Purdue North Central 2015 Fall Enrollment

Purdue University North Central undergraduate students continue to enroll as full-time students as the fall 2015 semester opened with PNC students taking an average of 12.16 credit hours, with 75 percent of all PNC undergraduate students taking 12 or more credit hours. Students taking 12 or more credit hours are considered to be full-time students.

The PNC 2015 – 2016 academic year opened Monday, Aug. 24 with a 6,158 students enrolled. This is a slight drop from the 6,177 students enrolled in the fall semester of 2014.

Included in the 2015 fall enrollment are 3,059 core undergraduate students, 142 graduate students and 2,937 Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment students. The graduate student population includes 39 students in the Master’s of Business Administration program and 103 non-degree-seeking graduate students.

PNC has retained 76.71 percent of its students who were enrolled in spring semester classes.

This fall, PNC has 531 first-time, full-time students enrolled in its freshman class. These freshmen include 196 students, or 37 percent of the group, who earned Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment credits in high school. They entered PNC with an average of 11 credit hours and savings of nearly $3,000 in tuition by taking college courses in high school.

“The PNC students, faculty and staff all look forward to a productive academic year ahead. Students who attend PNC know they will receive a quality Purdue education and earn a Purdue degree that will play a key role in ensuring their future success,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “It is important to note that close to 34 percent of our students are enrolled in 15 or more credit hours per semester. If these students continue to earn 15 or more credit hours each semester, they will be on track to graduate in eight semesters, or four years. Students earning 12 credit hours each semester will graduate in 10 semesters, or five years.”

The average PNC undergraduate degree-seeking student is 24 years old. There are 2,404 males and 3,754 females enrolled. PNC has 2,233 students from Porter County and 1,616 students from LaPorte County.

This semester, there are a record 2,937 students taking 16,704 credit hours through the Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment program. This program allows high school students to earn both high school and Purdue University credits while they take classes in their high school during the regular school day. PNC offers Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment classes in 44 Northwest Indiana high schools.

“We work closely with our partner high schools to ensure the academic rigor of the dual credit courses and monitor the students’ learning outcomes,” said Dworkin. “We see that many of these highly motivated students commit themselves to earning a bachelor’s degree in three years so that they have a competitive edge as they enter the job market earlier than they may have otherwise, while saving a considerable amount of money on tuition, books and expenses.”

PNC and Calumet Faculty Complete Faculty Workshop

Twenty instructors from Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central recently completed a two-week intensive development program on first-year experience courses.

Participants heard presentations on a number of topics related to the success of beginning students, with an emphasis on low-income and first-generation students. The faculty members worked in small groups to develop a shared sense of the most important learning outcomes for first-year experience courses. Finally, they developed revised syllabi that incorporated these outcomes and presented each syllabus to the group.

Common ground was quickly established in discussing the ways in which entering students at both campuses are often in need of the room for reflection and exploration that a first-year experience course can provide. First-generation students in particular, who come from families and sometimes communities with limited experience of college, often have misconceptions. The group discussed the complexities of work-school balance, how students often do not see financial aid as a legitimate alternative to working more hours, or have trouble seeing homework and classes as equal in importance to their job. The group also served as a clearing-house for productive ways to connect with students, for them to work together and learn from each other.

The participants emerged with renewed enthusiasm and desire to apply the techniques and ideas from the workshop in their first-year experience courses. Follow-up surveys and focus groups will be used to measure the effect of the program and explore the idea of repeating it in the future.

The program was funded by a grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

The participating PNC faculty included Cynthia Zdanczyk, Heather Fielding, Anthony Sindone, Sarah White, Lindsay Gielda, Martha Garcia-Saenz, Jason Sarver, Vanessa Quinn, Debra Pratt and Pat Cannon.

The participating Calumet faculty included Gerardo Castillo, Chandramuli V. Chandramouli, Magesh Chandramouli, Lori Feldman, Catherine Gillotti, Barbara Mania-Farnell, Tom Mihail, Richard Rupp and Valencia L. Williams. The workshop organizing committee members were Beth Pellicciotti, Michael Lynn, Rex Morrow, John Rowan, José Peña, Karen Bishop-Morris, Linda Atkinson and Paul Hecht.

