Meet the man behind the mural at Sept. 17 historical society meeting

A very small portion of the new downtown mural depicting LaPorte’s history and people.

The LaPorte County Historical Society will present “The Making of the Mural” and “The Present and Future of Downtown LaPorte” at its Sept. 17, 2019, meeting and potluck dinner at First Baptist Church, 908 Jefferson Ave., LaPorte. The public is welcome to attend. Reservations and a side dish are required for those wanting to attend the dinner. Reservations must be made no later than Friday, Sept. 13; email info@laportecountyhistory.org, call 219-324-6767 or stop in at the museum, 2405 Indiana Ave., LaPorte, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. A main dish and beverages will be provided. There is no admission fee. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.

Tom Torluemke, the artist painting the wall mural at the corner of Lincoln Way and Monroe Street, will speak about the development and process of creating the mural. And Bert Cook, Executive Director of the LaPorte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), will share insights about the most recent economic development successes in LaPorte and what’s in store for the future of LaPorte’s downtown development.
Tom Torluemke is an Indiana-based, contemporary American artist whose works include paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations in a variety of mediums. Torluemke’s work has been represented in more than 100 solo, curated and juried group shows, in addition to other projects, awards, grants, and commissions he has received. Torluemke began his teaching career at the North Shore Art League in Winnetka, IL, in 1984. From there he taught at his alma mater, The American Academy of Art, where he received his BFA in 1996. He then taught at The School of The Art Institute and at Valparaiso University. In 1998, Torluemke began to pursue public art projects and has completed numerous projects over the past decade including murals in Hammond, Hobart, Terre Haute and Indianapolis.

Bert Cook has worked in the economic development field for 14 years. He previously worked with the Portage Economic Development Corporation as its Executive Director and with the LaPorte County Economic Development Alliance as Retention and Expansion Coordinator. Cook has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Purdue North Central and has received development certificates from Ball State University and Purdue North Central. Currently, he sits on a number of boards and commissions including the LaPorte Urban Enterprise Association, the Regional Development Company, the LaPorte County Revolving Loan Fund, and the Northwest Indiana Forum’s Economic Development Committee.

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