Artist Edra Soto was recently profiled in Newcity and will be opening two exhibitions this spring.
Artist and longtime Chicagoan Edra Soto will be launching two exhibitions this spring. Sector 2337 will feature her GRAFT interactive installation with an opening reception on February 10 and The Arts Club of Chicago will host her Screenhouse exhibition from March to May. Screenhouse is a freestanding structure influenced by traditional garden gazebo models while "GRAFT" includes life-size Puerto Rican style bus stop benches.
Last year for Chicago Artists Coalition, she served as the guest speaker at the Launch Residency and as curator of The Annual exhibition. And last fall Newcity interviewed her about her "really good year." She said:
I’m so excited about art, and especially when I see the work of students I feel inspired to continue my work, because I never lack in excitement about it. It’s like being in love for a very, very long time. I just believe—I cannot explain it, it’s abstract. Perhaps it’s because I associate art with language, language that has no letters, no way to be fully understood. It’s that intrigue that keeps me captivated.
Curator of Sector 2337 Albert Stabler wrote of her GRAFT exhibition:
Even more than colonial and modern styles, vernacular architecture shows the full breadth of [Puerto Rico’s] historical influences, from before, during, and after colonialism. Appropriating the mesmerizing designs of rejas and transposing them on to structures in the mainland U.S. provokes questions. Can a nation that has so freely appropriated the land and resources of Puerto Rico, while consigning its residents to second-class citizenship and exorbitant government debt, be itself appropriated as a screen upon which Soto can project the (wooden) screens of her Boricua childhood? Or does the gesture become a multiculturalist token of assimilation, an exotic garnish that helps to erase the trauma of conquest, exploitation, and slavery? Can such an appealing but unobtrusive architectural element even register with the average American viewer as an intervention at all? Learning not only the elements of Caribbean architectural style, but learning to read all buildings as indices of complex and contentious histories, can offer a great deal to laypeople viewing the exhibition.
Read her interview in Newcity.
GRAFT runs from February 10 to April 2.
Sector 2337 / 2337 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Screenhouse runs from March to May.
The Arts Club of Chicago / 201 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.