J.B. (Jared) Nearsy grew up in rural southern Illinois. He studied art in southern California, and accounting and psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, graduating with high honors.

However, the majority of his learning came from outside of the university setting. Graffiti was introduced to him when it was still a folk culture, with knowledge passed down from artist to artist. He remains an advocate of the art form, and firmly believes that it is one of the most influential and pure contemporary art movements.

This broad education and range of experiences, along with incessant reading, drawing, and painting, has shaped his point of view. Each source of knowledge undoubtedly informs his current work, particularly his lessons learned from graffiti.

After a 6-year career in business interlaced with continuous art commissions, he now solely works as an artist. He has found that full-time creativity is a test of will, determination, innovation, imagination, and spirit, but also that a creative life also builds these same qualities in a person. Creating original works in a variety of disciplines, with hopes of communicating ideas about the world in which we live today, J.B. asks the viewer to participate in alternative dialogs and examine the ingrained purpose of every life.

Nearsy has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. He is represented by Houska Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Artist statement


My primary motivation is to expose the viewer to an honest interpretation of perseverance, achieved through resilience by way of positivity. Life puts many challenges in front of us, often to outcomes that we do not expect. Not to say we will always be happy, sure, or even steadfast, but that we must try. Without an attempt, there is no means to a bright result. When we make efforts to look at situations with humility and good nature, we inevitably wind up better for it. A positive outlook builds on itself, creating more positivity and positive outcomes.

These current bodies of work are the direct result of maintaining this optimism. At its deepest level, my art relates to seeing the good or purpose in events and others. In this light, my work is, as a whole, an artifact of examining how to remain hopeful throughout struggle. I bounce around this near-paradoxical but attainable outlook in varying ways — viewing hope as pertinent, though not easy, with an open mind and without judgment.



J.B. Nearsy

B. 1982, Illinois


Solo Exhibitions 

2019 (Yet to be titled), Parish Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2019 (Yet to be titled), The Hanger Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2018 Notations, Twisted Pair Gallery, DuQuoin, IL

2017 Environments, Houska Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2017 Neighborhoods, Concrete Ocean Art Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016 Dilations of Nostalgia, Serendipity Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2012 Sprayful Days, Vergette Gallery, Carbondale, IL

2012 Confluence and Cause, Art Alley Gallery, Carbondale, IL

2011 Everyday Elements, The Gallery Space, Murphysboro, IL

Group Exhibitions

2019  2nd Annual Street Art Sale, Link Auction Galleries, St. Louis, MO

2019  2019 Members Only Online Exhibition, International Society of Experimental

    Artists, iseaartexhibit.org2019 Urban, Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building, St.     

    Charles, MO

2018 Quadratfuß International Juried Exhibition 2018, Gallery 66, San Fidel, NM


2018 Symbolic, Art Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO

2018 Group Exhibition, Houska Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2017 International Society of Experimental Artists 26th Annual Juried Exhibition,     

    Big Arts Center for the Arts, Sanibel, FL
   *juried by Jade Dellinger, Director of Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (catalogue)

2017 Eclipse, Art Hack Day, @4240 Building, Cortex District, St. Louis, MO
   *installation in collaboration with Robin Rath

2017 Group Exhibition, Houska Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016 Ceramic Tile Juried Exhibition, Pewabic Art Center, Detroit, MI

2016 Superstars, Houska Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016 Bank of the Arts National Juried Exhibition, Craven Arts Council, New Bern,   


2016 33 May Juried Exhibition, Old Orchard Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016 Ruin and Revival Juried Exhibition, Framations Gallery, St. Charles, MO

2016 Art @Des Peres Hospital Exhibition, Des Peres Hospital, St. Louis, MO 


2016 Driven to Abstraction Juried Exhibition, Soulard Art Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016 Quadratfuß Juried Exhibition, NX² Gallery, Berlin, Germany (catalogue)

2015 The Small Show Juried Exhibition, Soulard Art Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2015 33 November Juried Exhibition, Old Orchard Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2015 Wine + Art, Centene Center for the Arts, St. Louis, MO

2015 Uprising, The Ready Room, St. Louis, MO

2015 Gallery Grand Opening, Clever Element Gallery, Carlsbad, CA

2015 Bold, The Ready Room, St. Louis, MO

2011 C4 Juried Exhibition, Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, IL 

    *juried/curated by Paul Ha, former director at the Contemporary Art Museum     

     St. Louis


2018 Second Place, Quadratfuß International Juried Exhibition 2018, Gallery 66,     

    San Fidel, NM (awarded two-week residency, forthcoming)

2016 Honorable Mention, Ruin and Revival Juried Exhibition, Framations Gallery,  

    St. Charles, MO

Gallery Affiliation

Houska Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Institutional Collections

Angad Arts Hotel, St. Louis, MO

Private Collections


Atlanta, GA

Denver, CO

Austin, TX

Ladue, MO

St. Louis, MO

Chicago, IL

Carbondale, IL

Murphysboro, IL

Ft. Myers, FL

Colorado Springs, CO



2017 Corporate Art Commission, color selection and application of 86 new  

    productcolor possibilities, Bloxels, St. Louis, MO

2010 - Present Private Commissions; various collectors, corporations, and 


Professional Organizations

International Society of Experimental Artists

Community Involvement

Volunteer and Teacher, World Pediatric Project

Volunteer, Little Bit of Haven, temporary medical housing

Ongoing artwork donations to charities and charitable auctions


Life at Southern. “Social House Mural Time Lapse.” YouTube. YouTube, 2 July 2015. Web. 19 October 2015

Series-specific artist statements available on request.


Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know about new work and upcoming shows.