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Gary exhibit looks at mills, de-urbanization, homelessness

The /FRAMING HI/STORIES exhibit opens in Gary's Miller Beach neighborhood Oct. 28.

A new exhibit at the Marshall J. Gardner Gardner Center for the Arts examines themes of de-urbanization, homelessness, demographic shifts, resilience and life in the steel mills in Northwest Indiana.

The /FRAMING HI/STORIES show in the gallery at 540 S. Lake St. along Miller's main drag "engages our past and present through a chorus of voices, memories, image, and text."

It features Aimee Tomasek’s photographic series, "Hot Idle, LTV Steel," Corey Hagelberg's woodcut prints and Valparaiso University's Welcome Project’s multimedia Flight Paths initiative, which looks at the history of white flight from Gary to the suburbs. It also includes the Invisible Project traveling exhibit that highlights homelessness in Porter County.

It's an interactive exhibit where people can browse reading material from local authors in a reading room, map their childhood homes or interview family or friends at the audio station. Visitors can add their own historic photos to the exhibit, or contribute thoughts and memories. 

"Frames draw and focus our attention to what lies inside them; they can deepen our insights. Frames also remove features from our sight; if we ignore what lies outside them, we miss an opportunity to broaden our perspective," The Welcome Project's Liz Wuerffel wrote in a news release. "This exhibition frames several important elements of our Northwest Indiana history — de-urbanization, life in the mills, experiences of homelessness — and reframes them by placing them alongside each other and in the context of first-person stories of neighborhood life and resilience."

The opening reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Marshall Gardner Center. It then runs through Nov. 13.

The gallery in Gary's Miller Beach neighborhood is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.