John D. Freyer

John Freyer is an artist, author and educator based in Richmond Virginia. His projects include All My Life for Sale, Big Boy, Live IKEA, Free Ice Water, and Free Hot Coffee Freyer is an Associate Professor of Cross Disciplinary Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. Freyer’s practice engages accidental audiences in galleries, museums, and public spaces. He explores the role of everyday, personal objects in our lives – as commodities, fetishes, and totems and investigates how the circulation of objects and stories enrich social ties between individuals and groups. He earned his B.A. from Hamilton College and M.A. & M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, The Sunday London Times, Artforum, Print Magazine and NBC’s The Today Show. Freyer is a Fulbright Scholar, a Macdowell Colony Fellow and was an Artist in Residence at Light Work and the Fannon Center, Doha, Qatar. Freyer has brought his social practice projects – Free Ice Water and Free Hot Coffee to the TEDx stage, has exhibited at Mixed Greens Gallery in New York, the Liverpool Biennial Fringe in Liverpool, UK and was a 2018 Tate Exchange Associate at Tate Modern, London. .



Tate Exchange Associate Artist - Tate Modern, London, UK - Invited to participate in the second year of new Tate Exchange Program. Freyer will host a new iteration of his Fifty/Fifty projects. VCUarts will be the first non-UK institution to be included in the program and John Freyer will be the first Tate Exchange Associate from the USA. (Spring 2018)

2017 - 2018

This is a PASSWORD protected work in progress film, commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, for inclusion in an upcoming exhibition in 2018. Although the film is a work in progress, the picture is locked and the color is timed. The sound mix is still incomplete. The film is a reenactment of an event that took place on May 25th, 2013. The Actors are the co-creators of the project and play themselves four years prior. (PASSWORD is available via Request)

New Dominion - Mixed Greens Gallery - NYC - 2015


#Exstrange eBay Archive Project - Online exhibition Curated by Rebekah Modrak and Marialaura Ghidini.

From the site:

#exstrange was a live exhibition project that used the online marketplace eBay as a site of curatorial operation, artistic production and cultural exchange; a project that operated within the geographical boundaries enabled by the commercial platform the curators, Marialaura Ghidini and Rebekah Modrak, appropriated—the various ‘national’ eBay sites.

The Brink

15-21 Parr Street, Liverpool, L1 4JN

American Artist, John D. Freyer brings Fifty/Fifty, his collection of interdisciplinary, social practice art projects to the Liverpool Biennial Fringe. Freyer will host three public events at The Brink; FREE ICE WATER, FREE HOT COFFEE, and FREE HOT SUPPER. Freyer’s projects create a space for individuals, groups, and communities to have meaningful conversations about addiction and recovery. All events are open to the public.


Artist in Residence, Fanoon Center for Print Media Research, Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, Doha.

Free Ice Water, Performance, Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar , Doha, Qatar.


Jack and the Bag of Death, Featured Radio Story,, Woods Hole, MA. June, 7, 2016

2016 - Fifty/Fifty - Solo Exhibition

1780 Gallery - Richmond, VA

Artfulness Online Workshop

My practice served as an introduction to an Art/Mindfulness project call Artfulness, created by Molly Ransone from the VCU ALT Lab. I also created a photography activity based on my Fulbright Fellowship - IKEA Research in Stockholm Sweden.


Light Work, Artist in Residence, Syracuse University. The Light Work Artist in Residence program is the longest running photography specific residency program in the country. They support approximately twelve artists annually for month long residencies with 24 hour facilities access, an apartment and stipend.

2013, Installation/Performance with Dr Johan Lindquist, IKEA Tampines, Singapore. Part research, part performance, part exhibition, was a continuation of prior ethnographic research into IKEA by John Freyer & Johan Lindquist. After co­opting and transforming one of the model apartments in the store into a live/work photographic studio, Freyer and Lindquist lived for three days in the store and conducted interviews and made photographs of IKEA customers.


Dress Up, Urban Video Project, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. The Urban Video Project is a curated month long exhibition of moving image work, projected on the exterior of the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Dress Up is a three panel HD video project.


Fulbright Research Fellowship to Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. The Fulbright Research Fellowship is a highly competitive international scholar exchange program sponsored by the US State Department. The award supported my interdisciplinary collaboration with Social Anthropologist Johan Lindquist from Stockholm University.