Critical Mass 2019 Top 200

I’m honored to be among Photolucida’s Critical Mass 2019 Top 200. The group of fine-art photographers juried in this group celebrates the pursuit of creative photographic excellence while engaging new audiences. Stay tuned in October for the Top 50 list.

Supreme Champion Chicken Male / Female Pairing, 2018 Minnesota State Fair  from the series  The Best of the Best . Salt print over archival pigment print, 20 x 24 inch sheet size, Ed of 5 + 2 AP.

Supreme Champion Chicken Male / Female Pairing, 2018 Minnesota State Fair from the series The Best of the Best. Salt print over archival pigment print, 20 x 24 inch sheet size, Ed of 5 + 2 AP.

6th International Open Call, juried by Aline Smithson

The Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts announced the awards for the 6th International Open Call, juried by Aline Smithson (founder of LENSCRATCH). I am excited and honored to share Kol and Annabell, Anoka County Fair, Minnesota, 2016 from my series, The Unchosen Ones, received second place!

Looking through the names of the 74 photographers selected, I’m proud to be listed with these friends and colleagues. I’ve enjoyed getting to know these artists and their personal projects (and some even swapping prints, including 1st place winner Eric Kunsman for his print, 4th of July, 2014 – Palmyra, NY). The exhibition is on view through Friday, March 15th, 2019 and is free to the public.


Little known fact: I first visited RISD in Providence in 1994 and considered enrolling in their BFA program, as my high school teacher Ricker Winsor graduated there and worked with Harry Callahan). I decided to pursue a liberal arts degree at Colgate University, however, I am excited to exhibit work in the same small town that inspired many great photographers).

Critical Mass 2018 Top 50!

Thumbs up! I honored and humbled to be chosen for Critical Mass 2018 Top 50! I appreciate the support of Photolucida and the jurors for this oportunity to share my work. When I began this project, I never had sights on the critical-acclaim that would follow. I couldn’t have done this alone and appreciate the support mentors, my gallerists, and the trusting participants from “The Unchosen Ones” project, many who I reconnected with this summer, including Gabe at the MN State Fair two weeks ago.

>> See Critical Mass 2018 Top 50 winners here.


“The Great State of Minnesota” Award

The Executive Director of the Minnesota Citizen's for the Arts (MCA), Sheila Smith, selected me for the “Great State of Minnesota” Award at the 2018 Fine Arts Exhibition held at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, MN opening this week. I'm honored and humbled. When we met, I shared with her my enthusiasm for the art grants in Minnesota which have generously supported my fine-art career. MCA was the first independent organization to give a cash award to artists at the Minnesota State Fair that "honors an artist depicting Minnesota subject matter in a highly skillful way." I'm proud to grow roots in this great state!


The Most Beautiful German Books 2018

I’m honored to share my monograph “The Sheep and the Goats” has been awarded "The Most Beautiful German Books 2018,” by Stiftung Buchkunst, the most popular book prize in Germany. This competition dates to 1929, making it one of the industry's first competitions to award the “exemplary in design, conception, and workmanship” as awarded by an independent jury. The book will be shown on several exhibitions and fairs in Europe including the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Hei! (Wow!). 24 jurors, 9 juror days, over 900 submissions. The "most beautiful German books “ announced today! And my first monograph was one of them!

Hei! (Wow!). 24 jurors, 9 juror days, over 900 submissions. The "most beautiful German books “ announced today! And my first monograph was one of them!

The golden award sticker on "The Sheep and the Goats" monograph. Photo by Maximiliane Hüls  (designer).

The golden award sticker on "The Sheep and the Goats" monograph. Photo by Maximiliane Hüls  (designer).

For perspective, the "first jury" of the 2018 competition had 729 entries in total. Of those, 247 were narrowed down by the "second jury" to 247. Of these, 25 were awarded. 

“The Sheep and the Goats” published by Kehrer Verlag was among awarded in the Top 25. With introduction by Lisa Volpe, Associate Curator of Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; essay by George Slade; interview by Stuart Klipper. Designed by Kehrer Design (Maximiliane Hüls).

