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SOFA CHICAGO –A feast for the senses

Last week I had an opportunity to attend SOFA in Chicago.   No, I didn’t lounge around in a furniture store.  SOFA is a massive and annual art happening in Chicago. New York and Sante Fe also have SOFA events.

The Chicago event occurs at Navy Pier the first weekend in November.

It’s a three-day event featuring Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (hence the name SOFA).  This year’s show highlighted 70 art galleries and dealers from 11 countries presenting works by more than 350 artists.

If I had known how big and interesting it was going to be, I would have gone earlier in the day.  Probably wasn’t very smart to go mid afternoon after a rather substantial lunch and boot shopping at Bloomingdales, but the art on exhibit and for sale energized me pretty quickly.

It was  amazing stuff and I even recognized some names like Dale Chihuly.  If you live in Grand Rapids and don’t know that name, you have been out to lunch.  The exhibit at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculptural Park has been a “go to” event this summer.

I liked the pieces shown in Grand Rapids better than the one at SOFA although these had a magical quality.

I always wonder how artists can dream up and create what they do.  Fascinating to me.  I also enjoy going with my husband and seeing which pieces we both like.  Interestingly, this year we both loved the same glass artist and could visualize one of her pieces in our home.

I love people watching. Folks who go to Art Events tend to dress  creatively and I like that.    What follows are a smattering of photos in attempt to capture the experience. This next one is a sculpture, not a real person.  I had to get really close to figure it out.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Tina Bain
    Nov 17, 2010 Reply

    How fun! This looks like it was really inspiring. You need to tell me when you’ve got these local adventures planned so I can try to tag along!

  2. posted by
    Nov 17, 2010 Reply

    WEll, SOFA Chicago is the first weekend in November. Next big Art event in Chicago is ArtChicago. I think it is the last weekend in April. I’ve never been to that and would love to go. Any idea whether you’d be on this continent? So hard to keep track of you.
    See ya soon…….

  3. posted by
    Nov 17, 2010 Reply

    I loved the photos and the pieces you chose to feature. The seated old woman… was she done by the same Chinese artist who did the Monk at ArtPrize? I’m sorry I missed this, I’ll put it in my calendar for next year!

  4. posted by
    Don’t miss the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel or RH in the Gold Coast | DesignDestinations
    Dec 21, 2015 Reply

    […] done blogs about:  The Wit Hotel.  A Segway Tour.  SOFA.  Fulton Market. Eataly.    The Architectural Boat Tour.  Hearts and/or Refrigerators on […]

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