McDaniel College's Department of Art and Art History presents “Translation: New Works by Cara Ober,” October 22 through November 15 in The Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. The opening reception will be held Thursday, October 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with an artist talk beginning at 6:00 p.m.
“My work exploits a range of opposites,” notes Ober. “I combine unrelated images and text to form layers of (mis)understanding, reinterpreting sentimental imagery through layers of drawing, painting, and printmaking. I employ a collage aesthetic in all my work, although my materials include paint on canvas, collage on paper, gold leaf, and a variety of drawing media. Working in series, I combine culturally mediated imagery from children’s schoolbooks, decoration, historical texts, and greeting cards to explore notions of authenticity, appropriation, personal identity, and vocabulary.”
“In my text-based works, I create a visual narrative by utilizing specific phrases and fonts to suggest multiple voices, perspectives, and time periods. Rather than illustrating the text, the images create discord, layering metaphorical and nonsensical outcomes over personal notation. These works reveals the inadequacy of words in expressing the complexity of experience, and exploit the multiple meanings within one simple phrase, exposing the gap between meaning and language.”
Ober says that the contemporary practice of sampling has enabled an entire generation of artists to borrow freely across cultures and time periods, creating unique hybrids in a range from harmonious to jarring. “My visual work has always included a mash-up of decorative structures, culled from vintage wallpaper, textiles, ancient artifacts, and home décor. However, in my most current series of paintings, I have chosen to focus exclusively on the patterns I have collected over many years in order to investigate their power. Rendered in a simple palette of black, white, and metallic paint, these ornamental embellishments are divorced from their original context and take on an iconic, totemic presence.”
Cara Ober earned an MFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005 and a BA in Fine Arts in 1996 from the American University. Ober writes art reviews for “The Urbanite Magazine”, “ARTnews” and publishes her own award-winning local art blog, “BmoreArt.” She was awarded a Best of Baltimore MVP Award from “Baltimore” magazine in 2009. A 2006 MD Individual Artist Grant recipient for painting, she also took second prize in the 2007 Bethesda Painting Awards. She received a Warhol Grant for Emerging Curators in 2006, and a Best in Show Award at the Torpedo Factory’s Juried painting exhibit in 2006.
The Rice Gallery is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For more information about the artist, please visit http://caraober.com/home.html. For information and to confirm gallery hours, please call 410-857-2595.
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