At the close of the 12th annual SOFA New York fair on April 19, it was revealed that dmg had sold the three SOFA (Sculptural Objects & Functional Art) fairs at Chicago, New York and Santa Fe to Michael Franks and Mark Lyman.
Until recently, Mr Franks, a 30-year trade show veteran, was chief operating officer for dmg world media, while Mr Lyman, who founded the SOFA events in Chicago 16 years ago, was vice-president of dmg Art & Antiques Fairs.
The two have formed The Art Fair Company to run the fairs.
The Art Fair Company have also acquired from dmg the ‘showground’ fair held five times a year in Charlotte, North Carolina. The long-running fair, best known by the name of its former venue, the Metrolina Expo grounds, was acquired by dmg in 2001 when the largest fairs hosted more than 5000 dealers. The event, now called The Greater Charlotte Antiques & Collectibles Show, moved to the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord, North Carolina in 2008.
The sale of SOFA events follows the sale of the West Palm Beach Antiques & Collectables Show in December and the sale of their high-end Palm Beach fair back to founder David Lester last June.
A management buyout of ATG and all its ancillary businesses from dmg was completed last October.
By David Moss