THE SHORT: An artist who uses baking as her medium to inspire self acceptance and community empowerment.
THE LONG: Tara Jensen is a baker, teacher, media maker and artist. Her approach to both personal and professional life is the same: don't let your fear get in the way of your dreams. Once you stop believing in your own excuses then you are an unstoppable ray of light, creating spiritual security and sustainability for yourself and those around you.
Tara combines over a decade of professional baking and art making experiences to provide her customers, students and community with a deep respect for the past and a growing excitement for the future. Her passion for radical education and alternative ways of life sprouted as a young philosopher, researching intimacy at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Upon completing her B.A in Human Ecology she became part of a study group at the Institute for Social Ecology that would then go on to start the Black Sheep Book collective. A fondness for social change through informal learning was further cemented by her participation running a multi-purpose art space and gallery named Fort Can. She continued on from the academic world to purse installation art and had several solo shows on the topic of feminism in Tokyo, Japan, curated by Hanna Fushihara. She most recently participated in a group show in the Fall of 2014 entitled S/heros, which featured letters and portraits of living female role models. The show is currently traveling Japan.
Jensen found baking as a soulful trade that embodied her theoretical and artistic ideals in a single, steaming, crusty loaf. Starting her professional career as a baker while still in college, Tara has worked in several different bakeries across the country. Most notably, Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex, VT and Farm & Sparrow in Candler, NC. Steadily working her way through all aspects of running a bakery, from bread and pastry production, to management, to costumer service, developing mission statements and vending at farmers markets, Tara has a solid grasp of what makes a bakery tick. She began Smoke Signals in 2012 as a way to develop her own baking practice and share her experience with a wider audience. Her artful pies have been featured in Food & Wine Magazine and her thoughts on the importance of bread in our daily lives can be seen in the upcoming film, The Grain Divide. Her Tumblr boasts over 100,000 followers and she has been interviewed on bread and baking by the folks at Instagram. Tara also teaches on the topic of using social media authentically, fully believing in the power of connecting images, thoughts and people.