SOFA Chicago Educational Mission 2019

Craft Alliance will lead an Educational Mission to SOFA Chicago, October 31-November 3, 2019. This market intelligence and educational trade mission will be a pan-Atlantic mission with participation from the four Atlantic Provinces. Craft Alliance will coordinate a small group of export ready contemporary fine craftspeople to attend the 26th annual SOFA Chicago at Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. We will focus on those contemporary craftspeople who are experienced in gallery exhibition and who are actively seeking gallery representation. The educational mission will include a full day exploration of the contemporary gallery market in Chicago and participate in the SOFA Lecture Series, featuring guest speakers experienced in the contemporary fine craft market. There will also be a walking tour of galleries & arts centers, as well as touring the SOFA exposition. Contact Bernard Burton at Craft Alliance for more information.

SOFA Chicago (Dates/Schedule)

Chicago, IL –  Oct 31-Nov 3, 2019

  • Mission Departure: October 31, 2019
  • Oct 31-Nov 3 – SOFA, Gallery tour, workshops
  • Nov 3 – return to Atlantic Canada

Project participants will take part in a series of coordinated talks and activities around Chicago. As part of the project, Craft Alliance will host a full day workshop for all participants, with an organized tour of notable Chicago galleries and arts centers.

Workshop topics may include: Working with art galleries, Legalities of Doing Business in the US, Customs and Crossing the Border, the Mid-West Gallery Scene, A Collector’s Perspective, An Artist Portfolio Presentation and Marketing your work to Galleries.

Under this project, Craft Alliance will be recruiting 4 Nova Scotia based fine craft artists to participate in the SOFA educational mission.

To Attend:

– complete the Project registration on the Craft Alliance web portal (current page)
– submit e-transfer, cheque or credit card for workshop fee of $150.00 (includes 3-day pass for SOFA)
– Optional cost: attend SOFA opening night preview gala, $55 additional

Submit via email to

– 3 digital images of current work
– artist CV
– biography and artist statement

Participants will be notified of their acceptance upon review of applications

Funding for travel assistance may be available – contact your provincial government department or Craft Alliance for details.

SOFA – Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art & Design is a gallery-presented, International art exposition dedicated to bridging the worlds of design, decorative and fine art. Works by emerging and established artists and designers are available for sale by premiere galleries and dealers. The exhibition takes place over three days and attracts over 30,000 attendees.
SOFA features the work of over 1,000 contemporary artists represented by over 70 galleries from 11 countries. Contemporary fine craft shown at SOFA can range in price from $500 – $350,000.
The exhibition also includes an exclusive opening night preview, a lecture series, special featured exhibits and individual gallery events. Featured artists must be represented by a gallery to show at the exhibition. SOFA is attended by major collectors and collector groups from around the world.

October 30, 2019
November 3, 2019
Project Type:
Festival Hall, Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave.
Chicago IL United States
Bernard Burton