Mar 17th 2023

Tom Torluemke: Fearsome Fable Tolerable Truth

@ Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts

540 S Lake St, Gary, IN 46403

Opening Friday, March 17th, from 6PM - 8PM

On view through Wednesday, December 31st

Opening Reception. Friday, March 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Includes cash bar and light refreshments.

Artist Talk. Sunday, March 26, 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Climate Follies: A Collection of Short Plays. Saturday, April 22, 6:00 – 8:00 pm


In the interactive installation, Fearsome Fable – Tolerable Truth, Indiana-based artist Tom Torluemke tells two distinct and contrasting stories of the earth’s future. Viewers are greeted by a contiguous mural of scenes depicting overpopulation and its resulting neglect and abuse of our natural resources. Three-dimensional silhouettes of anonymous victims and symbolic vultures representing greed and selfishness occupy the center of the exhibition. By physically engaging with and moving mural panels, gallery visitors can change the view from a dilapidated wasteland on one side – to the reverse side’s pastel imagery of a brighter and healthier tomorrow.

In these large-scale panels painted in a practical, representational style reminiscent of WPA muralists, Torluemke makes a powerful statement on the wasteful nature of our relationship with the earth and envisions what an alternate future could be if we chose to embrace it. Fearsome Fable – Tolerable Truth debuted in 2013 at Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. The Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts proudly presents this 10th-anniversary exhibition.

Tom Torluemke (born in Chicago, Illinois) is an Indiana-based, contemporary American artist. He is known for his powerful, no-holds-barred approach to subject matter relating to socio-political, ethical, and humanistic themes. His practice spans 40 years and includes works in painting, drawing, sculpture, and installations in various mediums.

Solo and group exhibition highlights include: “Fearsome Fable – Tolerable Truth” at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; “After Glow” at The Chicago Cultural Center; “The Inland See: Contemporary Art Around Lake Michigan,” curated by James Yood; “Critic’s Choice” at Jan Cicero Gallery in Chicago; “Present” at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago; “In the Company of Strangers” at the Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, Indiana; “Bounce” at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art in South Bend, Indiana; “Peace in the Arts” Baíhai International Peace Conference in San Francisco; “The Alabama Watercolor Society Exhibition” at the Birmingham Museum of Art; and the “In Indiana” series at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Torluemke was a featured speaker at TEDx PurdueU at Purdue University, a winner of the Great Ideas Competition of the Arts Council of Indianapolis with his project “Light The Way,”; and named a recipient of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship (Central Indiana Community Foundation).

Thirty public art commissions throughout the Midwest serve as a testament to the relevance and scope of Torluemke’s ideas and his ability to present them in a meaningful context within their communities.

Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts
540 S. Lake St.
Gary, IN 46403

Gallery Hours:
Tues – Sun 11 am – 2 pm
Closed Mondays

Official Website

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