John Early

b. 1978, Richmond, VA
Lives and works in St. Louis, MO 

John Early is a multidisciplinary visual artist whose site-based work explores the textures, layers, and histories of place. His recent work  addresses power structures of inequity, often in connection with sports and recreation. Over the past five years, his work has focused on spatial injustice in the recreational landscape of St. Louis’s public parks.

Since 2021, Early has collaborated with sports studies scholar Noah Cohan on Whereas Hoops, a project combining public scholarship, spatial interventions, and activism to address the absence of basketball courts in St. Louis’s Forest Park. In April 2022, Early’s essay about a basketball court in North St. Louis was included in the edited volume, The Material World of Modern Segregation: St. Louis in the Long Era of Ferguson

In addition to participating in public projects based in Chicago, St. Louis, and Florence, Italy, Early has exhibited widely across the Midwest and nationally. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and is a Faculty Affiliate at the University’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity.