Edra Soto Awarded Inaugural Foundwork Artist Prize

Edra Soto, Manual GRAFT, 2018, Decal, 192 x 72 in.

By the CGN Office via PR

Last week it was announced that Chicago-based artist Edra Soto was awarded the inaugural Foundwork Artist Prize, a new juried grant awarded to recognize outstanding artists on the Foundwork platform. As the 2019 awardee, Soto will receive an unrestricted $10,000 grant and studio visits with each of the inaugural jurors. This combination of financial support and personal engagement reflects Foundwork's goal to be a resource and facilitate professional development for artists.

Foundwork is a platform designed to help connect artists and collaborators across the art community. The project was informed by Adam Yokell’s experience running Hometown, a gallery in Brooklyn where he worked primarily with emerging artists. Seeing the limitations that artists, curators, and gallerists often face trying to reach one another, he decided to develop Foundwork as a tool to support access across this group.

Born in Puerto Rico and based in Chicago, artist Edra Soto creates conceptually rich installations and audience-responsive projects that explore the ways in which identity is expressed, and shaped, by the objects of daily life. Soto's work is rooted in a deep commitment both to community building and to a continuous, almost meditative observation of social patterns. Whether re-situating urban architecture from San Juan, inviting museum-goers to decorate liquor bottles gathered on the streets of Chicago, or welcoming neighbors to play dominos in a Harlem gallery, Soto's work embodies a sort of poetic sociology that leaves a lasting impression on those who are fortunate to experience it.

Soto has exhibited widely at venues including the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where she was invited to inaugurate the MCA’s new space for civically-engaged art, the Commons, in 2018. Soto also recently completed a commissioned public project, Screenhouse, for a two-year exhibition in Chicago’s Millennium Park. She received her MFA in 2000 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has attended residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Art OMI, among others. In addition to her art practice, Soto is also co-director of The Franklin, an outdoor project and exhibition space located in the backyard of her home.

Soto was CGN's summer cover artist in 2019. Read Alison Reilly's interview with her here.

Read Foundwork's interview with Soto here.