MUNSTER | "Latinas’ Fifteenth: Photographs by Tom Hocker" is currently on exhibit in the Atrium Gallery at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, through March 1. Hours for viewing this free exhibit are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
In an extensive series of color photographs, Tom Hocker, a St. John resident and Hammond native, has captured the traditions and ceremony of Hispanic girls’ 15th birthday, or quinceanera. Following families in Northwest Indiana and the south side of Chicago, he shows the excitement, family warmth, the spiritual importance of a girl’s coming of age.
Hocker contacted families through several Catholic parishes that require the girls’ attendance in special formation programs of class meetings and retreats. Access was granted by the parents to record the preparations leading up to the big day.
The photos reflect an immigrant heritage from Mexican and other Latin American cultures that connect multiple generations. This special day marks the girls’ transition to a more responsible role in their families, their faith and their community.
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