Intersect Chicago to Launch As a Virtual Art Fair Replacing SOFA Chicago

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Intersect Art and Design has announced the inaugural edition of Intersect Chicago, a virtual art fair replacing SOFA Chicago for the 2020 edition due to COVID-19. Intersect Chicago will be online from November 6-12, 2020 at with a dedicated VIP Preview Day by invitation only on November 5.

Postcards to Chicago public art installation by Design Museum of Chicago at Navy Pier. Photo copyright Color 4.
Postcards to Chicago public art installation by Design Museum of Chicago at Navy Pier. Photo copyright Color 4.

The fair is the evolution of SOFA – Sculpture Objects Functional Art. It is the intersection of art, design, objects, and lifestyle including daily highlights on Glass, Ceramic and Crafts, Design, Contemporary Art, Outsider Art, Fiber, and Public Art / Sculpture. Intersect Chicago will feature institutions from around the globe with dedicated programming and a selection of galleries showcasing work of these disciplines.

Intersect Chicago will feature a special focus for each day of the fair:
Friday, November 6: Glass Arts
Saturday, November 7: Ceramic Arts and Crafts
Sunday, November 8: Design
Monday, November 9: Contemporary Art
Tuesday, November 10: Outsider Art
Wednesday, November 11: Fiber Arts
Thursday, November 12: Public Art / Sculpture

Intersect Art and Design’s CEO Tim von Gal explains, “Following on the success of our first virtual art fair in July, Intersect Aspen, we are looking forward to the launch of Intersect Chicago in November. This is a special occasion, as we are launching the future of SOFA. We’ll preserve the spirit and focus of SOFA, continuing to highlight glass, craft, and sculpture, but will expand to include a larger interdisciplinary program across the fields of art and design.”

SOFA Chicago 2019
SOFA Chicago 2019

Becca Hoffman, Managing Director of Intersect Art and Design says, “With Intersect Chicago, we’re channeling the momentum and positivity of our inaugural July edition of Intersect Aspen into a new chapter of revamping and innovating the online space, while encouraging connectivity and an out of the box approach. The November platform will be a form of engagement for the community, highlighting dynamic programs, partners, and activations focusing on SOFA’s original tenets but with an absolutely new vision and fresh approach.”

SOFA Chicago 2019
SOFA Chicago 2019

Beginning in September, Intersect Chicago will present SOFA Salons, a series of themed conversations pertaining to art and design, presented online and free to the public. The first will be Art and Mindfulness / The Healing Power of Art and Art Spaces, on Wednesday, September 16, at 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central / 4pm Pacific. Panelists will include January Parkos Arnall, Interim Senior Curator at the MCA Chicago; Monica Garza, the Chartlotte Wagner Director of Education at the ICA Boston; Elizabeth Gerber, Museum Educator at LACMA; and Nora Lawrence, Senior Curator at Storm King Art Center.

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Additional SOFA Salons will be announced for October and will continue throughout the run of the fair in November.

Cultural Partners of Intersect Chicago will be featured on different days of the fair. These include:
Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG); Corning Museum of Glass; Design Museum of Chicago; The Fabric Workshop and Museum; Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers; GnarWare Workshop; The International Sculpture Center (ISC); Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art; John Michael Kohler Arts Center; The Mint Museum; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; National Museum of Women in the Arts; Ox-Bow; Pilchuck Glass School; Pittsburgh Glass Center; The River North Design District; Roger Brown Study Collection; SAQA: Studio Art Quilt Associates; and Chicago Public Schools.

Special Programming will include an exhibition organized by critic and curator Paul Laster (Time Out New York, Galerie, Art & Object, Sculpture, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Cultured, and ArtAsiaPacific) and independent curator and art advisor Renée Riccardo (ARENA) presenting contemporary artists working with glass in innovative ways.

Laura Steward, Curator of Public Art at the University of Chicago, will present a series of conversations on Thursday, November 12, between Chicago-based artists and curators who support them.

Intersect Chicago has partnered with Artsy, the global marketplace for discovering and collecting art. In addition to accessing the fair through, visitors may also visit the fair through Artsy. 

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