SOFA CHICAGO 2018: About the Fair

Oct 16, 2018 4:22PM

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. On par with Art Basel and TEFAF Maastricht, SOFA is produced by Urban Expositions, a Clarion Events company.

Critically acclaimed and continuously running since 1994, what distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation, with an elite selection of international dealers presenting for sale one-of-a-kind masterworks in handsome, custom-designed gallery exhibits.

SOFA is held annually in the fall at Chicago's major destination, Navy Pier, with an average of 80 dealers and 35,000 people attending. Sales at the fair are estimated at 15-20 million dollars per show.

With a strong educational emphasis, SOFA CHICAGO includes an acclaimed lecture series and special exhibits exploring the artworks on view and surveying new trends in the art world. A VIP program includes exclusive events tailored to high-profile gallery clients and collector/museum groups.

SOFA has evolved into a dynamic international marketplace and community – a confluence of perspectives where art, design and people intersect.


1994-Present. SOFA CHICAGO was inaugurated at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in 1994, with 58 exhibitors and 14,000 persons attending. In 1995, SOFA Chicago moved to Festival Hall at Chicago's historic Navy Pier. Since then, the fair has grown steadily in the number of exhibitors, averaging 85-90 galleries in recent years, and attendance has increased over 100%. The attendance has increased to 35,000 people attending over four days in recent years.

SOFA NEW YORK was held at the Park Avenue Armory from 1998-2012. Averaging 40 dealers, this boutique-style fair was a favorite for dealers and attendees alike. Read wrap-up report here.