The 2015 Sondheim Award Finalists have been announced! Congratulations to the following artists:

Mequitta Ahuja makes large, figurative paintings and works on paper that employ Indian painting traditions and reference her African-American and East Indian background. Ahuja has an extensive exhibition history that includes shows at The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY, 2010, 2011, 2012), the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC, 2009, 2012), The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (Houston, TX, 2008), The Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY, 2007), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL, 2005). Additionally, she has an upcoming exhibit of seven works at the Saatchi Gallery (London, UK, 2015). Her artwork is in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA), and the Urlich Museum (Wichita, KS), among others. An artists’ residency at the Maryland Institute College of Art brought her to Baltimore in 2011.  Here she received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2013, and is also a recipient of both a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (2011) and a Joan Mitchell Award (2009).  Ahuja received her Masters of Fine Art from the University of Illinois in 2003, and her Bachelors of Art from Hampshire College in 1998.

 

Zoe Charlton creates detailed drawings that explore the ironies of contemporary social and cultural stereotypes. She received her Masters of Fine Art from the University of Texas at Austin and participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting (Skowhegan, ME, 2001), Creative Alliance (Baltimore, MD, 2003), and ART342 (Fort Collins, CO, 2010). Her solo exhibitions include CONNERSMITH. (Washington, DC, 2013), the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington, DE, 2009), and Wendy Cooper Gallery (Chicago, IL, 2006). Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including those at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (Charlotte, NC, 2015), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, AR, 2014), Studio Museum Harlem (NYC, NY, 2012), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (Houston, TX, 2000), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw, Poland 2006), and Haas & Fischer gallery (Zurich, Switzerland, 2006). She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012) and a Rubys grant (2014). Charlton is an Associate Professor of Art at American University in Washington, DC, and is represented by CONNERSMITH., also located in Washington D.C.

 

Ben Kelley is a 2010 Masters of Fine Art graduate of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. With motives driven by the smell of oak, high heels on glass, and the elegance of precision, Kelley re-contextualizes found objects with altered and fabricated structures. His works have been exhibited locally and nationally. These include solo exhibitions at CONNERSMITH. (Washington, DC, 2013); Open Space (Baltimore, MD, 2011); Patty and Rusty Rueff Gallery at Purdue University  (West Lafayette, IN, 2009), among others. Group exhibitions include those at  the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD, 2012), Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD, 2011, 2010), Gallery Four (Baltimore, MD, 2010), Creative Alliance, (Baltimore, MD, 2009). Kelley has been awarded the Toby Devon Lewis Fellowship (2010) and the GoGo Emerging Artist Projects of CONNERSMITH., Washington, D.C. (2010-2013). His work has also been featured in such publications as the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and the Baltimore City Paper.

 

Magnolia Laurie creates detailed paintings and installations that reference the sustained need to try and to build, with sometimes precarious results.  She received her Bachelors of Art in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College and her Masters of Fine Art from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is a former Hamiltonian Fellow (2009-2011) and was a Platform Artist in Washington, DC’s (e)merge Art Fair (2012, 2013). She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2013), the Jentel Foundation in Wyoming (2013), the Creative Alliance in Baltimore  (2007-2010), and the Vermont Studio Center (2007). Magnolia has also been a recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Creative Fellowship in 2015, a Maryland State Arts Council Grant in 2011, and an Individual Artist Grant from the Creative Baltimore Fund in 2009. Her recent solo exhibitions include LANDMARK at frosch&portmann, what could hold us together also at frosch&portmann  (2012), and with a tug and a hold at VisArts (Rockville, MD, 2012).  Her work has also been featured in exhibitions at the Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York, NY 2014), Jordan Faye Contemporary (Baltimore, MD 2014, 2013), School 33 Art Center (Baltimore, MD, 2013, 2010) and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City, MO, 2011). Laurie is also a faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art and American University.

