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sofa convention

updated tue 30 sep 97


freewill on thu 11 sep 97

I am currently debating whether to attend the SOFA (Sculptural Objects and
Funcitonal Art) convention in Chicago on the weekend of the 19th of
October. This convention was/is advertised in Ceramics Monthly, Art in
America, etc. There seems to be some ceramic representation (I noticed
last year, Wayne Higby gave a lecture) but to what extent? Has anyone on
the list been to one of these conventions? Could anyone comment on the
experience and relative worth of attending?



Ardis Bourland on fri 12 sep 97


I went to the SOFA convention in Miami last spring and thought it was well
worth attending. Of course, I didn't have to travel to get there. I was
already there. The exhibitions were very exciting, all the top potters were
there giving lectures, etc. Wonderful time! If you can afford it, go.

Karl P. Platt on fri 12 sep 97

SOFA is a high-dollar flea market. In efforts to obscure the rather crass
underlying theme of the event, which is to hustle goods, rooms are
arranged for expository remarks on how great the spekers is, how great
their friends are, how important this all must be........... All of this
reminds me of a parent trying to convince me that their obnoxious noisy
little brat pulling the cat's tail is cute. On the other hand, a large
volume of transactions
take place and in the context that the event exists -- as a sales forum --
it is a success.What was that remark by P.T. Barnum?

There are ceramists whose goods are regularly offered for sale at SOFA.
However, there is a great preponderance of .

Unruly JuliE on mon 15 sep 97


I try to visit the SOFA show every time it is at Navy Pier in Chicago.
It is a wonderful source for fresh ideas, see what is new and to see
what some people actually call art! (and see how much money some people
can actually get from their artwork) Even though I don't care for
everything there and cannot afford to buy ANYTHING!, I still think it is
worth attending. They do have some interesting speakers also.

I do have to travel 4 hours to get there, but then that is a GOOD excuse
to visit my best friend who lives in the burbs.


Bacia Edelman on wed 17 sep 97

Jenni: What Julie wrote you about SOFA is accurate. I might add
that there is more GLASS than just about anything else. There are some good
booths such as by THE HAND AND THE SPIRIT and Ann Nathan Gallery for clay.
I believe that Paul Soldner is scheduled to give a lecture, but don't know
which day. I do have a brochure, but you should see the top of my desk, my
light box, and my typing table, which has no typewriter on it. Somewhere in
the high piles is the brochure. Anyway, write me your personal e-mail and
if I find it, I will post you.
More: there are other booths that are wonderful incl. Doug Dawson, who
shows African and primitive sculpture, textiles, baskets, etc. There is
lots of inspiration to be gleaned as well as plenty of kitsch.
I wouldn't buy an air ticket from Nebraska (if that is where you live) for
it, unless there were someone in Chicago with whom you could stay. There is
plenty else to do in Chicago. I am sure Karen Gringhuis can give you a
list. I would say both the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute,
The River North galleries (that don't happen to have booths at the Navy
Pier) are just starters.
I have at least a 3 hr. drive to get there, and usually have taken
advantage of a bus organized by the students at the U. of Wisc. who always
need others to help pay for bus rental.
If you do go, Paul Soldner's slide lectures are exceptional. It isn't
just a show of his work, but also his sources, which of course include
plenty of nudes, but beautiful relationship.
Hope this is helpful. Write my e-mail address if you have further
questions. Bacia Edelman