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 the sense of place. He uses the photographic medium in multiple formats, utilizing both natural and artificial light to document the interaction of people, animals, and cultural landscapes.

In May 2017, Corey Keller, Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, selected Kern's project "The Unchosen Ones" as her Curator's Choice Award from CENTER. Later this year a portfolio of his work will be featured in the November 2017 issue of National Geographic.

Kern's work received critical acclaim through the 2017 Review Santa Fe and his work is apart of the public exhibition series, The FENCE, produced by United Photo Industries in both 2016 and 2017.  Kern was the recipient of a 2016 Artist Initiative Grant awarded by the Minnesota State Arts Board. 

He lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Download R. J. Kern Biography
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SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017   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 (Oct 4 - Jan 7, 2018)

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

2015    Divine Animals: The Bovidae, Kaddatz Gallery, Fergus Falls, MN

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

 

SELECTED TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2018   The Unchosen Ones, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, MA with Isa Leshko

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017  

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 – 4 February 4, 2018)

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

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, Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

Pop-Up Show, curated by Tina Schelhorn, Arles, France

Galerie Lichtblick, selected works, Cologne, Germany

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

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

Review Santa Fe 100, CENTER, Santa Fe, NM

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

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

Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, Finalist

All About Photo Awards 2017: Mind’s Eye, Winner 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, received Honorable Mention Photography

Arts in Harmony International Juried Art Show, Blaine, MN, received 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

 

COLLECTIONS

Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN

 

EDUCATION

2005    MA, Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

2000    BA, Art & Art History and Environmental Geography, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY