Turning leaves and colder nightsmark not only the end of summer outdoor activities but also the end of outdoor arts and crafts fairs. But that means it is time to look for good indoor shows to put on the calendar. Among them are SOFA, Fine Art of Fiber and One of A Kind – three excellent shows that are quite different from each other.
SOFA Chicago 2011
SOFA is the clever, short name for the annual Sculpture Objects & Functional Art event that returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall Nov. 4-6. For the second year, the event will also include the Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art. Preview night is is Nov. 3.
As collectors and aficionados of high end crafts know, this is the show to find stunning glass pieces, beautifully designed wood furniture, special sculpture and high quality jewelry. In addition to viewing gallery exhibits, visitors can attend art and collecting lectures and see special exhibits mounted by museums and art organizations.
“My original vision for the SOFA fairs was to keep pressing to heighten the visibility of art on the cutting edge of the field,” SOFA founder Mark Lyman said. Lyman is president of The Art Fair Company which mounts the SOFA shows in major cities across the United States.
For show hours, lecture information and tickets visit SOFA.
Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
Fine Art of Fiber
The same weekend the Chicago Botanic Garden is hosting the Fine Art of Fiber. More than 200 fiber items ranging from wall hangings and quilts to wearable art take over the Garden’s Regenstein Center. The Fiber show has a preview night Nov. 3. Visitors should also check the lecture schedule in the Regenstein Center.
Garden officials see the show as an artistic and educational match. “Plant materials were used in the construction of fabric, baskets, even shelter – and are to this day. Until the 1850s, all textiles were dyed by natural plants and materials,” said Stephanie Lindemann, plant sales and flower shows manager. “Today, fiber artists continue the long history of using plant materials to create woven, embellished, knitted and quilted pieces.”
Visit Fiber for more information or call 847-835-5440
The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022
One of A Kind Chicago
A month later the One of A Kind show returns to the Merchandise Mart Dec. 1-4. The art at this show ranges from prints, paintings and jewelry to fun coffee table curiosities, ceramics and holiday gift items.
Walking through the extensive aisles calls for comfortable shoes because visitors tend to want to see all of the hundreds of exhibitors.The show has gourmet cafes and food sample booths so plan to stop for a tasty break.
Artists will be doing presentations at 3 and 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday.
For hours and ticket information visit One of A Kind.
Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza (north side of the Chicago River), Chicago, IL 60654