PNC Chancellor Signs Indiana Campus Compact Commitment


L-R: Indiana State University President Daniel Bradley, IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz, Indiana University Northwest Chancellor William Lowe, Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler, Anderson University President John Pistole, Indiana University East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe, Purdue North Central Chancellor James Dworkin, Indiana University Southeast Chancellor Ray Wallace. Photo credit: John R. Gentry Jr.

Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin was one of eight chancellors and presidents who recently signed the Indiana Campus Compact Presidential Commitment.

Indiana Campus Compact is a partnership between 42 Indiana college and university campuses dedicated to preparing college students to advance the public good in their communities. In total, 34 presidents and chancellors representing the 42 partner campuses will sign the commitment this year.

The Presidential Commitment pledges that each university will provide leadership and service to help advance the public good in local communities and across the state.

“Higher education has a tremendous ability to improve community life and educate students for civic and social responsibility,” said Dworkin. “Service learning, volunteerism and community service have become a very important part of a well-rounded college education.

“PNC students willingly give their time and talents to a number of worthwhile projects every year. This not only provides immeasurable benefit to our community, but helps students learn the self-fulfilling private good that comes from the experience of helping others. We’ve found that students who volunteer in their communities build a lifestyle of helping that stays with them throughout their adult lives.”

Indiana Campus Compact Executive Director J.R. Jamison noted that “Indiana Campus Compact works as an agent of change on behalf of its member campuses to advance citizenship and service as critical components of the higher learning experience connecting their intellectual growth, knowledge of their disciplines and vocations and their commitments to the greater good.”

The Presidential commitment declaration reads:

“As a partnership of presidents and chancellors from Indiana’s public and private colleges and universities, we agree to be an active collective that challenges all of higher education to continuously re-envision its role in and with the communities that we serve, for the public good.

“We will work as agents of change to advance citizenship and service as critical components of the higher learning experience, so that our students graduate as well-informed, engaged and productive members of society, who are fully enabled to provide leadership and service that advances the public good in their communities.

“It is through our compact that we agree to promote, support and advance the work of campus and community engagement in the dynamic environment of 21st-Century society.”

PNC Presents “The Zhou Brothers Exhibit”

Zhou BrothersThe Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series is currently featuring “The Zhou Brothers Exhibit,” a collection of paintings, sculptures and terragraphs, in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 02 in the building’s lower level. It is free and is open to the public and may be viewed by appointment only. The exhibit will be up through May, 2016.

This collection was recently donated to Purdue North Central by Dr. Eugene D. and Dorothy A. Van Hove, of Carmel, Ind.

The exhibit includes mixed media paintings, two sculptures and terragraphs displayed under glass. The terragraphs have been created using a process that utilizes sands from the Negev Desert to create dramatic textures. The sand is rinsed, neutralized and mixed with resins to permit flexibility and stability. The sand is coated with a translucent layer of ink to allow the sand to retain its natural color. The result is richly colored graphics of high-relief textures that cannot be achieved with screen printing. This group of terragraphs is reminiscent of ancient Chinese cave paintings.

The Zhou Brothers work as a unique collaborative, forming what critics have called “our most accomplished contemporary Chinese-American artists.” After surviving the Chinese Cultural Revolution, from 1966 to 1976, they were the first artists to exhibit abstract art in China. Zhou 1

Before leaving China in 1986, the brothers were nationally recognized contemporary artists with shows in the National Museum of Art, Beijing; the Museum of Art, Nanjing; the Shanghai Museum of Art; the Guiling Art Museum; and the Guanxi Art Museum in Nanning.

The brothers have achieved international acclaim with shows in the United States and Europe. Their work is in galleries and private collections around the globe.

The Zhou Brothers live and work in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. In 2004 they purchased an 87,000 square-foot former industrial building and transformed it into what is known today as the Zhou B Art Center. The Center provides studio and exhibition space for more than 50 artist residencies and their work. It hosts at least 10 exhibitions a year and has hosted and curated more than 160 major exhibitions in the past 10 years.

