REALITY STAR: 5 QUESTIONS FOR CARA OBER
Bmore Art's Ober on art as a career and the intersection between visual art and publishing.
By Bret McCabe
As a critic, I’ve written about artist Cara Ober’s mixed media work over the years. Since she started her BmoreArt blog in 2007 and, more recently, its corresponding print journal, I’ve written for her. Ober, 42, grew up in Westminster. She studied art at American University in Washington, D.C., moved back to Westminster while earning an art education degree and, in 1998, started teaching at Owings Mills High School. Looking for an art community, she moved to Baltimore in 2000, found a shared studio space and earned an MFA at MICA in 2005. Then she quit her teaching job to focus on art, which bummed out her parents.
Your parents were never high on the whole artist career choice?
They were both teachers; they just wanted me to be secure. I think the perception was that art is really hard. You’ll struggle. You’ll be poor. You need benefits. I always wanted to be an artist. I was always making books and publications.
It’s interesting to hear you say you’ve always made books and publications. Most of your visual art that I’ve seen combines imagery with text. Your most recent work involved digital prints. Is that new?
It was my first time making digital prints in Photoshop instead of collaging by hand. I taught myself Photoshop this winter. I ended up making these densely layered tableau things that I like. And it made it faster. I like to work fast, which forces me to be decisive. Photoshop is so immediate, and I was shocked with the outcome. If I hadn’t done an interview with [artist and printmaker] Liz Donadio about her Color Wheel Digital Printing, I wouldn’t have seen that these prints are beautiful fine-art prints on archival bamboo paper. So it was just fun to think, “Oh, this piece needs ancient text from Mesopotamia.” I Google “ancient Mesopotamia text” and have 50 different options. I can layer it. I can resize it. I can make it see-through.
Click here to read the entire interview.