Take a trip to the SOFA

By Cara Donfrio

This Friday, the NIU Art Museum is sponsoring its sixth-annual visual treat of international proportions.

At noon, buses will leave the Visual Arts Building for Navy Pier in Chicago, where a show dubbed SOFA will be held.

The acronym stands for Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art, and according to SOFA’s Web site, the show is an exhibition of art galleries from all over the world.

Showcases from Australia, England and Italy will be featured, to name a few. The show takes place in New York and Chicago annually, and 2002 will be its ninth year running.

“There’s always such a diversity,” said Peter Olson, NIU Art Museum preparator, about the exhibits. “Different students respond to different things.”

Peggy Doherty, director of NIU’s Art Museum, said that once the buses get to Chicago, attendees may decide where they want to go. If they choose not to attend SOFA, the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art are other available options.

From 5 to 8 p.m., NIU’s Chicago gallery will feature a showcase of French design. Olson said this gallery consists of household items rather than paintings and sculptures. Couches, television sets and glasses will be among the artwork displayed.

Going to the French gallery, like going to SOFA, is optional; but all attendees must meet back at the NIU gallery by 8 p.m., when the buses leave for DeKalb, which students will reach at 10:15 p.m.

The cost for bus transportation is $8 for NIU Art Museum members, $10 for students and senior citizens and $12 for all others. Tickets for SOFA are $12 and must be purchased at the show. For information, visit www.sofaexpo.com. To register for the trip, call 753-1936.