To schedule an appointment to view this exhibit or to obtain further information, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 219-785-5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.

PNC Faculty Member Named to National Board of Directors

Patrick_CannonDr. Patrick Cannon, academic director of the Purdue University North Central Concurrent Enrollment Program, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) as a member-at-large.

NACEP is the national accrediting body for Concurrent or Dual Credit programs across the United States.  NACEP members include more than 300 universities. NACEP sets the standards for determination of accredited concurrent enrollment programs.

Cannon currently serves on the NACEP Governmental Relations Committee. He will begin his two-year term of service with the board of directors on Oct. 27.

As a board member, Cannon will be directly involved in furthering the mission and standards of NACEP and will take an active role on various NACEP committees.

“I believe that my position on the Board of Directors of NACEP will afford me the opportunity to more closely examine other programs with an eye toward envisioning ways to improve our own program,” he said.

Cannon has been involved with the PNC Concurrent Enrollment Program since 2009, initially serving as the faculty liaison for the PNC Social Science Department. He and Sue Wilson, who previously served as the PNC director of School Partnerships, together formed the first PNC accreditation committee when they sought full accreditation of the PNC Concurrent Enrollment Program in 2011.

The PNC Concurrent Enrollment Program has grown tremendously since its inception. It started with one high school class and one high school teacher in one high school. PNC currently has one of the three largest programs in Indiana and is in partnership with more than 40 high schools with more than 300 instructors teaching more than 3,000 students.

Cannon believes his most important goal at PNC in the upcoming years will be ensuring rigor and quality in all Concurrent Enrollment sections that PNC offers.

PNC Presents “People and Places – Places and People”

The Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series will present the exhibit “People and Places – Places and People” featuring the work of photographer John Horwitz in the first floor, north study area of the PNC Technology Building. It is free and open to the public.

Building hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the school semester; otherwise the building is closed on Sunday.

Horowitz PR2The exhibit will feature “People and Places” through December, concentrating on photographs of cities and buildings. It will transition to “Places and People” in January and continue through May and features photographs of people.

Horwitz is the president of the Northern Indiana Artists Association, is director of the Washington Street Gallery and curator of City Market Studios and Gallery. His work has been included in exhibits that include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim, the Carnegie Center for the Arts, CBS TV in New York, the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City and many other galleries across the county.

He explained his inspiration for his work, “Before you look at the photographs there is a story that needs to be told about the pieces that are in front of you. We often see a final image and are struck by the color, light or texture of a world interpreted by the artist. It may be real, surreal, an abstraction or an impression. We compare it to the experience itself and decide if it is truth or beauty, brutal reality or unjustly critical. It is in this end result of a lifetime of learning and a continued quest for understanding that we stand and gaze at a photograph, canvas or sculpture and wonder what brought this work together as we see it.

“I have always been fascinated by the ability of photography to show minute detail and puzzled by those who are unable to see that it can also be a serenely soft media, not only hiding our faults but becoming a fantasy as well. This compelling dichotomy is an inspiration and completes all of my visions.190

“The camera is fully capable of exactly reproducing whatever is placed before it and anyone skilled in image enhancement would find scarce challenge in manipulating an image; but in what context should this or any other embellishment be done?

“I have always felt that photography has been used too often to simply document our lives and the inherent creativity of the medium has been overlooked or dismissed as ‘easy’ when compared to more traditional art forms. It is a process whose many practitioners debate form or content yet rarely achieve technical competence or aesthetic clarity. It is my desire to find a balance between these two cognitive contents and a deep and meaningful personal expression. In this context my work continues to evolve, encompassing abstract and formal ideation.”

For information about this exhibit or the Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 219-785-5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.

PNC Police Host Emergency Training For Area Police

PNC police training 2The Purdue University North Central Campus Police Department recently hosted an emergency preparedness training exercise that brought together police officers from nine area police agencies for in-depth, hands-on training in handling an active-shooter situation.