 

Jim Leach received a Bachelors of Fine Art from Kent State University in 2011, and a Masters of Fine Art from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014, where he was the recipient of the 2012-2014 Rinehart Fellowship. His sculpture has been in various solo and group exhibitions, including shows at the Creative Alliance (Baltimore, MD, 2014); Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA 2014); Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD, 2014); The Gowanus Loft  (Brooklyn, NY, 2013); and Legation, A Gallery (Cleveland, OH, 2012). He also has an upcoming solo exhibition scheduled at The Sculpture Center (Cleveland, OH). Leach has been reviewed in several periodicals including Cleveland’s Scene Magazine, Washington DC’s City Paper, and Baltimore’s BmoreArt. In 2013, Leach was selected by Maryland Art Place for the 30: Thirty Creative Minds Under 30 lecture series and in 2014 to speak in Sculpture X: The Social Political Object.

 

Ryan Syrell is a painter whose work focuses on the interrelationship between cartooning, abstraction, perception, and the recollection of visual data. He received his Bachelors of Fine Art from the State University of New York at Purchase and has extensively exhibited and performed nationally. Syrell’s work has recently been included in Baltimore Contemporary Cross-Section at the Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT, 2014) and the Washington Project for The Arts’ Select 2014 at Artisphere (Arlington, VA) and the Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York, NY), as well as a solo exhibition entitled Roughed In at the John Fonda Gallery (Baltimore, MD, 2014). He has additionally been featured in exhibitions at Art Basel (Miami, FL, 2013), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 2013), Current Space (Baltimore, MD, 2013), the Everything Is Festival (Los Angeles, CA, 2012, 2010) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2008), among several others. Catalogs featuring Ryan’s essays are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art library, the International Center for Photography library and the Indie Photobook Library. In 2014, Ryan also received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Art Council for his work in sculpture.

 

Wickerham/Lomax is the collaborative name of artists Malcolm Lomax and Daniel Wickerham. Formerly known as DUOX, the two have been collaborating since 2009. Working across diverse media (sculpture, installation, websites, prints, video, performance), curatorial platforms, and institutional contexts, they have created a body of work at once context specific and also broadly engaged digitally. Their work is currently focused on the deviation from the digital space to the physical space. Wickerham & Lomax have exhibited widely in both Baltimore and New York, including solo exhibitions at Springsteen gallery (Baltimore, MD, 2015), AC Institute Art Gallery (New York, NY, 2015 – forthcoming), the New Museum (New York, NY, 2014), Artists Space (New York, NY, 2012) and Open Space (Baltimore, MD, 2009), as well as a solo exhibition at Link Art Center (Brescia, Italy, 2014).  They have also been included in several group exhibitions, including Baltimore, Contemporary Cross Section at the Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT, 2014) and Baltimore Liste at The Contemporary Baltimore, MD, 2012).  Wickerham and Lomax both received their Bachelors of Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009.

SEMIFINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 10th ANNUAL JANET & WALTER SONDHEIM ARTSCAPE PRIZE

2014 Sondheim Award winner Neil Feather

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announces the semifinalists for the 10th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.  The competition awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Greater Baltimore region.  For 2015, 54 individual artists and two artist teams have been selected as semifinalists.

2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Semifinalists

Lauren Adams, Baltimore, MD Katherine Mann, Washington, D.C.
Seth Adelsberger, Baltimore, MD Quentin Moseley, Baltimore, MD
Mequitta Ahuja, Baltimore, MD Danielle Mysliwiec, Takoma Park, MD
Stephanie Barber, Baltimore, MD David Page, Baltimore, MD
Kyle Bauer, Baltimore, MD Louie Palu, Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Benassi, Baltimore, MD EunJung Park, Baltimore, MD
Keith Bentley, Baltimore, MD Ruth Pettus, Baltimore, MD
Dustin Carlson, Baltimore, MD Benjamin Piwowar, Baltimore, MD
Vincent Carney, Baltimore, MD Nick Primo, Baltimore, MD
Zoe Charlton, Baltimore, MD Samantha Rausch, Baltimore, MD
Chris Cheng, Baltimore, MD Renee Rendine, Towson, MD
Larry Cook, Landover Hills, MD Beverly Ress, Silver Spring, MD
Leah Danell Cooper, Baltimore, MD Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Silver Spring, MD
Hoesy Corona, Baltimore, MD Margaret Rogers, Baltimore, MD
Erin Curtis, Washington, D.C. Pamela Rogers, Bethesda, MD
Nancy Daly, Washington, D.C. Margaret Rorison, Baltimore, MD
Frank Day, Washington, D.C. Rachel Rotenberg, Baltimore, MD
L. E. Doughtie, Baltimore, MD Kenneth Schiano, Chestertown, MD
Hasan Elahi, College Park, MD Ginevra Shay, Baltimore, MD
Maggie Gourlay, Rockville, MD Leslie Shellow, Baltimore, MD
Lillian Hoover, Baltimore, MD Amy Sherald, Baltimore, MD
Benjamin Kelley, Baltimore, MD Ally Silberkleit, Baltimore, MD
J.T. Kirkland, Sterling, VA Jared Soares, Washington, D.C.
Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter, Baltimore, MD Ryan Syrell, Baltimore, MD
Magnolia Laurie, Baltimore, MD Jerry Truong, Silver Spring, MD
Jim Leach, Baltimore, MD Stewart Watson, Baltimore, MD
Rosemary Liss, Baltimore, MD Daniel Wickerham & Malcolm Lomax, Baltimore, MD
Timothy Makepeace, Washington, D.C. Yuriko Yamaguchi, Vienna, VA

