The Art Fair Company presents 18th Annual SOFA CHICAGO 2012 in Navy Pier’s Festival Hall November 2-4, 2012


Special Celebrations Mark 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass Movement


One Ticket Admits Attendees to Fair, Lecture Series, Special Exhibits and Events

VIP Opening Night Preview Thursday, Nov. 1



CHICAGO, IL — The Art Fair Company, based in Chicago, presents the critically acclaimed international art fair SOFA CHICAGO 2012 at historic Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue) Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4. The highly anticipated three-day event features masterworks of contemporary and modern art and design, sculpture, functional art, non-traditional and visionary art, plus related special exhibits and a lecture series.


Now celebrating its 19th year, SOFA, the international Sculpture Objects & Functional Art + Design Fair is the largest and longest continually running art fair in Chicago, attracting art and design lovers from throughout the country and adding an element of global flair to the city’s cultural and social calendar.


SOFA CHICAGO 2012 will feature nearly 70 art galleries and dealers from 10 countries along with special exhibits by renowned museums, universities and arts organizations, and an extensive lecture series, all included in the admission price.


For the eighth straight year, SOFA CHICAGO is sponsored in part by Chubb Personal Insurance, one of the world’s preeminent insurers of fine homes, art, antiques, jewelry, automobiles, yachts and other prized possessions. The Art Fair Company is pleased to announce that for first time, Audi, one of the most respected makers of luxury cars, will also be a sponsor of SOFA CHICAGO.


“This year’s fair promises to have a particularly impressive international component,” says Donna Davies, Director of SOFA. “In addition to galleries from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Israel, Italy, Japan, Scotland and the U.S., we will be presenting works by more than 800 artists from throughout the world, many of whom will be on hand to present lectures and demonstrations and to greet and talk with attendees about their work.”


SOFA CHICAGO 2012 will have a strong U.K. presence, with London galleries such as Erskine, Hall & Coe highlighting ceramics by established and emerging artists; Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, displaying works by American and European wood artists Philip Moulthrop, John Jordan, Marc Ricourt and Ernst Gamperl; flow, which will showcase works in silver by Maya Selway, as well as Nuala O’Donovan’s ceramic pieces and Sidel Hanum’s porcelain works, and Craft Scotland, the Edinburgh-based organization that promotes Scottish craft featuring artists who work in furniture, jewelry, ceramics and fiber.


Japan will also make a bold showing, with galleries such as Ippodo Gallery (Yokyo, New York), and Tokyo-based galleries Oz Zingaro and Exhibition Space APJ, both making their SOFA debut. Works by Japanese artists will also be represented by U.S. galleries including Dai Ichi Arts (New York), TAI Gallery (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Chicago-based Floating World Gallery.


Other international galleries include the stunning glass sculptures presented by the returning Litvak Gallery of Tel Aviv, Israel, and Kirra Galleries from Melbourne, Australia; the father-and-son silversmith team Thalen & Thalen of Francorchamps, Belgium; and Canadian galleries, such as L.A. Pai Gallery of Ottawa, and Montreal’s Option Art and Galerie Elena Lee.


In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement, SOFA boasts works by both historic and emerging glass artists, presented by some of the world’s leading galleries, Schantz Galleries (Stockbridge, Mass.), Heller Gallery (New York), David Richard Contemporary (Santa Fe, N.M.), and Habatat Galleries (Royal Oak, Mich.).

The start of the Studio Glass Movement can be traced back to a pair of glassblowing workshops given by Harvey K. Littleton and Dominick Labino at The Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. Today, acclaimed glass artists such as Dale Chihuly, Marvin Lipofsky, Toots Zynsky and Lino Tagliapietra continue to develop innovative techniques to produce spectacular works that are recognized and admired throughout the world. A special selection of Littleton’s own glass sculptures will be on display this year at the Maurine Littleton Gallery (Washington, D.C.), owned by the artist’s daughter, who will be on hand to discuss her father’s work.

Another important focus of this year’s fair is cutting-edge design, evident in all media but particularly in the one-of-a-kind or limited edition furniture shown by signature galleries including Wexler Gallery (Philadelphia, Pa.), who will exhibit innovative designer Vivian Beer; Scott Jacobson Gallery (New York), presenting the work of Swiss-born designer Yves Boucard; and William Zimmer Gallery (Mendocino, Calif.), showing the work of numerous prominent designers and furniture artists.


“Design is one of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of the fair,” notes Davies. “These works marry sculpture, material, and functional art while always pushing the boundaries of technique. These are forms that have grown out of the craft tradition but the artists are exploring and creating a new vocabulary for work that are at once inventive furniture and sculpture.”

SOFA CHICAGO 2012 exhibitors confirmed to date include:

•Aaron Faber Gallery (New York)

•Adamar Fine Arts (Miami)

•Ann Nathan Gallery (Chicago)

•Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe, N.M.)

•Charon Kransen Arts (New York)

•Craft Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland)

•CREA Gallery (Montreal, Canada)

•Dai Ichi Arts (New York)

•David Richard Contemporary (Santa Fe, N.M.)

•Donna Schneier Fine Arts (Palm Beach, Fla. & New York)

•Duane Reed Gallery (St. Louis, Mo.)

