We declared Sondra Karman a Woman of Style in September 2016— and celebrated her husband’s launch of EXPO Chicago in December 2012.
TONY AND SONDRA KARMAN
MAKERS. ART LOVERS. DREAM TEAM.
“They say opposites attract,” says Sondra Karman about her relationship with Tony, her husband of 15 years. She’s speaking to their subtle introvert (her)-extrovert (him) dynamic, but to the outside world, the two don’t seem even that far apart. Certainly their interests align: He’s the president and director of EXPO Chicago, the international art fair held at Navy Pier, which returns for its eighth year Sept. 19 to 22; she comes from the performance side, having danced ballet professionally for 30 years. (She’s now a dance medicine therapist, Pilates instructor and senior faculty member for BASI Pilates—a distinction only 15 people in the world hold.) In their personal lives, they remain creators. “She’s a maker in all sorts of ways,” Tony says of Sondra, who finds Zen in tending a garden on the back deck of their West Town home. They both love to cook, and since being diagnosed with celiac disease, Sondra has been perfecting the art of gluten-free baking. And maybe most notably, the Karmans share the desire to give back. “Both of us being in the arts, that’s really important to us,” Sondra says. “In schools, those classes are going away and kids aren’t introduced to that anymore, so we tend to give a lot to keeping that part of society alive.”