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The $2,000 second prize went to Cara Ober, with Maggie Michael, a "hot" (i.e. avidly collected) abstractionist with work already in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, coming in a somewhat startling third ($1,000).

Ober and Michael are, in a way, kindred spirits, each using a hodgepodge of mark-making to evoke worlds. The more purely expressionistic of the two, Michael evokes a pretty solid physical universe, if only one made of paint, while Ober's fragmentary collages of random thoughts - the phrase "maybe you need your pain to accomplish what you do" floats by in Evangelist - suggest states of consciousness more than place.

Washington Post: "In Painting Awards, Unexpected Outcomes" by Michael O'Sullivan. 6.15.2007.
Washington Post: "In Painting Awards, Unexpected Outcomes" by Michael O'Sullivan. 6.15.2007.
2007