It's been so long since I missed a SOFA (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) show at Navy Pier's Festival Hall, that I can't remember when it was. There have been years that have seemed to be all glass artists, sometimes too crowded and sometimes too exclusive...meaning that it was for serious collectors only. Searching for works and artists such as these are the "icing on the cake" of Interior Design: I love, love, love it -- with or without a client or project in mind. Watching artists and their work evolve is a wonderful way to determine if their work is for YOU, whether it's a SOFA or a local summer Art Fair. Just don't wait too long, or it could become unaffordable!
Yesterday's visit was a treat. There was great variety: glass, ceramic, metalwork (including jewelry), wood and fiber. Some of the fiber was woven and some was embroidered and some was patched. There were large sculptures of cast glass, blown glass and lampworked glass. Ceramics were of all sizes and there were beautiful chairs of hand carved black walnut. Sorry, no photos of jewelry, but Aaron Faber was there from NYC with new and vintage gold, colored stone and diamond jewelry and Jean Albano's Chicago gallery featured vintage couturier jewelery along with her sculptured gallery pieces.
Yes, the show was more intimate than some past years, but I loved that there were fewer items 50K and up and more 1K area and less. Some of the galleries represented all the same artists as before, but smaller pieces. There were some international vendors and many from out of state. Chicago was well-represented by galleries like Ken Saunders, Judy Saslow, Ann Nathan, Jean Albano as well as Perimeter, Prism. Pistachios, Portals, Ltd,, Carl Hammer and Harvey's. (sorry if I forgot someone) Niemi from Wisconsin was there with large outdoor items and I saw favorite galleries of mine from Santa Fe, Santa Monica, New York and other U.S. cities. It made me feel quite at home.
Enjoy my photos, starting with Dale Chihuly's new glass pieces, followed by John Garrett (as seen in my own foyer) and the others.
It's wrong to think of art is just being a painting on the wall when there are so many other media that are extraordinary.. and they take immeasurable imagination, talent, and sometimes painstaking detail to execute!