Shannon Stratton for a round-table conversation with artists who have experienced and participated in Ox-Bow as faculty, fellows, staff and residents. Hear about how this interdisciplinary and intergenerational community has impacted artists at all stages of their career and life. Ox-Bow is a 110-year summer art school and residency program located along an interdunal wetland in Saugatuck, Michigan. 

4pm CST:

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Artist in Residence - Milwaukee-based artist Kate Klingbeil joins Faythe Levine, director of the Arts/Industry program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, to discuss her foundry residency and the role of the celebrated program. Hundreds of artists have benefited from the Arts/Industry residency program since its beginning in 1974. The program, undoubtedly one of the most unusual ongoing collaborations between art and industry in the United States, was conceived and is administered by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and hosted by Kohler Co.

The Ed Paschke Art Center (EPAC)
The Ed Paschke Art Center’s permanent collection space features the paintings, works on paper and sculpture of legendary Chicago artist Ed Paschke. Highlights include a fascinating peek inside Ed Paschke’s Howard Street studio, featuring all original items, unfinished art works, and includes an audio clip of the studio sounds and the nearby Chicago L.  

The Chicago Public Schools  
The Chicago Public Schools Advanced Arts Program is pleased to showcase original works from students in different classes. Students from our Drawing and Painting course will be displaying original works that reflect their sustained inquiries into thematic or process-based questions. Students from Creative Arts and Ceramics will create a mobile based upon the work of Alexander Calder and Sarah Sze.

Crafting the Future
Crafting the Future works to diversify the fields of art, craft and design by connecting BIPOC artists with opportunities that will help them thrive. Crafting the Future is presenting work from a special selection of CTF affiliated artists.



11am CST: 

The Mint Museum 
The Mint Museum will present a virtual studio visit with artist Kate Malone.

3pm CST: 

GnarWare Workshop
Learn more about ecology artists working at GnarWare Workshop as owner Liz McCarthy guides you through this community ceramics studio.

5pm CST: 

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA)
NCECA will highlight its 2020 Emerging Artist Cohort, with interviews hosted by artist Ling Chun, featuring Ruth Easterbrook, Nurielle Stern, Yeonsoo Kim, Cathy Lee and Stephanie Hanes. 

CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art
Join curator, art historian Christina Rauh Oxbøll for a video presentation of the current exhibitions: Carl-Henning Pedersen – Images in Clay, the Treasury with the Royal Copenhagen Collection and the sculpture park, surrounding the museum.



12pm CST: 

The River North Design District 
The River North Design District will present a panel discussion titled, “Designer Insights: Buying Art in Changing Times.” Led by Chicago Gallery News’ Ginny Van Alyea, the panel will include four esteemed Chicago designers who will share how their art-selecting has changed due to the current climate. Panelists are Steve Kadlec, Kadlec Architecture + Design; Bruce Fox, Bruce Fox Design; Gil Melott, Studio 6F; and Trina Sandschafer, Kahler Slater. There will also be a prerecorded Workshop Tour with Lucy Slivinski and Studio Tour with Linc Thelen (Michele Mariaud Gallery). A selection of River North Design District Designers highlight their top pick from Intersect Chicago.

4pm CST: 

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Designing and Building a New Museum: The Art Preserve – A new museum devoted to artist-built environments from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, WI, is slated to open in June 2021. Director Sam Gappmayer and associate curator Laura Bickford discuss the project with the Denver-based architect Michael M. Moore of Tres Birds, moderated by journalist and critic Mary Louise Schumacher. The building was designed as a response to the needs of JMKAC’s world renowned collection resulting in a unique collaborative process.

6pm CST: 

The Elmhurst Art Museum
The Museum will present Wright vs. Mies on November 9th, 2020, including a virtual tour through ‘Wright Before the “Lloyd’ and the Museum’s historic McCormick House, to reveal how famed architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe butted heads over design and aesthetics. 

The Design Museum of Chicago 
Postcards to Chicago presented by The Design Museum of Chicago is the first installation in an ongoing public art program for Navy Pier and acts as a visual way to welcome Chicagoans the iconic cultural destination. It is a celebration of the Pier, Chicago, public design, and the communities that converge at this long-time cultural anchor of the city.

Design Core Detroit
Design Core Detroit's mission is to establish the city as a recognized and valued world-class resource for creative talent by strengthening design-driven businesses. In addition to providing traditional business support services to design businesses, Design Core works to grow the market for Detroit design and position it as having unique value.



10am CST: 

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art 
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art will present an interview between Deb Kerr, Museum President and CEO and Leisa Rundquist, art historian, professor and curator, followed by a virtual tour of Intuit, with Kerr and Intuit chief curator Alison Amick.

2pm CST:

The Roger Brown Study Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
The Roger Brown Study Collection will present a guided tour of the institution, exploring RBSC's digital collections and providing a virtual tour with a focus on objects by self-taught artists and how they impacted Roger's creative practice.


9am CST: 

Curator Adelheid Smit will give a tour of the TextielMuseum and its TextielLab, highlighting two current exhibitions at the Museum and showing the many techniques that the TextielLab offers to artists and designers.

2pm CST: 

Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)
Executive Director of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA), Martha Sielman, brings quilts to the forefront of the contemporary art world and interviews Marie Bergstedt, Linda Colsh, and Mita Giacomini to showcase the diversity of work being made in this medium today. SAQA will feature a selection of artwork for sale shown on the Intersect Chicago website.

4pm CST: 

Selections from the Women of Gee’s Bend
Join us for a panel discussion with several quilters from Gee's Bend who will talk about the work they do, new initiatives in the community to support and advance quilters and their legacies, and anecdotes about life and growing up in Gee's Bend. Gee’s Bend will feature a selection of artwork for sale shown on the Intersect Chicago website.



11am CST: 

Public Art at the University of Chicago
Laura Steward, Curator of Public Art at the University of Chicago, will present a series of conversations between Chicago-based artists and curators who support them, including Michael Rakowitz in conversation with Dr. Jean Evans, Chief Curator and Deputy Director, Oriental Institute Museum; Mel Chin in conversation with Dr. Abigail Winogrand, MacArthur Fellows Program Fortieth Anniversary Exhibition Curator, Smart Museum of Art; and Jessica Stockholder in conversation with Steward. 

1pm CST: 

International Sculpture Center
International Sculpture Center will present a panel discussion with curators/art professionals in conversation with 3 artists in the field of public art and art initiatives. International Sculpture Center will feature a selection of artwork for sale shown on the Intersect Chicago website.

4pm CST: 

Brett Littman, Director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum  
Brett Littman, director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum and curator of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center (2019 and 2020), will discuss how Noguchi's radical ideas about public sculpture, gardens, and playgrounds influenced his own curation of the two outdoor sculpture parks he organized for Frieze. 

Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG)
The Virtual Bronzeville Mural Tour presented by The Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) is a guided tour of historic Southside Black Arts Movement murals, featuring interviews, archival photos and video, and shots of the murals. Interviewees will include Jeff Huebner, who has written extensively on Chicago’s murals and Bernard Williams, a CPAG core artist. 


NOVEMBER 16-21, 2020

The Art Alliance of Contemporary Glass (AACG) Daily Presentations
Regional and International presentations can be accessed from the AACG Cultural Partner page of Intersect Chicago/SOFA: New Mexico – Where There is Sand, There is Glass Art, Northern California Bay Area, Venice-Murano – A Personal Look Inside Everyone’s Favorite Glass Destination, New York City – Treasures from SOFAs Past, Budapest – Contemporary Glass Sculpture Abounds and Asheville - A Gathering of Glass in the Mountains.