Commentary from the jury panel:

JUSTIFICATION FROM THE JURY: "Inside title literally"

"Many people are well aware of this indefinable feeling of coziness that sets in at the sight of a sheep. If that's the case, you can not always drive to the country for reassurance.Two full-page series of images now provide a remedy: one of sheep, one of goats. Sometimes in small groups, often as individual portraits, animals can be viewed patiently. The book starts in the middle, because the inside title actually stands between the two groups of pictures, and the shortened pages with explanatory texts form a natural fugue in the book block. 

The photographs are ideal pictures of real landscapes. The animals in it are among the oldest companions and beneficial partners of humans. Through the atmosphere of Arcadian innocence, one dreams of the primordial harmony of man and nature. It overlooks all too easily the extent of the millennia-long cultural achievements that have shaped such landscapes with goat hunger and sheep's wool. 

On the precise prints the animals appear as individuals, even as beings with personality. The scarce picture legend calls region and country, and: the name of the animal. Even if ironic tones are echoed in the photographic staging, she is serious in that she acknowledges the magical and long-lasting connection between the little ruminants and their habitat. Pan, the god of the shepherds, would greatly enjoy this volume."

The 25 finalists:


A perspective from the judging process: 

© Stiftung Buchkunst, Frankfurt am Main.

© Stiftung Buchkunst, Frankfurt am Main.

Communication Arts Award of Excellence 2018

"The Unchosen Ones" book received an Award of Excellence from Communication Arts magazine and will be featured in the 2018 Photo Annual issue on newsstands June 2018. In the editorial and advertising photography world, this is HUGE! I remember thumbing through back issues of Communication Arts in high school art classes looking for creative inspiration. I'm honored and humbled to have my work featured along of some of the best photographers in the world!  


CENTER Choice Award Winner, Curator’s Choice (FIRST PLACE)

I’m honored and humbled to have been chosen as the recipient of CENTER’s Curator’s Choice Award (First Place) juried by Corey Keller, Curator of Photography, SF Museum of Modern Art for my fine-art project, The Unchosen Ones. I’d like to thank the juror, Corey Kelly, and the Executive Director of CENTER, Laura Pressley, and the staff at CENTER for their support of the arts. Over 500 artists submitted work for consideration, many of which “didn’t win,” but deserve equal acknowledgement.


Corey Kelly’s juror statement reads (full text here):

I chose R.J. Kern as the first place winner, a series of posed portraits of children and their non-prize-winning goats. The question of what it means to be a victor certainly had new resonance this year, but for me the issues of winning or losing were far less pressing than the sensitivity of the portraits, both of the children and of the animals (two subjects notoriously difficult to photograph) and most essentially of their relationship to one another. The simple conceit of a uniform backdrop called attention to the act of photographing and also highlighted the differences in scale, attitude, and pose among the sitters, both human and hircine. I found the project beautifully seen and surprisingly tender.

Renaissance Photography Prize 2017 (Finalist)

The Unchosen Ones project is a Finalist in the Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, juried by Clare Grafik, Dewi Lewis, Fiona Rogers, Fiona Shields, Gem Fletcher, Marloes Krijnen, Melissa DeWitt, and Simon Roberts and will be exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery, London, England then will travel in 2018 to the following venues:

January 27 – March 10, 2018 Aberystwyth Arts Centre,
April 28 – June 9, 2018. The Civic, Barnsley,

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IPE Silver Award from the Royal Photographic Society

I’m honored my work from the series "The Unchosen Ones" garnered a Silver Award from the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) International Photography Exhibition, now touring around the UK. I thank RPS for their support!

Four award winners were been selected from thousands of entries from across the world by the panel: Karin Bareman, Curatorial Project Manager for Autograph ABP;Zelda Cheatle curator, editor, lecturer and consultant in photography; Ingrid Pollard, photographer, media artist and researcher; and photographers and former IPE exhibitors Abbie Trayler-Smith and Sian Davey .

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Held since 1854, the RPS hosts the longest running exhibition of its kind. Pictured is the exhibition at The Old Truman Brewery, London as part of Photoblock, a collection of exhibitions celebrating the best in contemporary and traditional photography.

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The award-winning images will also be exhibited in a group show at theprintspace gallery, London, in 2018.