public commissions

The Delight Of Accomplishment, 2012
2 murals, 30 x 135' each
acrylic on brick
City of West Lafayette, IN
308 - 314 W. State Street

Everyone has a dream. No matter how small or large, everyone has a dream.. It is these dreams and the work we do to actualize them that fills our lives with a sense of meaning and a purpose and with a sense of accomplishment. West Lafayette is an important city in the state of Indiana, a place where people come to actualize their dreams. It is whith this in mind that I propose this piece.





In October 2011,Tom painted a mural for the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis as part of the The 46 for XLVI program. 46 for XLVI was created to elevate the arts and culture of the City in preparation for Super Bowl XLVI. The mural is the largest mural Tom has painted to date, 5,000 square feet and 355 feet long. The mural is painted on an underpass wall between the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium (at South and Capitol).


In my research for this project, I came across a couple of quotes that each expressed in their own way, what I was thinking of painting for the mural. One is by Albert Einstein, “I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and mind.” The other is by Booker T. Washington, “There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.”

The mural design depicts and celebrates a variety of simple pleasures in a modern, graphic, 19-panel mural. Exploring hobbies, pastimes, games and activities that can bring happiness, health and well-being to participants either alone and/or with friends and family, the imagery creates a reminder to slow down and enjoy the simple, precious pleasures life has to offer.


3 of 19 images from the forthcoming mural project, Simple Pleasures


Togetherness, 2011- Centennial Park, Munster, IN
12 x 15 x 6'
3/4" steel painted






Reaching for the Stars will consist of 5 identical sculptures installed in a circle, located in front of student housing. The idea for the sculpture is to create a place for students to congregate. The bottom hands of the sculptures are designed as seating. In the center of the circle will be additional tables with seating.

Fabrication Process: A life size model will be made using wood, masonite and foam. All edges will be smooth and rounded in the same fashion as the maquette. Molds will be made from the life size model from which the final castings will be made. Identical steel skeleton structures will be molded into each of the final casted sculptures for structural support. The castings will have the selected color/pattern cast directly into them with fiberglass. This process protects the piece from having colors that can be scratched off. A final, glossy, automotive grade, UV protective coating will be applied to each of the sculptures.

Fabricated by Artists, Inc., Chicago, IL




We Care, 2010
Client - Community Hospital Netweok Foundation
Location - , South Campus, Indianapolis , IN
Medium -stained native grown birch plywood
We Care - This mobile installation is comprised of symbols that represent health, healing, nature and positive ideas, joined together and floating effortlessly in the entry vestibule of the Emergency Room visitor entrance.




Carl Becker and Son, ltd - 2009


The Luthier is a triptych made of acrylic on canvas, commissioned by Becker & Son, ltd to celebrate the artistry, quality and lineage of the Becker family and Becker violins.

In 2009, Tom worked on an interior design project for Carl Becker & Son, ltd, violin makers. He desinged and fabricated the relief wainscoting for the reception area and made two commissioned paintings. Above, Brusk, acrylic on canvas. Below, The Luthier, acrylic on canvas





Book of Life, The people we know, the experiences we have and the conditions under which we live, 2008
Client - The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation
Location - Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library
Size: 8 x 128'
Medium - acrylic on canvas
Concept - This mural was inspired by the novel The Magnificent Ambersons, written by author Booth Tarkington who won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel in 1919 . This mural was loosely inspired by the novel in that it chronicles the social and economic development of Indianapolis, the lives of some of the prominent citizens in that city and their families, and many of the trials and tribulations experienced by these people.  It has always been my hope that after I created this mural, viewers could identify images and events in it that in significant ways parallel the happenings in our own time.  Perhaps viewers could then gain some food for thought as they go into the future.





Light The Way - winner of 2007-08 The Great Ideas Competition of the Arts Council of Indianapolis
Client - Arts Council of IndianapolisCommunity Partners - King Park Area Development Corporation, Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis Parks & Recreation
Dates: Friday, September 5 & November 7, 2008 (Community Barrel Drilling Days) Thursday, December 4, 2008 (Caroling Event)
Location - King Park, 1702 N. Broadway, Indianapolis, IN
Medium - Installation of 100 community made luminaries, made from 55 gallon barrels
Background: Indianapolis would witness a historic moment in the Civil Rights Movement. On April 4, 1968, while en route to a presidential campaign rally in Indianapolis, Robert F. Kennedy would learn of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., which occurred earlier that day. Kennedy would later deliver an impromptu speech on race reconciliation to a mostly African-American crowd in a poor inner city Indianapolis neighborhood. While rioting broke out in cities across the United States following the news of King's assassination, Indianapolis was the only major city where rioting did not occur.Purpose of Project: Light the Way will reach out and embrace the Kennedy-King neighborhood, utilizing Kennedy-King Park as the center of interest for the project where residents will design and create luminaries that will fill the park. The luminaries are meant to represent the symbolic nucleus for bringing people together for uplifting, life-affirming events. The events will celebrate a topic of the resident's choice and will culminate in the "Lighting of the Luminaries" event, symbolic of affirmation, initiative, and gratitude.




