Kerry Skarbakka

Visual Arts, 2005

Kerry Skarbakka (1970) was born in Duluth, Minnesota. His performance-based photographic works depicting existential anxiety through the acts of falling, drowning and fighting have been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Haifa Museum of Art, Israel and The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Given the cover of notable publications as Aperture, The Missouri Review and Genti di Fotografia, his work has been featured in other publications including Afterimage, Art and America and ArtReview International. Along with Creative Capital, Skarbakka has received funding from the Seattle's 1 % Percent for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Additionally, he has appeared on live interviews on FOX, WGN, PBS and NBC’s Today Show. Skarbakka received his BA (Studio Art) from the University of Washington and his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Photography at Oregon State University.

Awards and Accomplishments

2016: Skarbakka's work from "Life Goes On" (performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago) is included in the group exhibition, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" at the Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Isreal (July 7, 2016 through Jan 22, 2017) 

2016: Skarbakka presents,"On the Brink," a solo exhibition curated from past and new works at the Fairbanks Gallery of Art, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

2015: Skarbakka's work is included in the group show, "Les Miserables" curated by Vincent Gille and the prisoners of the Centre Pénitentiaire Sud Francilien, through the Paris Musées et la maison de Victor Hugo. Paris, France.

2015: Kerry Skarbakka is given the cover of Gente di Fotografia: Quarterly Journal of Photographic Culture. 21st Year. No. 61. Modena, Italy.


Skarbakka presents his work in Creative Capital's IdeaFest 2014 panel Art at the Edge

2014: Skarbakka's work from his new series, "Conflicting Ideologies" is included in PREP SCHOOL: Prepper and Survivalist Ideologies and Utopian/Dystopian Visions at the Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles CA.


Skarbakka's Struggle to Right Oneself series is featured on CBS News and on Huffington Post, Wired, Slate and many other online outlets


Skarbakka presents Ten Years of Falling, a solo exhibition of selected works from his long term ongoing series The Struggle to Right Oneself at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

2013: Kerry Skarbakka is the Headliner Artist with a solo exhibition at the Vivacom Art Hall during the European Month of Photography in Sofia, Bulgaria.

2013: Kerry Skarbakka's work included in the Episode 12: "After the Photo," from "Photo: a history from behind the lens," a documentary film series by Stan Neumann and Juliette Garcias, co-produced by the Centre Pompidou.


Skarbakka recieves the 2011 Award for Teaching Excellence for CENTER in Santa Fe, New Mexico


Skarbakka is invited by the Corcoran Gallery of Art to create the first pieces for a new series based on the Stendhal Syndrome


Skarbakka presents Constructed Visions, a solo exhibition of selected work from his ongoing series The Struggle to Right Oneself atThe Hagedorn Foundation Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia

2009: Kerry Skarbakka appears live in an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show

2008: Skarbakka receives City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs commission for the Seattle Municipal Tower

2005: Skarbakka is finalist for BMW Prize at Paris Photo


Skarbakka is given the cover of Aperture Magazine, Volume 179. Additional works with an essay by Wayne Koestenbaum appear on pages 60-65


Skarbakka is invited to create new work, Life Goes On, during a performance/shoot at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago


Kerry Skarbakka is given his first major solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago