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From Fair to Field

Throughout history, people and domesticated animals have shared a strong bond. American photographer R.J. Kern captures this complex relationship in The Unchosen Ones and Out to Pasture. In county fairs across Minnesota, young handlers bring their animals for the chance to proceed to the Minnesota State Fair, one of the largest in the country. The Unchosen Ones features contestants who placed second, third, or not at all. Kern asked each subject to show him what next year’s Grand Champion will look like. For a later project, Out to Pasture, Kern traveled the state to photograph these same animals at home on the farm, allowing a glimpse into the landscape that shapes them.

The Unchosen Ones

Josilin and Escape, Benton County

Natalie and Sheep, 2016 Mahnomen County Fair

Gigi and Reba, 2016 Freeborn County Fair.

Rylee and Nelly, 2016 Clay County Fair.

Out to Pasture

Photography by R.J. Kern.

Madeline Upson

A longtime lover of cheese and wine nights, Madeline finally gets to use her love of cheese in an actual job as Editorial Assistant at Culture Magazine. She lives in Boston.

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