 

The Sondheim Artscape Prize is held in conjunction with the annual Artscape juried exhibition and produced with the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).  Approximately six finalists are selected for the final review for the prize.  Their work is showcased in the Thalheimer Galleries at the Baltimore Museum of Art from Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, August 9, 2015.  Additionally, an exhibition of the semifinalists’ work is shown in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries of MICA on Thursday, July 16 through Sunday, August 2, 2015.  An opening reception for the semifinalist exhibition takes place July 16, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm at MICA, located at 1303 W. Mount Royal Avenue.

The fellowship winner is selected from the Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition after review of the installed art and an interview with each finalist by the jurors.  Jurors for 2015 include Associate Curator at The Studio Museum Harlem, Naima Keith; Assistant Curator at the Dia Art Foundation, Kelly Kivland; and artist, Matthew Saunders.  Artist collaborators, if chosen as the winner or finalist, receive a single $25,000 prize that is equally divided among the members of the group.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Timeline

Announcement of finalists: Mid-April, 2015

Finalists Exhibition at Baltimore Museum of Art: Wednesday, June 24-Sunday, August 9, 2015

Award announcement: Saturday, July 11, 2015, 7pm (Doors open at 6pm)

Semifinalist Exhibition at MICA: Thursday, July 16-Sunday, August 2, 2015

Semifinalist Exhibition opening reception: Thursday, July 16, 6-9pm

Artscape: Friday, July 17- Sunday, July 19, 2015

 

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize

 

The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today.  Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years.  His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City.  Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor.  He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.

Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn.  Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children.  After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School.  She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.

Artscape

Artscape is America’s largest free arts festival, attracting more than 350,000 attendees over three days. Artscape features 150-plus fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, including exhibitions, outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography and the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize; incredible live concerts on outdoor stages; a full schedule of performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; family events such as hands-on projects, demonstrations, competitions, children’s entertainers and street theater; and a delicious, international menu of food and beverages that is available throughout the festival site. Artscape’s total economic impact on Baltimore City is $25.97 million.

The 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous support of the the Abell Foundation, Alex. Brown & Sons Charitable Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, M&T Charitable Foundation, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, John Sondheim and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

 

For more information on the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, call 410-752-8632 or visit www.artscape.org.

2321

JANET & WALTER SONDHEIM ARTSCAPE PRIZE CELEBRATES 10th YEAR

Finalist Exhibition Returns to the Baltimore Museum of Art for 2015

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts are excited to announce the 10th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.  Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious competition which awards a $25,000 fellowship to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore region.  The deadline for submission is Monday, January 12, 2015.  An application prospectus is available at www.artscape.org.  In 2015, the annual finalist exhibition returns to the Baltimore Museum of Art.  An award ceremony and reception takes place Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 7pm at the Baltimore Museum of Art, located at 10 Art Museum Drive.  The prize is held in conjunction with the 34th annual Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival.

Approximately six finalists are selected for the final review for the prize.  Their work is showcased in the special exhibitions gallery at the Baltimore Museum of Art from Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, August 9, 2015.  Additionally, an exhibition of the semifinalists’ work is shown in the Decker, Meyerhoff and Pinkard galleries of MICA on Thursday, July 16 through Sunday, August 2, 2015.  An opening reception for the semifinalist exhibition takes place July 16, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm at MICA, located at 1303 W. Mount Royal Avenue.

