Largely underrepresented in museums and galleries, “Snuggy Bear”, Dr. Jarrod Nicholas Dortch is part of a movement of Black artists and curators who are hosting exhibits and creating work that shines a light on Black culture. He has been affiliated with Big Car as a Community Artist and Gardener at the Tube Factory artspace. He is also a member of “The Eighteen” a collective of local artists who made history by painting the #BlackLivesMatter mural on historic Indiana Avenue in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Since this offering, he has been part of exhibitions and programs at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and The Indianapolis Art Center, curated “Art and Vinyl” an annual celebration of Black art and music for Big Car and has received several grants to create artworks throughout the city.
His work was displayed on downtown storefronts during the NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Tournament as part of #SWISH. Currently, his work can be seen in the “Art of Protest” exhibition at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Dortch serves as both a professor of communication and a business owner. He owns and operates Solful Gardens, a natural produce provider in Central Indiana that brings quality food access to urban areas that are underserved with an overall focus on food equity. He also has created “Snuggy Bear Presents’…” as a way to further disrupt the status quo of contemporary and fine art. With roots in art, community, and education, Snuggy Bear is leveraging these disciplines to help promote personal and communal growth one bespoke curation at a time.