•Exhibition Space APJ (Tokyo, Japan)

•Floating World Gallery (Chicago)

•flow (London, UK) Pistachios (Chicago)

•Galerie Elena Lee (Montreal, Canada)

•Habatat Galleries (Royal Oak, Mich.)

•Harvey Pranian Art & Antiques (Evanston, Ill.)

•Hawk Galleries (Columbus, Ohio)

•Hedone Gallery (Leonia, N.J.)

•Heller Gallery (New York) TAI Gallery (Santa Fe, N.M.)

•Ippodo Gallery (New York)

•Jane Sauer Gallery (Santa Fe, N.M.)

•Jean Albano Gallery (Chicago)

•Kirra Galleries (Melbourne, Australia)

•L.A. Pai Gallery (Ottawa, Canada)

•Lacoste Gallery (Concord, Mass.)

•Lindsay Gallery (Columbus, Ohio)

•Litvak Gallery (Tel Aviv, Israel) Woman Made Gallery (Chicago)

•Lucky Girls Gallery (New Orleans, La.) Yvel (Jerusalem, Israel)

•Maria Elena Kravetz (Cordoba, Argentina)

•Mattson’s Fine Art (Atlanta, Ga.)

•Maurine Littleton Gallery (Washington, D.C.)

•Mindy Solomon Gallery (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

•Next Step Studio + Gallery (Ferndale, Mich.)

•Oliver & Espig (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

•Option Art (Montreal, Canada)

•Orley Shabahang (New York)

•Oz Zingaro (Tokyo, Japan)

•Packer Schopf (Chicago)

•Palette Contemporary Art and Craft (Albuquerque, N.M.)

•Perimeter Gallery (Chicago)

•PISMO Fine Art Glass (Denver, Colo.)

•Sarah Myerscough Fine Art (London, UK)

•Schantz Galleries (Stockbridge, Mass.)

•Scott Jacobson Gallery (New York)

•Sherrie Gallerie (Columbus, Ohio)

•Synderman-Works Gallery (Philadelphia, Pa.)

•ten472 Contemporary Art (Grass Valley, Calif.)

•Thalen & Thalen (Francorchamps, Belgium)

•Thomas R. Riley Galleries (Cleveland, Ohio)

•Turkish Cultural Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

•UrbanGlass (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

•Wexler Gallery (Philadelphia, Pa.)

•William Zimmer Gallery (Mendocino, Calif.)


SOFA CHICAGO 2012 Special Exhibits

In addition to the fair itself, SOFA CHICAGO 2012 offers a wide variety of special exhibits and events, along with presentations by renowned artists, collectors and arts professionals, all included in the price of a general admission ticket. These special exhibits and events are curated and presented by a host of international arts organizations and include corresponding lectures.


Among the highlights to date: Among Fellows: An Exhibition of Work by the 2012 College of Fellows, presented by the American Craft Council; Gothic Jewelry: Sinister Pleasures—Metalsmith’s 2012 curated Exhibition in Print, presented by Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG); What is Beautiful? Changing Perspectives in Contemporary Wood Art, presented by Collectors of Wood Art; Bags Across the Globe (BAG), presented by the Design Department, University of California, Davis; and Eye of Mr. I: A Tribute, a retrospective tribute presented by the Chicago-based Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.


SOFA CHICAGO 2012 Lecture Series


The SOFA Lecture Series will again feature top museum curators, artists, collectors, scholars and critics who will share their professional and personal experiences in the field.


Among the highlights to date: The Studio Glass Movement: A Driver’s Manual, featuring Stuart Kestenbaum, Director, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, James Baker, Director, Pilchuck Glass School and Jean McLaughlin, Executive Director, Penland School of Crafts; Intersections: Ideas, Process, Media, and Scale, a discussion with artist Barbara Cooper, represented by Perimeter Gallery, Chicago; Craft and New Technology: A Continuum of Creativity, which explores the innovative collaboration between the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Sculptural Environments in Self-Taught Art, a panel discussion of vernacular art environments, presented by Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.

Additional lectures will be announced at a later date.


About The Art Fair Company: In 2009 Michael Franks, former Chief Operating Officer of dmg world media, along with Mark Lyman, former Vice-President of dmg world media’s Art & Antiques Fairs and SOFA Founding Director, purchased the internationally renowned Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fairs — SOFA CHICAGO and SOFA NEW YORK — from dmg world media, creating a new jointly owned firm, The Art Fair Company, Inc. The Art Fair Company, Inc. is based in Chicago. For more information about The Art Fair Company, Inc. and their art fairs, visit


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SOFA CHICAGO 2012 hours are as follows: Opening Night Preview is Thursday, Nov. 1, 5 to 7 p.m. for VIP passholders only. Public Preview is from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased in advance at or at the door. The opening night preview is much anticipated by collectors, museum curators, art advisers, interior designers and architects, artists and cognoscenti, because it offers first viewing and the best selection of outstanding masterworks, as well as the opportunity to meet and mingle with leading members of the art and design communities. The public is invited to enjoy, study and acquire top quality art examples at this year’s preview party. Wine and hors d’oeuvres are included in the price of opening night admission.


General admission fair hours are Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for single day general admission and $25 for a three-day pass. One general admission ticket of $15 admits visitors to the fair, related lecture series, special exhibits and events. Discounted student, senior and group tickets are available. Preview and fair tickets are available online or at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit