terra cibus

May 7 – June 2
Artist Talk: Thursday, May 19 at 7pm, FREE

terra cibus – Art, Food, Science – Caren Alpert

Artist Talk: Thursday, May 19 at 7pm, FREE

Exhibit Dates: May 7 – June 2

Location: Harvey Milk Photo Center, 50 Scott St., SF

Curator: Melissa Keesor, Director of Harvey Milk Photo Center

Gallery Hours:    T-Th 3–8:30pm & Sa 11am–4:30pm

Caren Alpert is a San Francisco-based fine art and commercial photographer. She specializes in food, travel, and lifestyle topics, and has taught editorial photography at Academy of Art University. Born in New York, and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Caren earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and graphic design from the University of Arizona. Caren started her career as a photo editor in New York working with titles such as Health and Money Magazines. In addition, she’s worked as an editor and researcher for Vogue, George, and for Miramax Films. Much of Caren’s commercial life centers around culinary topics; but, she is also a science geek at heart. As a result, she found a way to combine her three favorite topics: food, technology and art, by shooting food with an electron microscope. Caren’s fine art photography focuses on her examination of food, both visually and culturally.


My Life with Science, Art and Food

What’s in our food?

What’s the difference between a bird’s-eye view of a remote vegetable crop and a microscopic swath from a pineapple leaf? How distinct is a pile of table salt from miles and miles of icebergs? As a food lover and a photographer, I answer these questions visually. Using scientific laboratory photo equipment, I journey over the surfaces of both organic and processed foods: my own favorites and America’s over-indulgences. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food and consumers of food (all of us) as part of a larger eco-system than mere sustenance. This particular combination of science, photography and food has never been explored before. I am using equipment that is traditionally used for science and academic advancement for art. Turning that notion on its head is exhilarating for me. Connecting people and their food consumption is something that I hope to achieve by empowering viewers to reconsider how they think about their food, using art, rather than a plate and spoon. In this day and age when there’s so much rhetoric about food science, food journalism, food history, food how-to, what about a visual survey of what we all need, want and love (3-5/times/day)?



PHOTO Gallery, Oakland, CA, Feb 2014 – April 2014

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, September 2013 – November 2013

CitiGroup, NYC, NY, 9 Nov 2012 – 31 January 2013

Camerawork, Portland, OR, June – July, 2012

James Beard House, New York, NY, 2 November – 31 December, 2011


“Flavors of Photography”, Palette Gallery, San Francisco, 1 October – 28 November, 2020

“Chew”, Opalka Gallery, Albany, NY, 1 November – 20 December, 2019

“Seeing Red”, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland , 8 February – 8 March, 2018

“Nourish: Food as Sustenance and Pleasure”, Texas Woman’s University, 11 Feb – 13 March 2016

“COLLISION20: bilocate”, MIT/Boston CyberArts Gallery, 17 January, – 23 February, 2014

“Transformations”, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 3 December – 27 December, 2013

“Ecology of Food,” The Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery, SUNY Geneseo. 3 October – 10 December 2012

“Salon des Sens”, BarnDiva, Healdsburg, CA, 2 June – 12 June 2012

“botanic/organic”, Union St. Gallery, Chicago, IL, 29 February – 31 March, 2012

“Hetero Types”, Prairie Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, 12 November – 31 December, 2011

“You First”, The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Orange, CA, 1 October – 29 October, 2011

Food Photo Festival, Tarragona, Spain, 29 September – 2 October, 2011

“Food Con”, Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN, 2 September – 30 September, 2011

“Top 40 International Juried Exhibition”, LACDA, Los Angeles, CA, 9 June – 29 July, 2011


“Food: Exploring the Familiar” TEDx, San Jose, April 2012

“Creative Professional Series / Apple + APA”, San Francisco, July 2012


IPA/International Photography Awards, The Lucie Foundation 2012


“Curious Feast” Postcard Box, Princeton Architectural Press, April 2016

“Photoshop Spotlight” Series, Adobe, July 2013

“Good Food with Evan Kleiman” KCRW/NPR, Los Angeles, January 2013

“Edibles Up Close” Orion Magazine, May/June 2012

“TECH – E | Project” PDN (Photo District News), February 2012

“Start” Wired UK, January 2012

“The Food Seen” on Heritage Network Radio, January 3, 2012 (Episode #83)

“The Visualizer” Wall St. Journal December 2011

“Aperture” New Scientist Magazine, December 2011

“Get The Picture?” Food Network Magazine, November 2011

I Want You Magazine, #6, Seattle, 2011

“Click” San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco, September 2011

“Small World” Real Eats, New York, August 12, 2011

“Small portions” The Daily, New York, July 23, 2011

“Pictorial” Patek Philippe Magazine, London, Volume III Number 4, 2011


“An Electron Microscope Reveals……” Co. Design (Fast Company), 9 November 2012

“Artist Gets Up Close and Personal With Food” Design You Trust, 7 August 2011

“Eat At Your Own Risk” Pictory, 3 August 2011

“All This Useful Beauty” The Observer’s Very Short List; The Observer, 27 July 2011

“Picture of the Day: Our Food, Seen Through an 85x Microscope” The Atlantic, 26 July 2011

“Caren Alpert: My Life With Science, Art and Food” PDN: Photo District News, 22 July 2011

“Take a (Much, Much) Closer Look at Your Food” Bon Appétit, 20 July 2011

“Is That A Landscape Or A Fortune Cookie?” The Picture Show; NPR, 20 July 2011

“Microscope photography of food” Boing Boing, 19 July 2011

“Photo Set of the Day” The Daily What, 19 July 2011

Artist Profile, Lost at E Minor, 19 July 2011

“Behind the Curtain” Flavorpill, 18 July 2011

Artist Profile, Feature Shoot, 6 July 2011

PRICE LIST 2020 (unframed)

Edition of 15 11” X 14” $1,500

Edition of 5 20” X 28” $3,600

Edition of 5 36” X 48” $5,000

Edition of 3 42” x 60” $7,500 (plexi face mount)

To purchase please contact the photographer directly at caren@carenalpert.com, www.carenalpert.com