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Uncle Freddy’s Closes

The only institution in Northwest Indiana supporting the cultural life of visual artists is closing its doors on April 30th. That is not meant as a slap to The South Shore Arts or any of the Universities in the region. It is just the nature of how creative cultures live – on the pulse of life and not the structure and wealth of institutions. Since 2002 Tom Torluemke and Linda Dorman have worked where artist congregate, move and interact with their surroundings, and in “Uncle Freddy’s” they created a place where those activities could thrive. 

Uncle Freddy’s rocky history in Hammond and then moving to Highland is only one example of how artistic visions and talents are battered about in the region. This is occurring under the noises of regional leaders who are hugely invested in institutions and annually proclaim that the ARTS are strong in Northwest Indiana at dinner events at the South Shore Arts and Chamber of Commerce, and breakfast events at the Quality of Life Council and university conferences. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there is extraordinary talent here, but no sustaining PLACES for that talent to interact and grow. 


Tom has been instrumental in the lives of so many young and mature artists in the region, from the East Chicago graffiti art scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, to the great mural art throughout the region and opening the substation in Hammond.


Although I have only begun to show my work again, I am terribly sorry to see them close. I know they will continue to serve the community and produce new spaces with life. Thank you allowing me to trip into this space.  Take care…

Categories: General Arts
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