October 2018
at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago

Artist Edra Soto presents Open 24 Hours, an exhibition of freestanding wood shelves with glass bottles collected from around her East Garfield Park neighborhood. According to Soto the exhibit is meant as both a comment on consumption and as a way to "unfold the historic connection between African Americans and Cognac, from its genesis in the 1930s to contemporary repercussions instigated by hip-hop and rap culture.”

Soto also created a display for the Fashion Outlets exterior LED billboards, which can be seen on rotation through the end of January.

Edra Soto (b. Puerto Rico) is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co-director of the outdoor project space The Franklin. She is invested in creating and providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Her recent projects are motivated by civic and social actions focus on fostering relationships with a wide range of communities.

Recent venues presenting Soto’s work include the Pérez Art Museum Miami (FL), Hunter East Harlem Gallery (NY), UIC Gallery 400 (IL), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (NE), DePaul Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL). Most recently, Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, the DCASE for Individual Artist Grant from the City of Chicago and the 3Arts Foundation Make A Wave Grant.

Soto has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (ME), Beta-Local (PR), the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (FL), Arts/Industry at the Kohler Art Center (WI), Ragdale Foundation (IL) and Art OMI (NY) amongst others. During the fall of 2017, her project Open 24 Hours was commissioned by Headlands Center for the Arts (CA) to be presented at their Project Space as part of her residency. Also during 2017, Project Row Houses (TX) hosted her residency as part of the 222 Exchange Program in partnership with the Hyde Park Art Center (IL).

Her co-curation for the exhibition Present Standard at the Chicago Cultural Center was praised with overwhelmingly positive reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, PBS The Art Assignment and Artforum. Soto was recently featured in Newcity’s annual Art 50 issue Chicago’s Artists’ Artists and at VAM Studio 2017 Influencers.

She is a lecturer for the Contemporary Practices Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from where she earned an MFA. Her bachelors degree comes from Escuela de Artes Plastics de Puerto Rico.

(Bio courtesy of edrasoto.com.)