Andrea Sosa Fontaine is one of nine inaugural winners of the Midwest Award for Artists with Disabilities. This award, designed to support accessibility in the arts and celebrate the exceptional work of disabled Midwestern visual artists, has received an incredible response from the artistic community. Over 200 artists applied to receive funds, and a panel of seven reviewers narrowed the pool to nine finalists from across the Midwest.
“I am a maker, that is interested in how people connect to the objects and spaces that surround us. As an artist, I make decisions through making, and it is through the act of making itself where I find meaning. As an artist, my work is deeply rooted in the need to find an outlet to support my mental health. I have faced barriers due to anxiety, depression and ADHD, and have used my art to focus on craft, while calming my mind. The focus of my art began with the intention to support my own healing, but has extended to thinking about sustainability, and the future of this earth. Primarily, my art is centered on shoemaking, and intersections of traditional and contemporary methods to make the practice more accessible, and affordable. I explore how we shoes can communicate identity while also impacting the earth as gently as possible. While the modality of my art began with shoemaking, this work has extended to the objects in our homes, and the spaces that we live in, where I explore why we throw away objects, and even how we disconnect from the spaces that we live in.“