To get to the glamorous bastion of high-ticket fine craft and design that is the annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair also known as SOFA you have to walk through over a half mile of amusement park.
Little Jimmy at the Fairgrounds
We’ve done this fair for so many years that I’m prone to a condition I learned only this week is called “inattentional blindness”. So fixated have I become on the myriad brain-gobbling details of SOFA that its been years since I noticed the obstacles lying in the way of reaching the Pier’s end: endless rows of Bulls memorabilia, 8 foot tall Haagen Daz cones, and fine dining opportunities offering themselves up with yum-numbing names like Twisted Lizard and America’s Dog.
On the far right beyond the two towers: The Hall. On the left: The Fun.
But this year is different.
This year we’ve brought along a SOFA Virgin. Bullseye’s factory sales manager Jim foolishly mentioned he’d never been to Chicago. And visiting an art fair for Jim is probably not a lot different than boarding the Space Shuttle.
So this year, besides fretting over booth set-up, staff schedules, client coddling and a plague of podiatric ailments, I’m looking forward to watching Jim get an education in Surviving an Art Fair.
Lesson No. 1:
The load of artwork that was supposed to be in your booth by the time you arrive almost never is.
Jim and Dan palletless in Chicago.
Lesson No. 2:
BUT Only at SOFA do the stand builders get it right: the dimensions of all the openings are right, the paint color is correct, the doors open properly.
Lesson No. 3:
When you ask that one of your spaces be painted Acid Rain, the obliging SOFA staff doesn’t question your sanity. They Just Do It. (In truth it’s called Offbeat Green aka SW 6706)
But enough of my blather. It’s 8 am on Day One. Showtime. And Jimmy’s first day at Fun Camp.
Thanks to Canon, more Kodak moments to come. (sorry, Jim)