The exercise not only familiarized the PNC Campus Police officers and dispatchers with how to respond to an emergency of this type, but it brought together area police agencies that would likely be called should an emergency occur on the PNC campus. This not only provided much-needed training, but it introduced the police officers to one another as well as the PNC campus.

“One of the first questions that parents ask of a campus police officer is ‘how safe is your campus?’ ” said Terry Scherer, chief of the PNC campus police. “Parents and students want to know that the Purdue North Central campus is safe.”

A key to maintaining a safe and secure campus is being prepared should an emergency arise. This includes making sure that students, faculty, staff, guests, the police department and emergency responders all know how to react to the emergency situation.

PNC holds emergency preparedness drills each semester, practicing scenarios that include tornadoes, fires and a campus intruder, such as an active shooter.

But this is the first drill that allowed the police to actually train on campus for an active shooter situation. Scherer noted that between Aug. 20, 1982 and July 16, 2015, 572 victims died at the hands of active shooters, so the PNC Campus Police decided that a hands-on training session was needed.

The training took place on a recent Sunday to ensure that no students, faculty or staff were present so that the participating officers could move freely around campus.

PNC campus police training coordinators Sgt. Victor Santiago and Officer Vance Thompson worked with training officers from area police departments to develop the appropriate training for an emergency on the PNC campus. Training was customized for the large campus, its buildings and its population. Some of the specifics covered were room clearing; navigating stairways; navigating hallways safely to get to the shooter; negotiating during hostage taking and the final confrontation with the active shooter.

“We want everyone to be safe in a situation like this,” explained Santiago. “That is why it is important for all of us to have identical training, to all follow the same procedure and to be familiar with where to go and what to do.”

The drill was led by training instructors Delmar Vohs, of the LaPorte County police, Thomas Owens, of LaPorte City police; Simon Gresser and Nick Wardip, of the Hobart city police and Aaron Mullet and Tyler Brock, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers.

Their mission was to train, observe and evaluate each officer’s ability to respond, coordinate, communicate, tactically move and to neutralize the shooter.

They created a very realistic training situation, said Scherer. This allowed the officers to react as they would at the scene of an actual emergency.

“In a situation like this, you cannot let your guard down,” he said. “As police officers, we continue to train for emergency situations so that how we react becomes second nature. This training not only helped each individual officer, but it helped us as a group to know how we will to work together.”

Participating departments were the PNC Campus Police, Purdue University Calumet Campus Police, IU LaPorte Hospital Police Department; Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers; LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office; LaPorte City Police Department; Lake County Sheriff’s Department; Indiana State Police; Westville Police Department and LaPorte County Emergency Management.

Purdue North Central Welcomes New Faculty Members

Photos are available at http://www.pnc.edu/news/newsphotos-master/

Purdue University North Central welcomes its new full-time faculty members for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. They are:

        College of Science

Scott Bates – assistant professor of Biology. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Goshen College and his master’s and doctorate at Arizona State University. Most recently he served as assistant professor of Plant Pathology at University of Minnesota and Curator of Fungi at the Bell Museum of Natural History.

Julie Anna Blinder – continuing lecturer of Mathematics and Concurrent Enrollment Program liaison. Blinder holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Francis and a master’s degree from Chicago State University. She formerly taught mathematics at Ivy Tech Community College in Michigan City.

Marianne Curia – assistant professor of Nursing. She received her bachelor’s degree from Saint Xavier College; a master’s degree from Governors State University and a doctorate from Capella University. She was employed as a staff nurse at the University of Chicago and was an assistant professor of Nursing at University of St. Francis College.

Lindsay Gielda – assistant professor of Biology. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her doctorate from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  Previously, she was a visiting assistant professor of Biology at PNC.

Karen Hernes – visiting assistant professor of Nursing. She holds bachelor’s degrees from Huntington University and Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree from Valparaiso University, 2014. She was a clinical nursing instructor at Valparaiso University

Bir Kafle – assistant professor of Mathematics. Kafle was granted a bachelor’s degree at Tribhuvan University-Nepal; a master’s degree at Western Illinois University and doctorate at Louisiana State University. Most recently, Kafle was a visiting assistant professor of Mathematics at PNC.

