Daris Jasper is a Chicago based curator who made his name as the founder and director of the contemporary arts gallery Artistic Jeanius in 2004, he is also noted, at the time, as being the youngest African American to own and operate a gallery in the Chicago Arts District. Primarily focused on representing emerging artists of color. Artistic Jeanius exhibited artists such as, Hebru Brantley, Max Sansing, Immy Mellin, Mario “Zore” Gonzalez, among many others. In 2009 after witnessing the financial struggle of many of Chicago’s most prominent arts organizations. Returned to school to receive his masters in increasing financial sustainability for nonprofit arts organizations and art education from Depaul University.
As a consultant, he has worked with prominent Chicago based clients including the Common Ground Foundation, a youth mentorship program established by Grammy and Oscar award winning artist, Common; Donda’s House Inc., a nonprofit founded by Kanye West and Che “Rhymefest” Smith, as well as KIPP Charter Schools in Chicago, helping to launch the school’s first ever official gallery in the Chicago Arts District. Jasper also continues to consult and freelance for contemporary fine art galleries in Chicago and Miami. Including curation, sponsorship, and marketing.
I Am We ‘s mission resonates with me because of the organization’s emphasis on storytelling. Everyone has a story that they can share, it is through our stories that we become connected to one another.