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September gallery exhibits at IU Northwest to focus on local artists, democracy

The Writing on the Wall’ exhibit gives students, visitors the chance to sound off on politics; ‘Fusion of the Arts’ features local artwork

The Galleries at Indiana University Northwest are bringing two exciting exhibits to campus in September.

“Democracy: The Writing on the Wall,” is a provocative, interactive exhibit that invites students and visitors to add their thoughts about democracy, graffiti-style, to large white panels that will be displayed with other panels from other IU campuses as part of a public art project that started off in Bloomington earlier this year. Thousands of statements, sayings, cartoons, and drawings have already been added to this innovative civic art project. Beginning Monday, Sept. 15, IU Northwest students and visitors from Northwest Indiana will have their opportunity to weigh in on what democracy means to them.

“Democracy: The Writing on the Wall” is a collaborative effort between Bloomington community artist Joe LaMantia, Betsy Stirratt, who is the artistic director of the IU School of Fine Arts (SoFA) Gallery in Bloomington, and Sherry Knighton-Schwandt from the IU Office of the Vice Provost for Research. It is a part of IU’s Moveable Feast of the Arts, which brings culturally significant exhibits to communities around Indiana.

LaMantia will be at the IU Northwest Savannah Gallery for Contemporary Art on Monday, Sept. 15, for an all-day reception for the exhibit. He will be available to take questions and explain the significance of the project both from a political standpoint and from an artistic perspective. One goal of “Democracy: The Writing on the Wall” is to highlight the social relevance and creative vibrancy of graffiti art. Another, of course, is to spur students to consider what democracy means to them.

For more information about “Democracy: The Writing on the Wall,” view a short documentary film about the exhibit at

The exhibit runs through Sept. 26.

Gallery hours in the Savannah Gallery are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekend viewings are available by appointment. The Savannah Center is located in the southeast corner of the main campus parking lot at 33rd Avenue and Broadway in Gary, Ind.

Also in September, as part of the third annual Regional Arts Summit sponsored by the IU Northwest Center for Regional Excellence (CRE), the CRE has collaborated with IU Northwest Galleries and South Shore Arts to bring together an eclectic collection of artworks from some of the most creative minds in Northwest Indiana. The exhibit, which is currently open to the public, will conclude with an evening reception and awards ceremony on Friday, Sept. 26, beginning at 6 p.m. in Gallery Northwest, located in Tamarack Hall at the west end of the main campus parking lot at 33rd Avenue and Broadway in Gary, Ind.

Gallery Northwest at Tamarack Hall is located right next to Theatre Northwest. Gallery hours are Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekend viewings are available by appointment.

The Summit itself will convene Friday, Oct. 17, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the IU Northwest Library Conference Center. This year’s theme is “Outreach and Advocacy: Adventures in Arts Education.” The Summit will feature morning discussion sessions and two guest speakers: Arnold Aprill, who is founding and creative director of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE); and Ra Joy, executive director of the Illinois Arts Alliance. The afternoon session will consist of a panel discussion on successful education partnerships, led by Towle Theatre managing director Jeff Casey, along with vocal, theatrical and dance performances from arts-grant recipients.

For more information on the third annual Regional Arts Summit, or to reserve a spot, contact Shari Pettis at South Shore Arts by calling (219) 836-1839, extension 100.

For more information on either of this month’s Galleries exhibits, contact Ann Fritz, IU Northwest gallery curator, at (219) 980-6891, or email her at Or, visit the Web at



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid

Michelle Searer

Related Links

Writing on the Wall: What is Democracy?

The Galleries at IU Northwest

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