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This year’s exposition offers a wonderland of chances for design inspiration.

By Arts & Culture


This year marks the 20th anniversary of SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design) Chicago, a wonderland of ridiculously inspiring international design. Coming from a family of glass, jewelry, functional art and art furniture aficionados, I felt right at home, and that also seemed to be the case for the hundreds (dare I say thousands?) that packed the aisles this morning.

SOFA CHICAGO. Photo by the author.

SOFA CHICAGO. Photo by the author.

Between the SOFA lecture series that brings together artists, writers, critics and curators to live glassblowing demonstrations, the fair has really played up educational outreach and incorporated it into the heart of their programming. I sat in on a panel discussion with glass artist William Morris (whose work peppers multiple gallery booths this year) and walked away with a renewed vision inspired by the artists’ thoughts on incorporating nature into a creative practice. Another surprise that struck a deep chord were the offerings from my favorite art space in the country, the Santa Fe-based Jane Sauer Gallery. The works by sculptural artist Geoffrey Gorman, who crafts found and lost objects into animals infused with such life and character that they seem to spring from their posts, are especially worth a look.

The best part of it all? SAIC students get free admission to the fair! Just show your valid ARTICARD at the ticket counter and prepare to find your own set of new inspirations.

At Navy Pier
Friday, November 1: 11am-7pm
Saturday, November 2: 11am-7pm
Sunday, November 3: 12pm-6pm

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