J. B. Nearsy


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 movement, 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.

His 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.

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