The fellowship winner is selected from the Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition after review of the installed art and an interview with each finalist by the jurors.  Jurors are announced in January 2015.  Artist collaborators, if chosen as the winner or finalist, receive a single $25,000 prize that is equally divided among the members of the group.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Timeline

Application deadline: Monday, January 12, 2015

Announcement of semifinalists: Late-February, 2015

Announcement of finalists: Mid-April, 2015

Finalists Exhibition at Baltimore Museum of Art: Wednesday, June 24-Sunday, August 9, 2015

Award announcement: Saturday, July 11, 2015, 7pm (Doors open at 6pm)

Semifinalist Exhibition at MICA: Thursday, July 16-Sunday, August 2, 2015

Semifinalist Exhibition opening reception: Thursday, July 16, 6-9pm

Artscape: Friday, July 17- Sunday, July 19, 2015

 

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize

The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today.  Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years.  His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City.  Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor.  He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.

Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn.  Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children.  After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School.  She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.

Artscape

Artscape is America’s largest free arts festival, attracting more than 350,000 attendees over three days. Artscape features 150-plus fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, including exhibitions, outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography and the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize; incredible live concerts on outdoor stages; a full schedule of performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; family events such as hands-on projects, demonstrations, competitions, children’s entertainers and street theater; and a delicious, international menu of food and beverages that is available throughout the festival site. Artscape’s total economic impact on Baltimore City is $25.97 million.

The 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous support of the the Abell Foundation, Alex. Brown & Sons Charitable Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, M&T Charitable Foundation, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, John Sondheim and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

For more information on the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, call 410-752-8632 or visit www.artscape.org, application available at www.callforentry.org.

Don’t forget to stop by and view the Sondheim Finalist Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum! The exhibition is on view until August 17th.  The Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2014 is organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in conjunction with Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival.  Now in its ninth year, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize recognizes the achievements of a visual artist living or working in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. The winner of the $25,000 Sondheim Prize will be announced at a special ceremony and reception at the Walters Art Museum, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Finalists (from top down): Lauren Adams, Kyle Bauer, Stewart Watson, Marley Dawson, Neil Feather,  Kyle Tata and Shannon Collis

IMG_3319

2014-07-09 14.33.45

2014-07-09 14.23.09

IMG_3283

2014-07-09 14.25.36

IMG_3331

2014-07-09 14.17.38

 

This is the thirty-first in a series of interviews with each of the Sondheim Award Semifinalists. Finalists have been announced, and will be on exhibit at the Walters Art Museum June 21 to August 17; those not selected as finalists with be exhibited at the Decker, Meyerhoff and Pinkard Galleries at MICA  July 17 to August 3, 2014.

Name: John Zimmerman
Age: 27
Website: www.johnzimmerman.com
Current Location: Waverly- Baltimore, MD
Hometown: Waldorf, MD
School: University of MD, Baltimore County

Jzimmerman

What is your day job? How do you manage balancing work with studio time with your life?
I am currently a dog walker as well as a bartender. I try to string together both jobs and work as many hours as a can for a few days, and then have off for a couple days afterwards to decompress and think about my art. On a good day dog walking can serve as both work and time to contemplate life, as well as allow me to take photographs.

How would you describe your work, and your studio practice? I mainly work in photography. For me, the power of photography lies in its ability to flatten real world objects. The viewer interprets the image as a three dimensional space, but the composition is intrinsically rooted in the flat dimension. I try to compose my images, whether they are portraits or landscapes, as a minimal spatial study. Lately I have been working on sculptures and paintings that similarly explore these flattened dimensions.

jzimmerman3

What part of artmaking to you like or enjoy the most? The least? Editing photographs can be tedious, but at this point I embrace the meditative qualities of it.

What research do you do for your art practice? Reading a lot helps, as well as taking in and processing the mass of imagery that bombards us everyday.

Do you ever get in creative dry spells, and if so, how do you get out of them? Of course. Whenever I do I find its best to let it run its natural course. I go exercise, and enjoy my life for a few days, or a week, or a month. Eventually a good idea will come my way, and it won’t have the appearance of being forced.

