2020: Painting & Sculpture
The Statewide Annual theme rotates between Painting & Sculpture, Mixed Media & Works on Paper, and Craft, Photography, Video & Digital works. Works are chosen for display by two out-of-state artists or arts professionals who travel to the Rio Gallery to jury the exhibition. Jurors select one $1,000 best in show award, six $600 jurors’ awards and two honorable mentions. One People’s Choice Award is selected by the public.
Our 2020 Statewide Annual Exhibition submissions, jury, and exhibition will all be conducted digitally. Call for entries will be open September 28-October 23, 2020.
Edra Soto, Chicago, Il
Puerto Rican born, Edra Soto is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co-director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. Her upbringing and relationships with communities in Puerto Rico and the US inform her artistic practice. Her recent projects, which are motivated by civic and social actions, prompt viewers to reconsider cross-cultural dynamics, the legacy of colonialism, and personal responsibility. She is invested in providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Recent exhibits include Albright-Knox Northland, Buffalo, NY and The Momentary at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Photography, IL; Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, PR. Residencies include Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME; Beta-Local; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; Headlands Center for the Arts; Project Row Houses; and Art Omi. Soto was the recipient of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, 2016; Illinois Arts Council Grant, 2019 and the award winner of the inaugural Foundwork Artist Prize, 2019. Her latest commissioned public art piece titled Screenhouse is on view at Millennium from 2019 to 2021. In 2019, Soto was included in three exhibitions supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. Venues include the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, PR; University of Chicago’s Smart Museum, IL; and “Close to There < > Perto de La” at various venues in Salvador, BR. Soto holds a BFA degree from Escuela de Artes Plastics de Puerto Rico. She is a lecturer for the Contemporary Practices Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from which she received an MFA.
Pooja Pittie, Chicago, Il
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, she moved to the U.S. in 1999. An MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business led her to a career in Finance and Entrepreneurship. In 2016, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion for art and shifted her focus to painting full-time.
Pooja has an incurable and progressive form of muscular dystrophy and her painting process explores the constantly changing relationship between an often slow body and an active mind.
Pooja is an alumna of the HATCH residency at Chicago Artists’ Coalition and the Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center. As a Board member of both organizations, she is an advocate for equity and accessibility in the Arts. She has been nominated for the 3Arts Visual Art Award and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. Her paintings have been exhibited at EXPO Chicago, Art Miami and The Union League Club of Chicago and she is in numerous private collections across the country. Pooja is represented by the McCormick Gallery in Chicago.
Upcoming Media Categories
2021: Craft, Photography, and Video/Digital
Craft: This category accepts work in all forms of craft, including but not limited to, ceramics, glass, wood, metal, fiber, textiles, and book arts. Photography: This category accepts work in traditional photography or any work in which photography or photographic techniques are the primary media. Video/Digital: This category includes film, video, and digital based works but does not include narrative or documentary film.