Working out in the pasture for the "The Unchosen Ones" series in Isanti County and Benton County, Minnesota.

Working out in the pasture for the "The Unchosen Ones" series in Isanti County and Benton County, Minnesota.

R. J. Kern (b. 1978) is an American artist whose work explores ideas of home, ancestry, and a sense of place through the interaction of people, animals, and cultural landscapes.

His work has been exhibited in a number of notable exhibitions, including at the Museum of Modern Art (Tbilisi, Georgia), National Portrait Gallery (London, UK) and the Yixian International Photography Festival (Anhui, China) among others. 

Awards and accolades include CENTER 2017 Choice Award Winner, Curator's Choice (First Place), PDN's 30 2018, the 2017 TAYLOR WESSING Photographic Portrait Prize (Finalist), and he is the recipient of two Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board (2016, 2018).

Kern's work has been presented in a number of publications, including a feature in National Geographic (November 2017), with his series The Unchosen Ones and Out To Pasture. In 2018, Kern published his first monograph with Kehrer Verlag titled, The Sheep and the Goats, awarded one of  "The Most Beautiful German Books 2018,” by Stiftung Buchkunst.

Public collections holding his work include the Center for Creative Photography, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Plains Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He is represented by the Klompching Gallery in New York and Burnet Fine Art in Minnesota.

He lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018   The Unchosen Ones, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA (Oct 16 - Nov 2)

R. J. Kern, Burnet Fine Art, Wayzata, MN (July 12 - September 1)

R. J. Kern, Mirage Gallery, Kobe, Japan (June 16 - July 15)

R. J. Kern, Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (May 9 - June 30)

2017   The Sheep and the Goats, Yixian International Photography Festival, Anhui, China

The Unchosen Ones... Out To Pasture, Gallery 360, Minneapolis, MN

The Unchosen Ones... Out To Pasture, Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN

The Unchosen Ones, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson Hospital & Clinic Healing Arts, Hudson, WI

2015    Divine Animals: The Bovidae, Ecce Gallery, Fargo, ND

 Divine Animals: The Bovidae, Kaddatz Gallery, Fergus Falls, MN

2014    Divine Animals: The Bovidae, Sanford Health Roger Maris Cancer Center, Fargo, ND

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018

Triangulate, curated by Nathan Beard, Eivind Natvig, and Kirk Ke Wang. Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL (June 2018); Lofoten International Photo Festival, Kabelvåg and Reine, Norway (March 2019); and China (Fall 2019)

Love, Helsinki Photo Festival at Kalasatamanpuisto, juried by Iben Bach Elmstrøm, Rafael Rybczynski, Astrid Gjersøe Skåtterød, Charlie Fjätström, and Tor Ulstein. Helsinki, Finland. August 2018

Rokko Photographic Garden, curated by Takeki Sugiyama, Kobe, Japan

Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, St Paul, MN

Allegany National Photographic Exhibition, juried by Karen Irvine, Saville and Schwab Galleries, Cumberland, MD

31st Annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition, juried by Benjamin Hickey, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA 

Classic Photographs Los Angeles Art Fair, Bergamot Arts Center, Klompching Gallery Booth, Santa Monica, CA

2017  

Zenith: CENTER's 2017 International Photographic Award Winners, juried by Corey Keller (Curator of Photography, SF Museum of Modern Art), Marion Center for Photographic Arts, Santa Fe, NM. First Place

2017 International Juried Exhibition, juried by Philip Brookman (Consulting Curator, National Galley of Art, Washington, DC), Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA. Second Place

The Royal Photographic Society’s International Photography Exhibition 160, juried by Karin Bareman, Zelda Cheatle, Sian Davey, Ingrid Pollard, and Abbie Trayler-Smith. PHOTOBLOCK, Old Truman Brewery, London, England. Silver Medal

Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, juried by Clare Grafik, Dewi Lewis, Fiona Rogers, Fiona Shields, Gem Fletcher, Marloes Krijnen, Melissa DeWitt, and Simon Roberts, Getty Images Gallery, London, England. Finalist

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017, juried by Nicholas Cullinan, David Campany, Sabina Jaskot-Gill, Fiona Shields, Gillian Wearing, National Portrait Gallery, London, England. Finalist  (November 16, 2017 – February 8, 2018)

The FENCE: A Public Photography Exhibition Series juried by panel of 68, United Photo Industries in Boston, MA; Brooklyn, NY;  Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; Santa Fe, NM; Durham, NC; Denver, CO

Americana, juried by Darren Ching, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, CO

Wild Beasts, Sheep & Crocodiles, Kolga Tbilisi Photo 2017, curated by Tina Schelhorn, Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, juried by Areca Roe, St Paul, MN. Honorable Mention Photography

Roots and Wings, juried by Eric William Carroll, Silverwood Park Gallery, St. Anthony, MN

