A Guide and a Look Inside SOFA Chicago 2011and the Intuit Show.

Chicago, Tuesday, November 1, 2011. SOFA Chicago and The Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art kicks off in Chicago this Thursday evening.  The world-class art fair offers collectors, art aficionado’s and others an opportunity to view some of the finest art available—all under one roof in Chicago’s Navy Pier Festival Hall.  Show Me Chicago has put together a guide to what you need to know to go along with some special offerings that you won’t want to miss.

WHAT: The 18th annual International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair, SOFA CHICAGO 2011, is the largest and longest continually running international gallery-based art fair in Chicago–and has become a mainstay of the city’s cultural and social calendar.

WHO: SOFA CHICAGO 2011 features more than 60 international and national art galleries and dealers from countries including: SA, France, Canada, Australia, Israel, Japan, Brazil, Belgium and the UK.

PLUS: The Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art, back for a second year along side SOFA Chicago, adds 14 more leading dealers and galleries of self-taught art, outsider art, art brut, ethnographic art, non-traditional folk art and visionary art to the design mix.

WHEN: Thursday, November 3 through Sunday, November 6, 2011.  Opening night preview: Thursday, 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.; General Fair Hours are:  Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 6, noon to 6 p.m.

WHERE:  Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Avenue).

TICKETS: General Admission, $15.00; Three-Day Pass, $25.00; Groups (10 or more), $12.00 (in advance). Tickets are available online, or at the door. 
Cash and credit cards (VISA, American Express & Mastercard) are accepted. For tickets or more information visit sofaexpo.com and outsiderfolkartfair.com.

FOOD:  A café at the show will offer spirits, sandwiches 
and light supper during show hours.  RIVA restaurant on Navy Pier will be serving lunch and dinner during SOFA Chicago. Please call (312) 644-RIVA for reservations. In addition, many other dining establishments are located on Navy Pier featuring selections ranging from fast food to fine dining.

PARKING: Parking is available on the Pier or at nearby lots on Grand and Illinois.  Then walk or take the free trolley to Navy Pier.

The Chicago Connection.

Galleries and representatives from Chicago that will be at the fair include: Chicago Arts & Artisans, Ann Nathan Gallery, Floating World Gallery, Jean Albano Gallery, KM Fine Arts, Perimeter Gallery, Pistachios, Carl Hammer Gallery, Judy A. Saslow Gallery, Russell Bowman Art Advisory. In addition, there are a number of artists to be featured at SOFA CHICAGO that have a Chicago connection including:  John Chamberlain (renowned sculptor) and Robert Indiana (known throughout the world for his pop-art “LOVE” image from the 1970s and updated “HOPE” image for Obama’s campaign) were both educated at the School of the Art Institute and their work will be shown by Chicago-based KM Gallery.  Plus Laura Prieto Velasco, a unique jewelry artist, who  teaches at the School of the Art Institute.

Something different.

The Fair offers many unique exhibitions worth checking out including: Cartooning in Conflict, featuring the work of major editorial cartoonists from throughout the world addressing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The artists include world-renowned cartoonists, many of whom have won Pulitzer Prize and other prestigious awards.


A full schedule of lectures will be presented on Friday, November 4
 and Saturday, November 5 along with one additional lecture on Sunday.   Free admission to all lectures is included with a valid SOFA ticket.  Highlights of the lecture series include:

It’s the End of the World As We Know It…But My Art is Fine! on Friday, Nov. 4 from 1-2 pm. With recent earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes and floods, the world has entered a new era of unpredictable catastrophes experts will provide advice from the insurance, art handling and gallery worlds on how to protect art objects and investments from natural disasters.

The Art of Drinking takes a look at  the artistic and social aspects of drinking, drinking customs and drinking vessels; exploring practices of the past and insights they provide into today’s practices. Peter Pinnell, Hixson-Lied Professor of Ceramics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Tours and demonstrations.

Three days of tours and demonstrations will be available at the fair (included in the price of admission).  Highlights include:

An Introductory Tour.  Take a guided tour of  SOFA with Natalie van Straaten, founder Chicago Gallery News and Ginny Van Alyea, publisher/editor, Chicago Gallery News.

A Q. & A. Session on Outsider Art. Gain insight into the world of outsider art in these short, intimate gallery visits. Ask questions, get the inside scoop and discover internationally renowned artists, as well as those that fly below the radar.

Glass Blowing Demonstrations. See live hot glass blowing on the world’s finest mobile glass studio by renowned artists represented by SOFA CHICAGO galleries and dealers, and master glassblowers from The Roadshow. On-going throughout the fair.

Below is a preview of some of the fabulous works awaiting visitors to SOFA CHICAGO 2011.

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