Susitha Karunaratne – clinical assistant professor of Mathematics. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colombo and a master’s degree from Texas Tech University, 2004. Most recently he served as a continuing lecturer of Mathematics at PNC.

Jennifer Szabo – assistant professor of Nursing. She has her associate degree from Purdue University and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Valparaiso University. She was an administrative nursing supervisor at Porter Regional Hospital and clinical assistant professor of Nursing at Indiana University Northwest.

Annette Tomory – clinical assistant professor of Health Studies and coordinator of Concurrent Enrollment. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University. Most recently she served as a continuing lecturer of Chemistry at PNC.

College of Liberal Arts

Julie Brinson – clinical assistant professor of English and Concurrent Enrollment. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University and a master’s degree from Purdue University. She was a visiting scholar instructor at the University of Kentucky prior to coming to PNC.

Kimberly Brunt – clinical assistant professor of Psychology. Brunt has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s degree from Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School. She previously worked as a clinical psychologist at Porter Starke Services.

Mary Beth Fraser Connolly – continuing lecturer of History and Political Science and Concurrent Enrollment Program liaison. She earned a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University in 1992; a master’s degree from Binghamton University and a doctorate degree from The Catholic University of America. Most recently she was assistant director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts at Valparaiso University.

Ann Macker – continuing lecturer of Psychology and Concurrent Enrollment Program liaison. Macker has a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University and a master’s degree from Western Michigan University. She previously served as a limited-term lecturer of Social Science/Psychology at PNC and at Ivy Tech.

Robin Miller – visiting assistant professor of Social Work. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Anderson University and a master’s degree from Loyola University. She was a therapist and consultant of Robin Miller and Associates.

Christopher Moore – visiting assistant professor of Sociology. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, his master’s degree from the University of Iowa and his doctorate degree from the University of Georgia. Most recently he served as associate professor of Sociology at Lakeland College.

Pamela Saylor – continuing lecturer of Social Work. Saylor earned a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree from Indiana University. She previously was employed as a visiting assistant professor of Social Work at Valparaiso University.

College of Engineering and Technology

Yoonill Lee – assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea; a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a doctoral degree from the University of South Florida. Lee was most recently employed as a full-time senior instructor at ITT Technical Institute

Michael Ping – visiting assistant professor of Computer & Information Technology. He has his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University. He served as an associate faculty in Business/Information Technology at American National University; associate faculty in Computer Science and Informatics at Indiana University South Bend and associate faculty in Computer Information Systems at Lake Michigan College.

Wangling Yu – assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology. Yu holds a bachelor’s degree from East China University of Science and Technology, a master’s degree and doctorate degree from The City University of New York. He was a visiting assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology at PNC.

College of Business

Adrian James – assistant professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership. James earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree and doctorate from Texas A&M University and was an instructor for Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Vice Chancellor of Information Services named at Purdue Calumet/North Central

Vice Chancellor of Information Services named at Purdue Calumet/North Central

HAMMOND, Ind. and WESTVILLE, Ind. – An information technology veteran with 20 years of versatile experience in post-secondary education will join Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central as Vice Chancellor of Information Services Nov. 1.

Winders Tim 0815.jpegThe appointment of Tim Winders is announced by both campuses in anticipation of their emerging unification into Purdue University Northwest (PNW), subject to approval by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits both universities. The unification is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

Winders is Associate Dean of Information Technology at South Plains College, a junior college in the west Texas community of Levelland. He succeeds Sarah Howard, whose previously announced retirement becomes effective Oct. 15.

Extensive experience

Throughout his two decades with South Plains, Winders has led efforts to evaluate and invest in emerging technologies while leveraging limited budget and resources. This philosophy has created a technology-friendly atmosphere that has helped increase student enrollment and supports faculty, staff and student success.