How do you challenge yourself in your work? I think the poster in the office of our guidance counselor’s was on to something when it read “push yourself” or “give it your all” or whatever. I have post-its around that egg me on. Again, like I said before, you don’t want to force yourself to be creative. That said we all need motivation, and post-its criticizing me seem to work. I also find it is good practice to be as meticulous and overly critical of a final product.

jzimmerman2

IMG_3276

The Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts previewed the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2014 Finalists Exhibition this past Friday, June 20th.

The Sondheim Artscape Prize is a $25,000 fellowship awarded each year to visual artists living and working in the Greater Baltimore region. M&T Bank has partnered with BOPA to establish the M&T Bank Sondheim Finalists’ Awards, which provide a $2,500 honorarium for each of the remaining finalists not selected for the fellowship.

IMG_3391

   IMG_3283

IMG_3292

IMG_3300

IMG_3304

Organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in conjunction with Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2014 Finalists Exhibition will be on view at the Walters Art Museum  June 21 – August 17, 2014. Now in its ninth year, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize recognizes the achievements of a visual artist living or working in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. The winner of the $25,000 Sondheim Prize will be announced at a special ceremony and reception at the Walters Art Museum, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 7 p.m.

IMG_3318       IMG_3319

IMG_3305

IMG_3331

IMG_3310

2014 FINALISTS:       

IMG_3601

 Lauren Adams (Baltimore, MD)                               Kyle Bauer (Baltimore, MD)

IMG_3315                                            IMG_3312

     Stewart Watson (Baltimore, MD)                        Marley Dawson (Washington, DC)

    IMG_3333                  IMG_3341

      Neil Feather (Baltimore, MD)                              Kyle Tata (Baltimore, MD)

 IMG_3306              IMG_3338

   Shannon Collis (Baltimore, MD) 

IMG_3467

The Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous support of the Abell Foundation, Alex. Brown & Sons Charitable Foundation, Baltimore Festival of the Arts, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, M&T Charitable Foundation, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, John Sondheim and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

The exhibition and opening event at the Walters Art Museum have been generously supported by the Talkin Fund of the Columbia Foundation, Time Group Investments, Rachel and Joseph Rabinowitz, The Zamoiski, Barber, Segal Family Foundation, and the Greif Family Fund.

This is the thirtieth in a series of interviews with each of the Sondheim Award Semifinalists. Finalists have been announced, and will be on exhibit at the Walters Art Museum June 21 to August 17; those not selected as finalists with be exhibited at the Decker, Meyerhoff and Pinkard Galleries at MICA  July 17 to August 3, 2014.

Name: Cara Ober
Age: 39
Website: www.caraober.com
Current Location: Charles Village
Hometown: Westminster, MD
School: MFA from MICA

Patina, 2012. Acrylic on Canvas. 60x48

Patina, 2012. Acrylic on Canvas. 60×48

Current favorite artists or artwork: Most of my favorite artists are local Baltimoreans but some of my more famous heroes are Philip Taaffe, Louise Bourgeois, Rob Pruitt, Kara Walker, & Ed Ruscha

What is your day job? How do you manage balancing work with studio time with your life? I am a full-time art blogger at BmoreArt.com! It’s my dream job and I love it – but this can be tough to balance out. I also teach classes at MICA and Johns Hopkins and I am a mom to a 3 year old. What life?

Images: Visa Card, 2012. Ink on Cut Paper. 9x12

Images: Visa Card, 2012. Ink on Cut Paper. 9×12

How would you describe your work, and your studio practice? I am attracted to decorative, low-brow, and commercial images. I love attempting to transform items that are not supposed to be art into fine art. I have a lot of questions about the arbitrary nature of taste and market value.

What part of artmaking to you like or enjoy the most? The least? Being alone in my studio is heaven. Updating my resume not so much.

What research do you do for your art practice? I am constantly looking at and writing about contemporary visual artists.

Do you ever get in creative dry spells, and if so, how do you get out of them? I spend a lot of time thinking and, if that doesn’t help, I make new work out of destroying old work.

How do you challenge yourself in your work? My aesthetic tends to be ‘D. All of the above’ so a big challenge is paring things down, editing out extraneous information.

What is your dream project? A residency situation where I have unlimited access to fabric and printmaking. And I get to hang out with smart people.

Installation View from Pop Deco, A Solo Show at Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC

Installation View from Pop Deco, A Solo Show at Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC