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Edra Soto is a Puerto-Rican born artist, curator, educator, and co-director of the outdoor project space, The Franklin. Soto has exhibited extensively at venues including El Museo del Barrio, NY; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's satellite, The Momentary, AK; Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, IL; Smart Museum, IL; the Abrons Arts Center, NY and the Whitney Museum of American Art; NY. Soto's large-scale public art commission titled “Screenhouse”, is currently on view at Millennium Park in Chicago. The artist has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, Beta-Local, PR, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency, FL, Headlands Center for the Arts, NY, Project Row Houses, TX and Art Omi, NY, among others. Soto has been awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, the Illinois Arts Council Agency Fellowship, the inaugural Foundwork Artist Prize and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, among others. Between 2019-2020, Soto exhibited and traveled to Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Cuba as part of the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. Soto holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico. The artist lives and works in Chicago.


Artist Statement:

My work is motivated by constructed social hierarchies, diasporic identity, and colonialism, which I situate in engaging and contemplative contexts. I aim to challenge the boundaries between audience, artist, and the work itself, and to amplify the democratic potential that art has to offer. My practice walks the line between social practice, immersive installations, and architectural interventions to engage the public through my use of traditional and unusual materials. Materiality and humanity are intertwined, whereby I create an accessible experience for audiences who approach my work. Alluding to issues of class, race, cultural origins, hierarchies, and myth, I create symbolic gestures of colonization and subjugation, prompting viewers to reconsider postcolonial visual culture. These gestures are directly connected to my upbringing, personal and familial relationships, and my geographical relationships with past and present communities in Puerto Rico, United States, and the wider Caribbean.

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