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Art and Vinyl: Amber Zuri Keel, Kendia Lovelady, Harriet Watson

March 4, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - March 20, 2022 @ 6:00 pm

Snuggy Bear Presents “Art and Vinyl,” an exhibition featuring Amber Zuri Keel, Kendia Lovelady and Harriet Watson.
“For this exhibition I wanted to create comfort while stepping outside of who and what I am accustomed to,” says Dr. Dortch aka Snuggy Bear. “The artists were chosen based on their differing approaches as it pertains to medium, subject matter and artistic styles which represent the diversity of the Black woman who so often are subjected to the monolithic categorizations and restrictive boxes created by the mainstream media and the patriarchal society as a whole.”
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. 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.
About Amber Zuri Keel
Amber Zuri is an Indianapolis based artist. She was born in Indy and has spent most of her life in pursuit of understanding and honing her creative practices. Growing up with a mother who is also a painter, Amber was exposed to an endless flow of both materials and the encouragement to use them as she saw fit. Over the years she has devoted herself to developing her own relationship to painting in order to discover her own voice. Emotion is the driving force behind her work. By giving herself permission to create as freely as possible, she is able to feel more herself and more at peace in a chaotic world. This persistent effort has afforded her the opportunity to share her work at a number of local galleries.

“These pieces are the result of deliberate intention. They are an abstract contemplation on communication. In a world where the way one represents oneself has manifested as a form of social currency; communication has become a vital skill. For my part, the language I understand best is that of line, shape, and color. With this work I am attempting to communicate an ease of spirit. We have all had a tumultuous couple of years. The best and most profound message I could try to communicate with my work at this time, is to choose peace, for yourself. Whenever and wherever you can. Your attention is yours to pay to whomever and whatever you choose. For the moment, I choose peace.”

About Harriet Watson 

Watson was born in Indianapolis, IN on December 25, 1994. She was adopted 2 days later and grew up with her family in Greencastle, IN, and it was a rural community with little to no diversity. Harriet found difficulties being biracial in a mainly white town. Throughout her life, she has never been content being conventional and doing what society expects of a biracial female. She simply enjoys being Harriet. Many of her early works are self-portraits, depicting herself in different environments, often surrealist with vibrant colors, and using many different types of 2-D mediums. After spending two years at Ohio Wesleyan University studying art and psychology, and nearly two years at Herron School of Art and Design, Harriet finished her degree at Indiana University, Bloomington, with a BA in psychology in 2020.

Today, Harriet is a working artist and is an active member of The Eighteen. Harriet enjoys painting portraits with acrylics and draws inspiration from Black female artists from the 70s. Harriet was selected as the first-place winner of drawing and painting at the 2013 S.W.O.P.E Student Exhibition. In 2020, she was placed alongside 17 other Black artists from Indianapolis and painted the “A” in “Matter” on the #BlackLivesMatter mural on Indiana Avenue. 

About Kendia Lovelady

Lovelady is a 21 year old local Indy abstract artist. Painting since before she can remember, she made her official artist debut, “ In The Eye of Genesis” in March of 2020 at the Hoy Polloy Art Gallery located on the Neareast Side of Indianapolis. Since then she has taken a break from publishing her art after creating a life of her own, but don’t be mistaken she has never stopped creating. 6 months later she is now honored to be featured in Art and Vinyl 2022 presented by Snuggy Bear, where she hopes to inspire and connect with other creatives.

“I remember the day my father introduced me to the artwork of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was around the age of 11, and while looking over my latest piece he told me you could be the next Basquiat. I immediately asked who that was (they never spoke of him in any art class I ever attended) and he proceeded to show me some google images of his work. I vividly remember saying and I quote, “Those are scribbles and a kindergartner could draw that.” Now almost 11 years later I find myself being inspired religiously by the works of Basquiat. Inspired not only by his artwork, but his philosophies on life. Basquiat once said, “ I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” This quote represents everything I stand for as an artist today.

Initially once I started painting I would always have an idea of what I was going to paint and from that idea came a sketch. I knew what colors I would use and I stayed within the lines of my sketches, everything had to be clean and close to perfection. I created these unrealistic standards and expectations for myself that eventually drove me into a depressed creative block. Then one day I stopped thinking about art and started thinking about life. I put down the brushes, picked up some paint and just started splattering it. Before that moment I thought art had to be a certain way and once I realized it didn’t everything about my work changed for the better. I didn’t stop with just splattering paints, I did things that made me feel like a child again. I tried finger painting, with a creative twist of course, I painted my feet and stomped on canvases. Any and everything I thought would be enjoyable I tried. Eventually I’d pick back up the brush but not to create a predetermined idea, I drew inspiration from music, current events, and life experiences then I let the brush lead me. I stopped caring about making clean and precise art pieces because my art is just that, my art and there is no rule book to how to create. Ever since that day I made a promise to myself that I would only paint again if I made the experience just as fun and expressive as that one, and I have been doing so ever since.

 If there’s any message I want to get across with my story, it’s that there is no limit to creativity, think outside of the box and do whatever it is that brings you joy even if it’s just scribbles that a kindergartner could draw.”

With support from: SoIndy, Big Car Collaborative and the
Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated.


March 4, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
March 20, 2022 @ 6:00 pm


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2620 Shelby St,
Indianapolis, IN 46203 United States
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