Thursday, November 08, 2007

SOFA Chicago 2007

SOFA Chicago (Sculptural Object, Functional Art) was held at Navy Pier during last weekend. This is an art extravaganza not to be missed with 100 galleries from around the world representing more than 1300 artists, including yours truly. Del Mano gallery showed two of my carved woodturnings, including my latest work. I'll post some images in the next entry to my blog so you can see my work in a better way than the snapshot I took at the gallery exhibit.

Navy Pier was still set up for Halloween, and it looks like there had been a lot of cool things going on for that event. All along the waterfront were "spooky" decorations, such as this old beat-up ambulance.

The big inflatable spider wasn't all that scary, but it was well placed over one of the mall entrances.

This looked pretty interesting, but, alas!, there wasn't a play going on during the weekend.

The Chicago skyline at sunset from Navy Pier

The lighthouse at the entrance to the harbor

Del Mano had a nice gallery space with quite a few artists on hand. In this image you can see Hans Weissflog looking at a cabinet with his lattice work boxes. Standing to his left (in the green shirt) is William Hunter. You can also see Roger Bennett and Steve Sinner in the background.

These are my two pieces at del Mano. I'll post better images next post.

These were in the "Small Treasures" cabinet along with the work of Ron Layport, Bill Smith, Malcolm Zander, Stephen Hatcher, Graeme Priddle, Mike Lee, Marilyn Campbell, Jakob Weissflog, and a couple of other folks I can't remember at the moment.

Another view of the gallery space. Fiona Fein helps with the display and does a masterful job of presenting the work to the public.

Here's Cindy Drozda and David Nittmann. David's basket illusion work was presented at del Mano.

This is one of David's most recent designs.

Harvey Fein, holding court over his section of the gallery space. His turnings on are the wall there in the middle of the image. Bud Latven's vortex sculptures are on the center plinths.

John Jordan's vessels. John was there sporting a cast. He had broken his wrist in October and was waiting for his next doctor appointment to find out how the bone was mending.

Harry Pollitt's ribbon wood sculptures.

Alain Mailland's beautiful sculptural turnings. The man's a genius!

William Hunter's corner.

Ron Layport's carved turnings and bronze castings.

That's William Hunter watching over his turnings.

I like this new work the best of all the ones on display. It was much more organic in its gestalt than the highly polished surfaces usually seen in William Hunter's work.

Michael Peterson's corner.

I hadn't met William Hunter or Michael Peterson before this event, so it was nice to finally meet them both.

Three carved turnings by Ron Fleming.

Thierry Martenon's sculptural turnings. These were my favorites in the gallery display.

The attention to detail in texture is truly something I can appreciate.

Robyn Horn sculptures.

J. Paul Fennell vessels. The one on the right is a new work, and I particularly enjoyed seeing this in person.

Malcolm Zander and Graeme Priddle

Stephen Hatcher showing Marilyn Campbell and her partner one of his stone inlay vessels.

Binh Pho's corner

Beautiful as always!

Binh paused for a moment to let me snap his picture in front of his work.

Just across the aisle from del Mano was Blue Rain Gallery from Santa Fe. The bronze sculptures you see there in the foreground are by Tammy Garcia. Her work is amazing as was the work from the other artists they represented at SOFA.

I didn't take a lot of photos at SOFA, except at del Mano and galleries where I asked permission before taking pics. These are just some random shots along the gallery aisles for the most part.

There were a few time spots where the crowds weren't too big - mostly during the private preview showings before the doors opened to the general public.

Glass was well represented throughout the Festival Hall.

There was an Irish cultural exhibit. This is a group from there, including Liam Flynn and his wife, Mary in the center of the group.

More del Mano pics: Ron Kent, Angelino Gianfranco, Roger Bennett works shown here.

Hans Weissflog treasures here.

AAW sponsored an exhibit called, "Turnings in basic black."

Lino Tagliapietra glass - wonderful!

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly

More Chihuly

I enjoyed this exhibit of contemporary Australian aboriginal pottery.

A view from the mezzanine

another view from the mezzanine

This is a view of the glass blower demonstration area. Every demo drew a huge crowd, and I was very interested in watching this, too.

SOFA also has a lecture series and I attended three lectures - all on contemporary wood art. Two were sponsored by the Collectors of Wood Art and the other by the American Association of Woodturners. This latter one was a critique of contemporary woodturning by Charlotte Brown, curator for the Gregg Museum. My Quercus rubra piece was inlcuded in the critique and Dr. Brown had some very wonderful things to say about my work, including a comparison to the work of Grinling Gibbons. Woohoo!

I'm always interested in watching people look at art, but I do get a bit upset when I see something like this woman touching the work. I also saw another woman grab a ceramic piece and yank it around so she could see the back side and another one knock a fiber art piece off a plinth. Some of the price tags at this exhibit should make people exercise extreme caution. It wasn't unusual to see works running $65,000 and up. Somehow, "you break it, you bought it" doesn't deter some ignoramuses.

I do enjoy watching people trying to figure out a piece of art. There were a lot of unusual things to see at SOFA. I don't always appreciate modern art, but that's probably because I don't understand it. Some works I don't understand I can still appreciate and others I look at and just don't get it.

Glass is always a big draw, though.

These sculptures were based on the female form and the light played off them very well.

I mentioned the glass blowing demos already, but woodturning was also being demonstrated. Here's Steve Sinner doing a hollow form.

Cindy Drozda in action.

The woodturning demo area was much smaller in size than the glassblower area, but there was always a crowd gathered to watch.

There's a lot of area to cover to see all the gallery space and so the benches were always full of people trying to rest their feet a bit before taking in some more art.

This was one of my favorite exhibits - sculptures in bronze and glass.

I also enjoyed this interesting fiber art sculpture.

One of the CWA lectures featured a panel discussion by Ron Layport, Joel Urruty, Liam Flynn, Ron Isaacs, and Harvey Fein. I found Ron at his gallery exhibit later and talked to him about the work. These illusion sculptures are done in layers of thin plywood, built up in layers and sanded to shape. All the twigs are made from plywood, also. Ron was a painter who took up sculpture, and these compositions are truly fun to see.

Here's a closer look at one that really interested me. The autumn leaf motif was especially fun to examine.

This last image was of a sculpture that was across the aisle from the del Mano gallery space. The artist took a full size double bass and added some surface embellishments. I kept thinking of my daughter, Meghan, the whole weekend as I looked at this sculpture.

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