This week I was lucky enough to travel to one of my favorite cities, Chicago. I was there for the 2011 Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) exhibition on Navy Pier. The 18th Annual SOFA CHICAGO 2011 + The Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill. 60611) presented by The Art Fair Company was from Nov. 4 – 6. This two-fair, three-day art event featured contemporary art and design presented by more than 60 international art galleries and dealers at SOFA CHICAGO; and outsider art, ethnographic art, non-traditional folk art and visionary art at The Intuit Show. I arrived a few days early to help Lacoste Gallery set up Don's pieces for the show. I put in several hours over the week long stay and helped with the assembly and tear-down of The Don Reitz Project and the Lacoste Gallery's space. When I arrived on the pier the first day I happened to run into a friend from University of Iowa's Ceramic Arts program, Matt Dercole. We actually got to work together during the installation of Don's show. It was really fantastic to catch up with him and talk to him about his residency at Lillstreet Art Center in downtown Chicago.
One of my main tasks upon arriving at Navy Pier was to install three of Don's large columns from the Mission Clay Pipe Factory. When I arrived and began uncrating the columns, I found that they had packaged 1 wrong column. Fourtinatly, with help of several people we were able to have the correct column delivered a day later. They didnt allow cameras on the floor of the exhibion space, but I was able to sneak a few photos of the pipes just after they were installed in the exhibition hall.
After the show was over I helped Lucy tear down the entire show from her gallery space, and packed the columns back in their crates. After 7 very long days I was able to see some really amazing artwork and get to enjoy a few days in the city.
Overall I know the show was a wild success, I was able to see several great friends and Don's work was the talk of the show. I cant wait for the next time I can visit Chicago again.