In his new role, Winders will have overall responsibility and oversight for delivery and integration of information technology for both Northwest Indiana Purdue campuses. He also will be responsible for effective governance and policies related to access and use of the campuses’ information services and technology systems, as well as leadership and implementation of system-wide and regional campus IS strategic goals, strategies, policies and procedures. Additionally, he will provide leadership in preparing the campuses to make appropriate choices about new and developing information technologies to foster high quality research learning services that meet the curricular and scholarly needs of faculty, students, staff and community.

“Tim’s many years as a technology leader with hands-on experience in higher education technology management make him the right fit for this important role as our two campuses come together,” Purdue North Central Chancellor James B. Dworkin said. “We look forward to Tim’s ability to leverage our outstanding Information Services team’s talents to continue to improve the technology experience on both campuses for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

Technology advisor

Previous to joining South Plains, Winders gained significant experience in the information technology industry. He earned a master’s degree in Information Technology Management and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Johns Hopkins University. He also has earned multiple information technology certifications and awards, and he serves extensively as a technology advisor for business and K-12 educational partners in his community.

“I am humbled by the enthusiasm with which my appointment is being met, but I must admit to being equally elated,” Winders said. “When I heard the vision for the Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central family from the Chancellors, I was immediately drawn to their passion. I am eager to become part of the team that implements that vision.”

Retiring current VC

Retiring Vice Chancellor Howard has had an extensive career as both an information technology and higher education professional. Since joining Purdue Calumet in 2001, she has served in multiple leadership roles including Dean of Students, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and Interim Vice Chancellor for Information Services. She has been Vice Chancellor of Information Services for Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central since June 2014.

“Under Sarah’s leadership, the unification of the two campuses’ Information Services organization, processes, technology solutions and strategies to support student and faculty success has made significant progress in just the past year,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “Additionally, she has left her mark on the Calumet campus with significant enhancements to student services and student experience during her time here. We thank her for her considerable contributions.”

As the unified Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central, Purdue University Northwest would become the fifth largest public university in Indiana, enrolling approximately 16,000 students and offering more than 45 undergraduate and graduate programs of study on two vibrant campuses.


Wes Lukoshus
Asst. Vice Chancellor
Marketing & Communications
Purdue University Calumet
Campus: 219-989-2217
Other: 219-746-0440
E-mail: lukoshus@purduecal.edu

Carol Connelly
Media & Communication Services
Purdue University North Central


Tim Winders
Phone: 806-535-8707
E-mail: tim.winders@gmail.com

PNC Hosts “An Outsider Looks In” Painting, Sculpture Exhibit

Tom_Olesker1Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series is presenting the exhibit, “An Outsider Looks In,” by Thomas Olesker, a collection of mixed-media paintings and sculpture that will be on display through May in the PNC Library-Student-Faulty Building student lounge, Room 062. Building hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Library-Student-Faculty Building is closed on Sundays.

Olesker’s work of the past 40 years has been inspired by both the ancient and contemporary life of Mexico.  His use of applied materials – wood, string, paper and even toys – gives his work dimension and translates the materials into both a tactile and visual experience. Olesker was born and raised in Chicago and now lives in Mexico.

“The glorious thing about creating art in this wonderful country is that the inspiration can come from a shard of 1,000-year-old Hohokam pottery or from the old caballero selling mangos on the street yesterday,” explained Olesker. “The importance of the spirit-life imagery in Mexico’s artistic heritage has supplied me and countless other artists with enough inspiration for the next 1,000 years. I am fascinated with other cultures, especially the Huichol indigenous people of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico and the Mata Ortiz area near the Arizona/Mexico border. Looking at the images they use for sacred ceremonies and everyday life is an inspiration to me. They revere the natural world in all of its glory.”

Olesker’s work has been featured in shows at the Lubeznik Lakefront Fair, Michigan City; Outsiders Outside, Judith Racht Gallery, in Harbert, Mich.; Exhibiting Artist Galleria Uno, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Exhibiting Artist Galleria Dante, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

His commissioned art appears in private collections in Mexico, California, Oregon and Illinois.

To obtain further information about this exhibit or the Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 219-785-5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.