Solo Show by Edra Soto
Feb 10 – Apr 02, 2017
with an opening reception on Fri, Feb 10 @ 6-9pm
Main Gallery / Sector 2337 / 2337 N Milwaukee Ave., / Chicago
The Green Lantern Press is pleased to announce its Winter 2017 exhibition, GRAFT — an interactive exhibition for which the artist Edra Soto installs life-size Puerto Rican style bus stop benches inside of the Sector 2337 gallery, with the island’s traditional rejas on the exterior storefront. About the project, Curator Albert Stabler writes, “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) rejas 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?” The first iteration of this exhibition took place at Cuchifritos Gallery in New York (Spring, 2016). It is accompanied by a two-part tabloid-style with bilingual contributions from Dorothy Bell Ferrer, Cristina Correa, Christopher Cozier, Rafael Franco, Alison Fraunhar, Jefferson Godard, Daniel Hojnacki, J. Anna Looney, Anansi kNOwBody, Jesus Mejia, Daniel R. Quiles, Xuxa Rodriguez, Teresa Silva, Albert Stabler, Andy Sullivan, and Carolyn Supinka.
GRAFT is produced with support from the Efroymson Family Fund and The Green Lantern Press.
Artist Bio: Edra Soto (b. Puerto Rico, 1971) is a Chicago-based artist, educator, curator, and and co-director of the artist-run outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000, as well as attending Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Beta-Local in Puerto Rico, and the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Program in Captiva, Florida though a 3Arts Foundation Fellowship. The 4th Poly/Graphic Triennial of San Juan and the Caribbean, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space in New York and the co-curation of the exhibition Present Standard, at the Chicago Cultural Center with overwhelmingly positive reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Newcity and Artforum. She was recently featured in Newcity’s annual Art 50 issue, Chicago’s Artists’ Artists and awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship. Upcoming venues presenting Soto’s work include: The Arts Club of Chicago; The University Galleries at Illinois State University; Museo de la Universidad de Puerto Rico; the DePaul Museum; the Pérez Art Museum Miami, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; residencies at Project Row Houses in Houston, the Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin, the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Headlands Center for the Arts and a long awaited commission in collaboration with Dan Sullivan from the Chicago Transit Authority, featured her architectural intervention titled GRAFT at the Western Avenue stop on the train line to O’Hare Airport. Soto will be attending the Robert Rauschenberg Residency through their alumni fellowship program during the fall of 2017. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. edrasoto.com
Curator Bio: Albert Stabler spent 17 years in Chicago, devoting time to teaching art with young people, writing art criticism, and curating shows and events at independent galleries. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Art Education at the University of Illinois.