Revolution, The 58th Midwestern Invitational Exhibition, The Rourke Art Museum, Moorhead, MN

The Art of Giving, juried by Jason Restamayer, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND

Mind’s Eye, Daylighted digital exhibition as part of All About Photo Awards 2017, juried by Beatrice Chassepot, Julien Chatelin, James Dooley, Susan Dooley, Sandrine Hermand-Grisel, Ann Jastrab, Aline Smithson, Judy Walgren, and Sabine Weiss. Phoenix Hotel, San Francisco, CA

Arts North, juried by Curt Pederson, The American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, MN

Arts in Harmony International Juried Art Show, juried by Curt Pederson, Elk River Area Arts Alliance, Blaine, MN. First Place Photography

2016  

The FENCE: A Public Photography Exhibition Series juried by panel of 44, United Photo Industries in Boston, MA; Brooklyn, NY;  Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; Santa Fe, NM

Open Door Twelve, juried by Andrea Carlson, Rosalux Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

2016 International Juried Exhibition, juried by Linde B. Lehtinen, PhD, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA

PhotoMidwest 2016 Juried Exhibition, juried by Larry Fink, The Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI

National Juried Photography Competition and Exhibition, juried by Susie Morrill, David Turner, and Ron Jude, Emerald Art Center, Springfield, OR

Spirit: Made Here, juried by 22 artists and arts professionals, Hennepin Theater Trust, Minneapolis, MN

A Point of View: Contemporary Photography, juried by Mitra Abbaspour, Site: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

Paramount Juried Statewide Art Exhibition, juried by Rachel Daly, Paramount Center for the Arts, St. Cloud, MN

Apertures, juried by Amy Neill, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth, MA. Second Place

Fun House: Art of the Surreal, Fantastic and Bizarre, juried by Eve Biddle, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Tripping the Light Fantastic: Excellence in Photography, juried by Rowland Scherman, Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, MA

22nd Juried Show via Instagram juried by Paula Tognarelli and Iaritza Menjivar, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

ONWARD Compé '16, juried by Richard Renaldi, Project Basho Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Smörgåsbord, The New Bohemian Gallery at the Franklin Arts Center, Brainerd, MN

Menagerie: Animals in Art, juried by Robert Bowman, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Wayzata, MN

Gallery 360, selected works, Minneapolis, MN

Savage Arts Council 10th Annual Juried Art Competition & Show, juried by Cynthia Kath, Karen Gustafson, and Dan Noyes, Savage, MN

2015    

Gallery 360, selected works, Minneapolis, MN

Newvember, Ecce Gallery, Fargo, ND

Photo Op, juried by Robert Bowman, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Wayzata, MN

The Art of Giving Group Show, Altru Medical Center, Grand Forks, ND

Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition juried by Steve Ozone, St Paul, MN

2014

Newvember, Ecce Gallery in Fargo, ND

 

AWARDS AND GRANTS

2018  "The Most Beautiful German Books 2018,” by Stiftung Buchkunst

PDN’s 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch

Communication Arts 2018 Photo Annual, Award of Excellence, Category: Books

Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Grant, St. Paul, MN

Critical Mass Finalist "Top 200", Photolucida, Portland, OR

2017   CENTER Choice Award Winner, Curator’s Choice, Juror Corey Keller, First Place  

Review Santa Fe 100, CENTER, Santa Fe, NM

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, Finalist

2017 International Juried Exhibition, Center for Photographic Art, Juror Philip Brookman, Second Place

The Royal Photographic Society’s International Photography Exhibition 160, Silver Award

Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, Finalist

All About Photo Awards 2017: Mind’s EyeWinner and participant in Juror’s Merit Gallery

International Contemporary Art Competition 2017, Open Art Miami, Finalist

Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, juried by Areca Roe, St Paul, MN, Honorable Mention Photography

Arts in Harmony International Juried Art Show, Blaine, MN, First Place Photography

2016   Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Grant, St. Paul, MN

Critical Mass Finalist "Top 200", Photolucida, Portland, OR

ONWARD Compé '16, Project Basho Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, Finalist

Emerald Art Center, Springfield, OR, received Best in Show Award

Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, MA, received Juror Award

Cultural Center of Cape Cod, MA, received Second Place, Overall

Savage Arts Council 10th Annual Juried Art Competition & Show, received Honorable Mention

2015   Review Santa Fe 100, CENTER, Santa Fe, NM

2000    National Geographic Society, Geography Student Intern, Washington, DC

 Peter J. Gould Prize in Geography, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

 Class of 1997 Award, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

 

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Center for Creative Photography, Tuscon, AZ

Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

General Mills Art Collection, Minneapolis, MN

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

 

EDUCATION

2005    MA, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

2000    BA, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY