Call for Artists: Why Wood (A SOFA Exhibition)

CWA-sponsored Exhibition at SOFA CHICAGO 2016

Collectors of Wood Art is pleased to announce: "WHY WOOD? Contemporary Practice in a Timeless Material", a curated exhibition of contemporary art in wood, to be on display at SOFA Chicago November 3 - 6, 2016.

The exhibition, which is sponsored and coordinated by CWA, will be curated by Jennifer Navva-Milliken, Curator of Craft, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA. The curator will select the work to be included. The exhibition will display a wide range of contemporary art and design, by artists currently working with wood.


The practice of woodworking spans millennia of artistic endeavor and parallels the trajectory of human achievement. Wood continues to provide inspiration to emerging generations of makers across a spectrum of creative practices. And yet, as concern for the sustainability and conservation of our treasured natural resources intensifies, artists continue to explore the properties of this increasingly rarified material. Through contemporary works that push the boundaries of the material and mine its properties for inspiration, we encounter the eternal qualities of wood that perpetuate dialogues between makers and material.


Entries will be accepted until May 2, 2016.
The selection process will be completed by early June, 2016.
Work will be exhibited at SOFA Chicago November 3 - 6, 2016.

Where to apply:

Applications will be accepted at:

Entry Fee:

$35.00 for submission of up to five works.

Object descriptions:

Turned and carved wood, sculpture, furniture, design objects, as well as works that blur those distinctions, are welcomed for submission to this exhibition.
Objects made of mixed media that include wood are also acceptable.

Objects may be shelf size, pedestal size, wall mounted or free-standing.

The objects must be able to fit through a 6 foot 8 inch high by 36 inch wide door and weigh no more than 500 pounds.

The work submitted must be available for sale.

Work should have been made within the last 2 - 3 years.

In the case that the artist would like to create a work for inclusion in the exhibition or submit a work in progress for consideration, the artist may submit information on that work. Should the work not be completed in time for the exhibition opening, or should the curator deem that work inappropriate for the exhibition, an already existing work which the curator has selected will be substituted.

Images of Objects (required):

Artists may submit images of up to five current works for consideration.

The format for images is specified on the application website.

The images shall be identified with the artist's name, title of the work, materials used, processes employed, and dimensions.

Artists may submit alternate view(s) of works for consideration, however the maximum total number of images allowed per application is ten.

Explanatory Statements for Objects (optional):

Artists are encouraged to submit a 150 word statement for each object discussing how the object responds to the exhibition theme.

Artist's Statement (required):

An artist's statement of up to 500 words is required as part of the application.

Gallery Representation:

All artists selected for inclusion in the CWA exhibition will require representation by galleries once at SOFA. However, artists do not need to have a representative gallery at this time in order to apply or be considered for inclusion in the exhibit. Artists whose work is selected but who do not already have gallery representation will be matched up, for this exhibition only, to a gallery participating in SOFA. If the piece sells at SOFA, the participating gallery will handle the sales transaction.

A 50% commission will be charged by the representing galleries for work sold at SOFA.

Shipping of selected pieces:

The artist/artist's representative gallery will be responsible for the cost of and the delivery of selected work to SOFA Chicago 2016.

Sold work will be shipped to the buyer by the representative gallery.

Unsold work will be returned to the artist/artist's representative gallery at the end of the SOFA show. Either the artist or artist's representative gallery will be responsible for the cost of return shipping.


A catalogue will be published for the exhibition. The catalogue will include an essay by the curator, artists' statements and images of all of the work selected to be in the exhibition. Artists will be required to furnish camera-ready images if low-resolution photos were submitted for selection process. For pieces that were submitted "in progress" for selection process, final pieces and camera-ready images are due June 30, 2016.


Membership in CWA is not required in order to apply.

CWA looks forward to presenting "WHY WOOD? Contemporary Practice in a Timeless Material" at SOFA Chicago 2016!

Click here to apply to WHY WOOD?

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