The weather on Labor Day here in the Midwest was a sharp and cool reminder that summer is fading.  I am always melancholy at this time of year, reluctant to give up summer warmth.  I found something in the art world news that does brighten my day, though.  SOFA is coming in November!

SOFA, Sculptural Objects and Functional Art, is one of the “World’s Foremost Fairs of Contemporary Arts & Design”.  In April, New York hosts the show, August is Santa Fe, and November is Chicago’s turn.  So mark your calendar for November 4-6, 2011, and make your way to Festival Hall, at the end of Navy Pier, to see some amazing sights, talk to artists from around the world, enjoy glass blowing demonstrations, and more.

John Kiley, Traver GalleryJohn Kiley, Traver Gallery

Preston Singletary & Dante Marioni photo: Russell JohnsonPreston Singletary & Dante Marioni
photo: Russell Johnson

In addition to the SOFA exhibition, within the same space, you can visit The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art. Outsider Art, or Art Brut, is creative works by people who have no formal training in art.  They create without regard for the mainstream art world’s recognition, and they don’t follow any pre-defined “definition” of art.  They make it for themselves, or for their immediate community.  Often they don’t recognize or even call themselves artists until some collector comes along and slaps that label on them. Art from

Plan a full day – if not two, to wander through the aisles, viewing wonders from around the world.  It’s an amazing thing to see.

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