Summer is fast approaching, and the Minnesota State Fair has unveiled this year's commemorative art piece for the 2019 State Fair!

The 2½-foot-by-5-foot piece by Minneapolis fine art photographer and artist R. J. Kern was presented publicly for the first time at the Fair Grounds Thursday, June 6. Titled "Supreme Champions," it pays homage to the "legacy" and "spirit of competition" of champion livestock.

In a press release from the State Fair, Kern says,

For this photograph, Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018, I created portraits of the top male and female open-class exhibition winners in the goat, swine, poultry, sheep, llama, rabbit, beef cattle, draft horse and stock dog categories. Moments after being awarded the title “Supreme Champion” in 2018, the animals were escorted to my photography studio on the fairgrounds (with safety as a top priority, of course). After the 12 days of fun, I composited the portraits together to create the final print.

Kern adds that a "little surprise" is hidden in the piece, inspired by his children who "love to 'horse around.'"

Kern's piece will be on display in the Fine Arts Center throughout the course of the Minnesota State Fair Aug. 22 through Labor Day, Sept. 2. It can also be viewed at mnstatefair.org/commemorative-art/.

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