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Curator: Jerry Takigawa

The world of books is a landscape in transition. Since the fifteenth century, books have been a dominant medium for preserving knowledge, communicating ideas, sharing stories, and delivering images. They are our companions and our comfort. They entertain and they enlighten.

Yet, like so many venerable institutions today, the book stands at a crossroads. In both celebration and inquiry, the Center for Photographic Art is pleased to present Book Ends, an exhibition highlighting two artists’ expressions of the book as beloved object, as mystery, and as “uncertain future.” Barer and Bartley read between the lines of the changing territory of this form of human expression. They are visual translators; they lovingly shift our attention and, accordingly, author divergent observations of the book for our delight.

Cara Barer and Mary Ellen Bartley approach their passion for books from opposite sides of the aesthetic playground, but their enduring love for the medium is clearly their inspiration.  Barer reflects: “Books, physical objects, and repositories of information are being displaced by zeros and ones in a digital universe with no physicality. Through my art, I document this  and raise questions about the fragile and ephemeral nature of books and their future.” Bartley shares her feelings: “What drives the work for me is the emotional connection I have to the books. I’m trying to convey the sensuality and intimacy of reading and looking through books as well as the fleeting inspiration and little jolts of connection  that readers  find in books they love.” Clearly these artists bring fresh insights about seeing the analog book-both its physicality and its personal meanings.

About the Artist(s)

About the Curator(s)


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Book Ends

This soft-cover, perfect bound catalog features 25 images from the June 28 –August 9, 2014 exhibition. Designed for CPA by Takigawa Design, the book also includes statements from the artists, Cara Barer and Mary Ellen Bartley. It may be purchased at the CPA Gallery for $20.00, and may also be previewed and purchased from our online publisher:  MagCloud.

Order from MagCloud