R. J. Kern

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R. J. Kern 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.

Selected Exhibitions


Watermark Art Center, Bemidji, MN

Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND
Burnet Fine Art & Advisory, Wayzata, MN

The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA
Burnet Fine Art & Advisory, Wayzata, MN
Mirage Gallery, Kobe, Japan
Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Yixian International Photography Festival, Anhui, China
Gallery 360, Minneapolis, MN
Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN
The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson Hospital & Clinic Healing Arts, Hudson, WI

Ecce Gallery, Fargo, ND
Kaddatz Gallery, Fergus Falls, MN

Sanford Health Roger Maris Cancer Center, Fargo, ND


Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

Center for Creative Photography, Tuscon, AZ

Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY

Fidelity Corporate Art Collection, Boston, MA

Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL

General Mills Corporate Collection, Minneapolis, MN

Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA

Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL

Awards and accolades include PDN’s 30 2018, Critical Mass 2018 Top 50, CENTER 2017 Choice Award Winner (Curator’s Choice, First Place), the 2017 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (Finalist), and three Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board (2016, 2018, 2020). He was the Commemorative Artist for the 2019 Minnesota State Fair.

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. 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 and awarded Bronze by the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2018-19.