The Glory of Sports in Indianapolis, 2008
Client - Indianapolis Airport Authority & Blackburn Architects
Location - New Indianapolis International Airport
Scale   - 900 sq.ft.
Medium - Terrazzo
Crew - Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co., Inc
Concept - The Glory of Sports in Indianapolis celebrates Indianapolis as the amateur sports capital of the United States.   The piece represents sports in symbolic forms. Athlete Versus Self- Strength, Athlete Versus Athlete - Man and Mind, Athlete and Implement - Agility, Athlete Versus Time - Endurance, Athlete and Machine - Indianapolis 500




A Work of Heart , 2008
Client - Indianapolis Airport Authority & Blackburn Architects
Location - New Indianapolis International Airport
Scale - 900 sq.ft.
Medium - Terrazzo
Crew - Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co, Inc
Concept - A Work of Heart is a design made of 3 interlocking hearts, inspired by two primary sources. The first source is a book written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900-1944) entitled The Little Prince. The author/artist was an aviator who, through his flying experiences, was better able to understand the mysteries of life.   The second source is a song written by Paul Dresser (1859-1906) in 1913 entitled On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away.

Each of the three circles in the design has a sub-theme based on these two sources Life, Love, and the Little Prince; The Moonlight is Fair Tonight and The Fire Within Us All.



Teaching The Young To Fly, 2008    
Client - Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Location - Booker T. Washington Community Center, Terre Haute, IN
Scale - 18 x 54 ft.
Medium - acrylic paint
Assitant - Jim McKern
Concept - Torluemke's design is rich with references to history and key human concerns, woven together in a fanciful tableau that engages viewers' imaginations and lifts their spirits through their examination and interpretation of the many poetic juxtapositions and transformations that take place within the picture.

His urge for humanity to be equally attentive to the mind and heart, and to communicate this message to the children who, with their talents and energies are able to lead the world into an exciting future, is timely and vital, especially when conveyed through such a symphony of color, scale, allusion, imagery, and overall formal invention. (Excerpt from Essay by Gregg Hertzlieb)





Jesus Speaks To The Children, 2007
Location: Andrean High School, 5959 Broadway Avenue, Merrillville, IN
Size: 12' x 25' 10"
Materials: 120,000 porcelain tile pieces, 19 Durock cement boards, Kerabond cement mortar, Keralastic acrylic additive, TEC sanded grout, TEC acrylic additive.
Sponsors: Mr. & Mrs. Michael Back & Family
Assistants: Marty Garcia, Brandon Vezmar & Linda Dorman
Apprentice: Jon Merritt
Volunteers: Jason Jones, Neil Gainer, Steven Weber & Toni Rivera
Working Hours: 2,000



The Hugging Wall , 1998
Client - NiSource, Merrillville, IN
Location - Substation No. 9, Hammond, IN
Scale - 38 x 70 ft.
Medium - Deka Sign Enamel
Project time - six weeks
Concept - The Hugging Wall tells the story of many different people, young and old, living in an intense urban industrial area. Trying to survive by sheer faith and the strength of love they feel for each other.


History of Hobart's Economic Development , 1999
Client - Hobart Economic Development Corporation
Scale - 49 x 84 ft.
Medium - Deka Sign Enamel
Concept - The creation of this colorful energetic mural depicts the history of Hobart's economic development.   It mirrors an era when an art connoisseur Earl George, featured prominently in the right foreground, founded Hobart.   Other elements of the mural that knit together this painted story, the gristmill, brick factories, and train represent the industrial growth.   The water, ducks and country landscape depict the city's rural heritage.   The old fashioned Fourth of July parade represent an enduring tradition in Hobart.


Pullman Mural, Chicago, IL


Ivy Tech College, East Chicago, IN




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