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
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! 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

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