Six days since leaving our shrink-wrapped pallets behind at SOFA Chicago

Fourteen days before arriving at Art Miami

I’m still digesting the lessons learned on Navy Pier. When it’s gelled into something more coherent than I’m capable of today, I’ll put a post together.

In the meantime, the latest news: our SOFA return shipment arrived at the gallery in Portland on Friday. By end-of-day Saturday the tireless gallery team had packed, wrapped, and strapped the Miami pallets that are now waiting for a Monday pick-up.

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As we’re waiting around for our break-down materials at SOFA last night, the dealer across the aisle calls my attention to a bit of international hanky-panky brewing behind the scenes.

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As much as we all relish the visuals at SOFA Chicago, it’s often the words that linger.

The last three days have been a banquet of conversations.

I’d like to name names and share insights that were so generously shared with me, but time is not on my side here.

It’s back to the pier for the Last Day and Take Down.

Ta Da!

Lani

PS. And for those who just want to know “What sold on Saturday??!!” – an Akester, another Newell and a Parrish. ;-)

Saturday. Day 2.5 of SOFA. Brain dead. No time. Hoarse.

Here’s 16 quick pics to do the talking. Roughly split into five categories…..

#1. What it looks like when they open the doors to preview night, you’re the first booth in the hall and the earth is moving under your feet.

That’s pretty much all I see on Opening Night. The rest is equally blurred. Sorry.

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Thursday  before SOFA Chicago opens I’ve got a couple of  hours of free time. No brainer: a trip to the Art Institute.

A quick check of the museum’s website tells me that, in addition to the just-opened exhibition of Chagall’s recently re-installed America Windows, there’s a symposium on stained glass scheduled for the 4th.

Bingo. It’s the 4th!

Except that once I arrive I discover – right day, wrong month. Oh well…

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The Sculpture Objects & Functional Art fair organized by the Art Fair Company each year on Chicago’s Navy Pier is more than just another market of beautifully crafted objects designed and executed by some of the world’s best makers.

SOFA is also a barometer of our field. Aesthetic direction, media percentages, gallery appearances (and disappearances), size of booth, placement in hall, artists on show – SOFA is a virtual snapshot of where we are and, more importantly, where we’re going.

Going places: e-merge 2010 winner Kate Baker is our choice for front row viewing at the entrance to this year’s SOFA.

Granted, it’s not yet even Opening Night. Many dealers are still knee-deep in installation. But since our own booth is finally “done and dusted”, I had a few minutes yesterday to walk the aisles and take a few notes. Shared herewith….

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It’s Art Fair season and our first stop this fall is SOFA CHICAGO.

Think about joining the crowds to see some of the best in glass worldwide. (and some other neat stuff too).

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I tend to blog during art fairs, but rarely in the immediate aftermath. That’s because I’m usually too busy catching up on all the work that piles up during time away.

It’s too bad, because some of the better stories come down once the fairs are over.

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Take-down at Art Miami: Clark, Ryan, Brent and Remy struggle to remake a packing puzzle….

Like, what happens to all the art that we work so passionately to put before the public, talk about, blog about, share booth space with, and then part with in the bittersweet event of a sale?

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For better or worse, an art fair is ultimately about buying and selling. And the buyers are an undeniable force in what is shown. But what about those of us who can often only buy  with our eyes?

I’ve walked the SOFA Fair in stolen moments over the last four days. What follows is my own personal Shopping Cart – the one I’d roll home if money were no object.

Of course, my cart ignores the contents of our own booth.  I’d obviously roll all of our own work home – and some we will -  or we wouldn’t have brought it.

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Top of the list is this quiet wall set by Sibylle Peretti at Heller Gallery. Like virtually everything I’ve seen of this artist’s work, it takes me into another world – a place that is both soothing and disturbing.

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It’s the start of the second full day of SOFA Chicago. The opening was grand. Friday had equal energy.

But no one’s energy matched Dan’s. He must have buzzed up the Rogers staircase at least a half dozen times. Despite encouragement from a group of passing teens, he never jumped.

1.Dan&Stairs

The architectural ideas got a lot of chatter. Sales were satisfying.

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