La Porte's newest mural in Plaza 618 depicts the city's history as well as local icons on a 108-foot long wall, painted by Tom Torluemke. Staff photo by Amanda Haverstick
La Porte's newest mural in Plaza 618 depicts the city's history as well as local icons on a 108-foot long wall, painted by Tom Torluemke. Staff photo by Amanda Haverstick
La PORTE — The newest artistic addition to La Porte’s downtown will be celebrated in September with two activities open to the public.

Downtown La Porte will hold a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the city’s new mural in Plaza 618 on Sept. 11 at 4 p.m. Plaza 618 is located at the corner of Lincoln Way and Monroe Street.

The project, which has transformed Plaza 618’s 108-foot blank wall, began in June.

The Visual Arts Council of La Porte previously stated its members provided initial direction to the mural’s artist, Tom Torluemke, on possible themes, but ultimately Torluemke had creative control over what to depict and the story he wished to tell about La Porte.

In order to make his mural accurate, Torluemke spent months visiting locations such as the La Porte County Historical Society Museum for inspiration. He interviewed citizens of La Porte to hear their stories and reportedly viewed thousands of photos to lend deeper meaning to his depictions in the mural.

The La Porte County Historical Society will also offer two presentations, “The Making of the Mural” and “The Present and Future of Downtown La Porte,” at their Sept. 17 meeting and pot-luck dinner, which will be held at the First Baptist Church, 908 Jefferson, La Porte.

The general 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 Sept. 13. Please make reservations by contacting info@laportecountyhistory.org or 324-6767 or at the museum, 2405 Indiana Ave., La Porte. Museum hours are 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.

The program is two-fold, “The Making of the Mural” and “The Present and Future of Downtown La Porte.”

Torluemke will speak about the development and process of creating the mural.

Bert Cook, executive director of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), will share insights about the most recent economic development successes in La Porte and what’s in store for the future of La Porte’s downtown development.

Torluemke is an Indiana-based, contemporary American artist whose works include paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations in a variety of mediums.

His 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, Illinois 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.
© 2019 Herald Argus