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2019 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Artwork

Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018 , by R. J. Kern, archival pigment print, 2019

Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018, by R. J. Kern, archival pigment print, 2019

About the Artwork

When the Minnesota State Fair contacted me about creating the commemorative art, I thought about the unique experience of how animals are chosen as “Supreme Champions” – the best of the best – and how this tradition honors the past and inspires the present. As the first photographer commissioned by the Minnesota State Fair, I wanted to create a portrait that pays homage to this legacy, highlights the spirit of competition, and documents champion livestock at a decisive moment in time and place at one of the most competitive and popular animal contests in the world. 

For this photograph, Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018, I created portraits of the top male and female open-class exhibition winners in the goat, swine, poultry, sheep, llama, rabbit, beef cattle, draft horse and stock dog categories. Moments after being awarded the title “Supreme Champion” in 2018, the animals were escorted to my photography studio on the fairgrounds (with safety a top priority, of course). After the 12 days of fun, I composited the portraits together to create the final print. Hidden in the artwork is a little surprise inspired by my children, ages 2 and 3, who love to “horse around.”

Drawing inspiration from the earliest animal contests that coincided with the first major exhibition of photography, at the 1851 World’s Fair in London, this photograph celebrates the hard work, pride and passion of animal competitors at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. 


R. J. Kern

Minneapolis, Minnesota

June 6, 2019


Detail #1. Supreme Champion Geese and Herding Dogs

Detail #1. Supreme Champion Geese and Herding Dogs

Detail #2. Supreme Champion Bull, “Making Bank”

Detail #2. Supreme Champion Bull, “Making Bank”

Check out this behind-the-scenes time-lapse in creating the 2019 Commemorative Art:


How to order

All images are available as archival limited editions. Each print is mounted on Dibond featuring signature label on verso and includes a certificate of authenticity. Printed under the direct supervision of the artist on Hahnemühle Photo Rag (308 gsm) paper with a matte finish. The archival inkjet prints ship mounted on Dibond, a rigid aluminum composite sheet that meets archival standards.

50% Retainer required to reserve print. Delivery date Nov 1, 2019 or sooner.

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Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018 by R. J. Kern, archival pigment print, 2019

Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018 by R. J. Kern, archival pigment print, 2019

LARGE

Edition of 3 + 1 AP

Image size: 36 x 86 inches

Sheet size: 40 x 90 inches

  • Print 1 priced at $6000

  • Print 2 priced at $7500

  • Print 3 priced at $10,000

  • AP priced upon request

50% non-refundable retainer for Large Size - Print Ed of 3 from the 2019 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Artwork created by R. J. Kern.

Edition:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

MEDIUM

Edition of 7 + 1 AP

Image size: 24 x 56 inches

Sheet size: 28 x 60 inches

  • Print 1 - Commemorative Artwork - SOLD

  • Print 2 priced at $4000 - SOLD

  • Print 3 priced at $4500

  • Print 4 priced at $5000

  • Print 6 priced at $5500

  • Print 7 priced at $6000

  • AP priced upon request

50% non-refundable retainer for Medium Size - Print Ed of 7 from the 2019 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Artwork created by R. J. Kern.

Edition:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Commemorative poster and Minnesota State Fair Foundation prints

The commemorative poster and a limited number of signed prints and other merchandise featuring the art are available for purchase at https://www.mnstatefair.org/commemorative-art/, and will also be available during the fair at State FairWear Gift Shops and Bargain Book and State Fair Poster Carts on the fairgrounds. Proceeds will support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation 501(c)(3) mission to preserve and improve State Fair buildings, fairgrounds and educational programs.