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IU Northwest gallery reception on Nov. 1 to honor Dr. James Tolhuizen, former co-founder and Chair of the Department of Communication

Gallery exhibit features altars in recognition of the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos


Dia de Los Muertos altar featured at IU Northwest’s Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Christopher Sheid/IU Northwest Office of Marketing and Communications
Dia de Los Muertos altar featured at IU Northwest’s Gallery for Contemporary Art.

The Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) art exhibit in the Indiana University Northwest’s Gallery for Contemporary Art will come to a close following a joint reception and memorial service on Monday, Nov. 1 at noon. The memorial service will honor James Tolhuizen, Ph.D., former IU Northwest co-founder and Chair of the Department of Communication, who passed away on Friday, Oct. 1.

The event will open with brief remarks from Chancellor William Lowe, as well as other administrators, students, and a member of the Tolhuizen family.

The Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus, with whom Tolhuizen sang, as well as music instructor, Carole Miklos, will also perform at the event. 

Tolhuizen's teaching specialties included Interpersonal Communication, Human Communication Theory, Public Speaking, Persuasion, and Research Methods. He wrote about and researched interpersonal dating relationships, a topic that was of great interest to his students.

Dia de los Muertos is an ancient Mexican tradition in which, a few days prior to All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, celebrated on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, families and friends of the deceased create altars as a sign of reverence. The traditional belief is that the altars, decorated with the deceased’s favorite foods, drinks, and smells, will bring back the spirits and souls of their loved ones.

For the Dia de los Muertos exhibit, Gallery Director Ann Fritz asked local artists to create altars for public display in the IU Northwest Gallery for Contemporary Art. The altars, constructed by the living for the dead, include photographs, personal items, small sculptures and festive decorations, as well as various symbolic items.

The artists in the Dia de los Muertos exhibit include: Llee Heinsen of Winamac, Ind.; Deborah Landry of Porter; Suzanne Cohan-Lange of Chicago; Gordon Ligocki of Winamac, Ind.; Felix Maldonado of East Chicago; Ish Ismael Muhammad Nieves of Hammond; Eric Osborne of Lincolnshire, Ill.; Bill Pozzo of Valparaiso; Patrick Rodriguez of Gary; and Gene Whisler of Chesterton.

The current exhibit is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The mission of the IU Northwest Gallery for Contemporary Art is to present an innovative exhibition program that complements and enhances the university's academic offerings.

Exhibit art collections are for study and research, and are also meant to educate the university community, as well as the general public, about the forms and issues of contemporary and historic art from all cultures.

The Department of Fine Arts and the Department of Communication are co-sponsoring the combined event. 

The gallery is located in the Savannah Center neighboring the IU Northwest Book Store.

For more information, contact Gallery Director Ann Fritz at (219) 980-6891 or afritz@iun.edu.



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Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing & Communications
980-6536
ebanas@iun.edu

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing & Communications
980-6802
ccsheid@iun.edu

Related Links

IU Northwest mourns the loss of Associate Professor of Communication Jim Tolhuizen

IU Northwest gallery exhibit features altars in recognition of the Mexican tradition of Dia de Los Muertos


Additional Article Photos

IU Northwest File Photo
Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Jim Tolhuizen, Ph.D.