Celebrated Indiana public artist Tom Torluemke is signing up Eastern Iowans from all walks of life to have their portraits drawn Saturday through Monday (5/2-4), as part of a three-day drawing marathon. Torluemke will set up shop in the Firehouse Studio starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and draw people in 30-minutes sittings, literally until the sun goes down. He will repeat the same schedule Sunday and Monday, hoping to capture the likenesses of at least 30 people for incorporation into a large mural-size painting, “You Know…We’re All in This Together.”
Torluemke’s project is part of a week-long residency with Legion Arts, the non-profit that owns and operates CSPS Hall. A full exhibit of Torluemke’s work will open June 8 with an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The 8’x24’ mural-sized painting will be unveiled during the reception. The event is free and open to all.
“I want to draw people from all walks of life,” Torluemke said, “artists, politicians, community organizers, restaurant workers, high school students….just a cross section of the town.”
He will chat with subjects about their lives and viewpoints and then let those details inform the portraits and the larger work, which he will complete in the main CSPS gallery during the week.
This will be art literally inspired by the people it portrays. A divergent group of people and their views will be drawn into a single, cohesive work of art. In an increasingly contentious world, the artist says that’s a good thing.
Torluemke’s artwork–spanning painting, drawing, sculpture and installations–is celebrated for its honest, no-holds-barred approach to difficult subject matter and social issues. He is an advocate for the role of the arts in strengthening the social and civic bonds between people and their communities. Through multiple public art projects, he has successfully used the visual arts as a means to train diverse groups of people in life-affirming skills that allow them to realize their unique potential to improve society.
His lengthy solo and group show list includes over 100 exhibitions. In 2007, he received the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship. In 2008, he installed his epic mural, “The Book of Life,” at the Indianapolis Central Library. In 2007, he was commissioned by the Indianapolis Airport Authority to create two 1,000-square-foot terrazzo floor designs.
The residency is funded in part by the Visual Artists Network (VAN), a national network of visual artists, curators, and exhibitors providing opportunities and subsidy support for visual artists, nurturing the creation of experimental artwork, and supporting the touring of contemporary visual artists and their work.
WHAT: Acclaimed Indiana public artist Tom Torluemke will be drawing Eastern Iowans during a three-day portrait-drawing marathon that will culminate in an 8’x24’ mural-sized painting called “You Know…We’re All in This Together.” Local people signed up to be part of the project include Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (Sun late afternoon), Linn Country Supervisor Lu Barron (Sat. 9:30am), star realtor Kelly Bemus (Mon. 9 am), artists, a mailman, retired folks, high school students, an engaged couple and many more (see attached list for sign-up so far as of May 30)
WHERE: Firehouse Studio, CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
EXTRA: Tom will be working on the mural-sized painting June 5-8 in the CSPS Hall Main Gallery. The work will be unveiled at a June 8 reception at CSPS Hall.