Located in the Barrio Italia neighborhood of Providencia, the Sociedad de Fomento al Arte (SOFA), is an art house at its peak of creativity. And you can’t help but notice it when you walk in. The walls are vibrant and colorful with art hanging on every surface. A constant influx of artists walk in, tools in hand. Then, of course, there are the dogs who roam around the space as if critiquing the art, makes it apparent that you are in a burgeoning tank of creativity.
SOFA was born from a collective led by Eric Rodríguez in 2003 as an Art-Bar. They held sporadic art shows, as well as independent furniture exhibits.
It now houses a number of workshop spaces where resident artists carry out their artistic work. The center aims to promote, support and generate projects in visual arts, film, music, independent design, dance, literature and welding.
At its center, there is an exhibit room where painting, sculptures, photography and mixed media work is shown everyday. All of it is for sale. The space doubles to host design exhibits, shows, talks, workshops and live music.
The SOFA also offers a number of workshops taught by the resident artists and by teachers from around the city. Contemporary watercolor, mask-making, video-clip making, poetry, yoga and printmaking are just some of the alternatives you can explore at this vibrant cultural center to try your hand at something new.
The front is where two shops operate. The first is the the Comuna Literaria, a quaint bookstore with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The second is the clothing store, BREVISSIMA, known for their unique designs. In the central patio, the Bon Voyage coffee shop offers organic coffee, and a variety of resources for customers who like to travel.
The SOFA has grown and developed to become an important boulevard-style cultural center in the heart of one of Santiago’s most popular neighborhoods and a symbol of Chile’s growing art scene.
To check it out: SOFA is located on Santa Isabel 0151, near the Santa Isabel Metro stop.