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Tara O'Brien

Tom Finke & Jean Buescher-Bartlett



Jean Buescher Bartlett

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Thomas Finke

Denver, Colorado, USA


What’s Out There

mixed media hardcover accordion book,

3 ¾ x 3½ closed; open size variable

© 1993


A six-week artist residency at the Ucross Foundation in south-central Wyoming - not to mention a cross-country drive - put me in a succession of new and astounding landscapes. From my studio window, I had an uninterrupted view of a wide and desolate expanse. During this time, photographer friend Tom Finke was writing to me and including contact sheets of his recent work. I pinned up a series of cyanotype images that he sent and was moved to write about them, as well as the winter landscape out my studio window.
The photos and reflections resulted in What’s Out There. The ten-panel accordion book structure was chosen to echo the long horizon. - Jean Buescher Bartlett

Jean and I have been friends since we first met back in Ohio in the 1970’s; we were both artists trying to make our way in the world. Corresponding over long periods of time, our letters always seemed to put me at ease with my thoughts. After stints in other parts of the world, the landscape and space of the American West drew me back again. These images are reminiscent of my time spent both here in the West and in other places I remembered. This book is a manifestation of our continuing dialogue on the creative process, as well as living an artistic life. - Thomas Finke

Jean Buescher Bartlett is an Intermittent Lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Art & Design School and an Adjunct Professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She maintains a studio and bindery in Ann Arbor’s Old West Side. She has been making limited edition, letterpress printed, illustrated books under her imprint, Bloodroot Press, and teaching Book Arts workshops across the country for the last twenty years.  

Thomas Finke has been a practicing artist for over 30 years and teaching photography since 1979. He received his MFA in Photography from the University of Cincinnati in 1983 and his studio is located in Englewood, Colorado. He currently teaches at the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver.