The Unchosen Ones

Photographs by R.J. Kern

December 5, 2019 - February 22, 2020

Xcel Energy Gallery

R.J. Kern’s photographic works can be unsettling – somehow both surreal and direct, light-hearted yet regal – as well as undeniably beautiful. The works from his series, The Unchosen Ones, expose subtleties in the human condition and honor the effort of the animals (and their handlers) who came in last place at ten Minnesota county fairs in 2016. Kern’s work captures his subjects – their determination and attitude – with dignity and respect creating an empathetic stage for viewers. They also exhibit a mastery in the execution of lighting nuances and composition. The Unchosen Ones: Photographs by R.J. Kern presents ten works selected from the 65 final images from the series.

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. The series of portraits was supported by an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Kern’s work has been presented in a number of exhibitions and publications, including a feature in National Geographic (November 2017) about his series The Unchosen Ones and Out to Pasture.

R.J. Kern Artist Talk
Thursday, December 5, 6 PM • Free
Join us for a conversation with photographer R.J. Kern about his photographic practice and his series The Unchosen Ones.

  • R.J. Kern, Natalie and unnamed sheep, Mahnomen County Fair, Minnesota, 2016, Archival inkjet print.
  • R.J. Kern, Carolana and unnamed sheep, West Otter Tail County Fair, Minnesota, 2016. Archival inkjet print.

Ongoing Exhibitions

City Geode

Ongoing
City Geode
S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

City Geode, created and installed in May 2019 by students and Professor Josh Zeis from NDSU is the latest creation. In response to the work, the lead artists said, “What is a city? This City Geode incorporates many of the things that we thought a city needs; buildings, streets, electricity, drainage, and above all else, the human spirit.

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Bee in Flight

Ongoing
Bee in Flight

Community artist and school art teacher MeLissa Kossick, who guides youth classes at the Museum on art, gardens, and pollinators, has created an enchanting mosaic design in the Creativity Pathway in the Serkland Gallery called Bee in Flight.

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The North Dakota Mural

Ongoing
The North Dakota Mural

Drawing on his childhood memories of the Great Plains, he created a work that speaks to the wide open spaces, huge vistas, and ocean-like skies of the region.

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Fragile Preservation

Ongoing
Fragile Preservation
A Tallgrass Community

While the Tallgrass Prairie is a community made up of a great diversity of species, Fragile Preservation represents a selection of them.

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