Jeff Kasper

J—KASPER


Jeff Kasper is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator. His research and creative activity focuses on public art and graphic design as social practice.

He prototypes pathways for support, processes for collaboration, and platforms for engagement through tools, social spaces, situations, and workshops.

His work explores anxiety, proximity, and care, in a variety of media, including, visual communications, text, audio tours, public participation, pedagogy, and contemplative dialogue.


Arts Organizing, Design, Facilitation

Kasper sustains an active career centering public programming, design, and facilitation for community engagement. This involves visual design and art direction, strategic planning, and development of programs for outreach, arts infrastructure, public pedagogy, wellbeing, disability culture, and artist services. 

Over the last decade, he has worked with numerous cultural, grassroots, and social planning organizations in New York City to realize over 300 projects with hundreds of artists and community members. He co founded Civic Art Lab with Laura Scherling in 2010. The platform brings together hundreds each year for hands-on workshops and sustainability initiatives.


Projects & Awards

Kasper is currently exhibiting a two public art commissions in New York City Parks with ArtBridge and Facebook Open Arts (2021-2022). His recent solo projects include Give & Take Care at Downtown Art and Boundary Objects at University of Massachusetts Herter Art Gallery. He also recently organized the series Access/Points: Approaches to Disability Arts at CUE Art Foundation, and participated in public programs exploring disability justice and the arts at the Brooklyn Museum, BRIC, and The 8th Floor. Kasper was awarded residencies from, The Umbrella Art Center, Art Beyond Sight, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.





Teaching & Engaged Scholarship

Kasper is Assistant Professor of Design at University of Massachusetts Amherst where he serves as the Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Art. He is currently a Faculty Fellow with the office of Civic Engagement & Service Learning.

He is the co-editor of More Art In The Public Eye available with Duke University Press. Kasper’s various contributions to socially-engaged art can be found in the books, Art As Social Action: The Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art (Skyhorse Press),  Futures Worth Preserving: Cultural Constructions of Nostalgia and Sustainability (Transcript Press), and Bridging Communities Through Socially Engaged Art (Routledge). 


Peer-Mentor

As a peer-mentor with New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Program in Social Practice and as Director of Engagement at More Art, he has supported the work of nearly 200 individual artists and activists.


Education & Training
 
His undergraduate and professional education merged design, public service, social science, and urban public space studies. He received a MFA from Queens College CUNY in social practice with distinctions in digital media and critical theory. Alongside his teaching, he is pursuing advanced research in trauma-informed practices for arts and learning.