Kerns is an internationally-recognized painter and serves as director of the Williams Visual Arts Building, home to Lafayette’s studio arts program. The Williams Visual Arts Building is one of the leading high-tech facilities for art education and exhibitions in the nation. Through scholarly research projects, independent studies, and honors projects, Kerns has mentored more than 5,000 students.
He is currently collaborating with Chun Wai Liew, associate professor of computer science, on computational applications to visualization and emergent properties and with Elaine Reynolds, associate professor of biology, in studies about how the brain constructs what we see. His works are in numerous public and corporate collections. Kerns has served on museum boards and advised art-driven economic development projects.