ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Watermark art show features Minnesota’s rural youth

Photographer R.J. Kern follows up on the subjects of his 2016 project, "The Unchosen Ones."

123122.E.PRE.DavidWithSheepAndGrandpa.jpg
David with Sheep and Grandpa, Pastoral Study, 2020, is among the works to be exhibited in R.J. Kern's show "The Unchosen Ones: Portraits of An American Pastoral," Jan. 13-March 25, 2023 at the Watermark Art Center.
Contributed / Watermark Art Center
We are part of The Trust Project.

The Watermark Art Center presents images “capturing the dignity and wisdom of Minnesota’s rural youth,” Jan. 13 through March 25 in the Kaul Gallery.

Photographer R.J. Kern focuses his lens on his adopted home state of Minnesota, revisiting the subjects of his previous book “The Unchosen Ones.”

According to a news release, “The results are a series of poignant, thought-provoking images featured in a new book and exhibition, ‘The Unchosen Ones: Portraits of an American Pastoral.’”

An opening reception, gallery walk-through and book signing with the artist are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 20.

Kern’s 2020 exhibit, “The Unchosen Ones,” was based on his 2016 travels across Minnesota, visiting as many county fairs as he could and creating portraits of 4-H members and their animals. He intentionally focused on children who didn’t win.

ADVERTISEMENT

Four years later, Kern revisited the same young people on their farms, photographing and interviewing them to capture the changes and lessons learned in the meantime, as well as their advice, dreams and goals.

“Not being chosen for something has a valuable upside,” Kern said. “As I explored these young people’s doubts, fears and frustrations, I was heartened to learn of their ability to overcome adversity and rise to a challenge, whether it was self-imposed or one that life threw at them.”

The Watermark releases states, “Kern’s artwork explores ideas of home, ancestry and sense of place. The results are images that tap into the mindset of America’s agricultural youth, depicting a way of life fast disappearing in modern America – the small family farm.”

His work has been exhibited in Tbilisi, Georgia; London, UK; and Anhui, China, and has been featured in National Geographic, the BBC, PBS, PDN and the Royal Photographic Society Journal.

Watermark galleries are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Visit WatermarkArtCenter.org for more information. This activity is made possible through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
Bemidji-based grassroots organization Manidoo Ogitigaan is helping revitalize Native art forms and cultural knowledge.

Related Topics: WATERMARK ART CENTERART
Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What To Read Next
The royal couple was crowned during a school assembly on Jan. 30, followed by more spirit week festivities.
Deadline for submissions is March 29.
The winners will go on to perform at Section 6A competition Feb. 4 in Hawley.
Steven Parcell's "Dare to Live" is a treasure trove of information about cardiovascular health, including conventional and natural medicine.