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SOFA WEST: Santa Fe 2010 Opens at the Santa Fe Convention Center
Guest viewing the work of Lino Tagliapietra in the Holsten Galleries booth at SOFA WEST: Santa Fe 2009.

SANTA FE, NM.- Long heralded as the nation’s premier fairs for outstanding contemporary decorative arts and design in New York and Chicago, SOFA’s 2nd annual Western edition, SOFA WEST: Santa Fe will run from Thursday, July 8 - Sunday, July 11, 2010 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Opening Night, Wednesday, July 7, is an invitation-only Special Member Preview for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and SOFA VIP Cardholders. Mark Lyman, Founder/Director of SOFA and President, The Art Fair Company says, “We are delighted to partner on Opening Night with the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, which will invite its upper-level donors to an early Special Member Preview, offering them first opportunity to purchase.” Over 2,000 guests attended SOFA WEST’s inaugural Opening Night last year, with an estimated 10,000 visitors attending the fair during its four day run, exceeding Lyman’s projections by over 50%. The popular SOFA WEST 2010 Lecture Series returns on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and is free with paid admission to the fair. Also planned are exciting Special Events and an ultra-exclusive VIP Program for high-level clients of SOFA WEST participating galleries and SOFA WEST VIP Cardholders.

Lyman says, “The 1st SOFA WEST last year was about eye-opening discovery—a base on which to build awareness of the extraordinary artistry at the Fair. Conversely our collector base expressed keen interest in learning more about the extraordinary cultural and artistic heritage of Santa Fe and its surrounding Native American Pueblos.” To this end, SOFA WEST 2010 will present Historic Bond/Contemporary Spirit: Collecting New Southwest Native Pottery , a pre-SOFA WEST, three-day event featuring artist, curator and collector presentations, off-site tours of historical sites, museum and collector home tours. Tailored for the art collector and connoisseur, Historic Bond/ Contemporary Spirit presenters include Garth Clark, author/specialist in modern and contemporary ceramics, curator, critic and dealer; Bruce Bernstein, PhD, executive director, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA); and Ellen Bradbury, former director of Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe (now New Mexico Museum of Art). The programming begins Tuesday, July 6, 2010, one day before SOFA WEST opens, and runs through Thursday, July 8 at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

Lyman reports strong, first-time exhibitors participating in SOFA WEST 2010 include Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd., of New York, world-renowned specialist in Japanese contemporary ceramics; browngrotta arts of Wilton, CT representing foremost international fiber artists; Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) producer of Santa Fe’s esteemed Indian Art Market, showcasing four contemporary Native American jewelers; Santa Fe’s established fine art dealer, Linda Durham Contemporary Art presenting Kellogg Johnson and other Santa Fe-based and regional sculptors; Lyons Wier Gallery of New York dedicated to exhibiting young artists with fresh vision; and a new Santa Fe gallery, David Richard Contemporary, representing acclaimed artists working in glass like Venetian Laura de Santillana, whose work is presently touring US museums.

Among the premier dealers returning to SOFA WEST are Holsten Galleries of Santa Fe (formerly of the Berkshires), which will present the extraordinary artistry of Italian glass maestro, Lino Tagliapietra; Clark + Del Vecchio of Santa Fe (formerly Garth Clark Gallery of New York), presenting sculptural and conceptually sophisticated contemporary Native ceramics by Christine McHorse and others; secondary market specialist, Donna Schneier Fine Arts of Palm Beach; Del Mano Gallery of Los Angeles, specialist in turned and sculptural wood art; bamboo basketry specialist Tai Gallery/Textile Arts of Santa Fe; Bullseye Glass Gallery of Portland OR, presenting glass masters Klaus Moje and Richard Marquis; Scott Jacobson Gallery of New York (formerly Leo Kaplan Modern) representing art-deco inspired glass artist/designer Dan Dailey; Habatat Galleries of Royal Oak, MI presenting large-scale, cast glass sculptures by Howard Ben Tré, renowned for his outdoor public commissions; Jane Sauer Gallery of Santa Fe offering the delicate crystal-encased floral sculptures of Paul Stankard, with their origins in the historic flame-worked paperweight tradition; William Zimmer Gallery of Mendocino, CA, specialist in contemporary studio furniture; Blue Rain Gallery of Santa Fe and Scottsdale, AZ, showcasing the best of contemporary Native American art including Tammy Garcia; and top European art jewelry scholar and dealer Charon Kransen, Ltd., of New York.

Not to miss special events presented by SOFA WEST include:

SOFA WEST Celebrates at the Santa Fe Opera! Join artist Klaus Moje, renowned “painter in glass,” whose colorful panels and vessel forms reference the Bauhaus school, Russian Constructivism and the Op Art movement of the 1960s, for an evening of food, wine, and music at the Santa Fe Opera, nestled in the gorgeous Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains. Highlights from The Magic Flute, other German operas, and a variety of selections will be performed by members of the Santa Fe Opera Company apprentice singer program. This event begins at 6 pm, Thursday, July 8 and the $80.00 per person ticket price includes wine, dinner buffet, and the performances. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers. Tickets available now from the Santa Fe Opera box office at 800.280.4654.

The Desert is an Ocean: a “free-for-all” open-invitation, outdoor evening party on Saturday, July 10, 6 – 10 pm in the Santa Fe Convention Center Courtyard. Featuring Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe-based artist collective known for its installation art that completely reinvents its show spaces with every exhibit. Meow Wolf’s amorphous, semi-transparent, marine-inspired 15 foot soft-sculpture environment will gradually inflate for visiting, dancing, and exploring. Artists will be present in costumes from their March 2010 theatrical piece The Moon is to Dance On. Expect funky lights, sounds, projections, and performance art inside and around the transparent nautilus-style dome and its extruding tentacles. Also featuring live jazz music by pianist Eliot Fisher and violinist Karles McQuade; live jazz dance by Moving People Dance; Brazilian, Latin, Funk, and Soul original vinyl mixes by DJ Pablo 77; and Whistle Works Steam Engine, a steam-powered handmade whistle machine. Grilling and libations available for purchase throughout the evening. A beer tent will benefit the Friends of Contemporary Art of the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Lyman concludes, “Santa Fe is a major art and culture destination celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. SOFA WEST joins its high summer season with the Santa Fe Opera and Folk Art Market in full swing. Don’t miss the excitement!”

SOFA WEST | Mark Lyman | Santa Fe Convention Center |

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