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1  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Rolling Stone: That Time John Prine Joined the Supergroup the Buzzin’ Cousins on: April 09, 2020, 11:33:15 am
Don’t remember the supergroup the Buzzin’ Cousins? You’re not alone. Despite featuring five architects of Americana music, the collaboration remains a blind spot for most music fans, even those who may be hardcore devotees of the artists involved.

And what a group of names they were: John Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, Joe Ely, James McMurtry, and John Prine made up the Buzzin’ Cousins, Mellencamp’s lark of an answer to the Travelin’ Wilburys. The band’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-them status was by design, Mellencamp said.

”I wouldn’t expect an album or anything,” he told the Chicago Tribune at the time. ”It really was a one-shot deal.”

In 1992, Mellencamp made his acting and directorial debut in the film Falling From Grace, a drama that cast the Midwestern singer as a country-music star who gets caught up in a Jerry Springer-level of family drama during a trip home to Indiana. Naturally, a film about a singer needed a reputable soundtrack, and Mellencamp and his guitarist Mike Wanchic produced a doozy, pairing two of his own songs with tracks by Nanci Griffith, Dwight Yoakam, and Mellencamp bandmates Larry Crane and Lisa Germano.

For his solo contribution, Prine provided an alternate version of “All the Best,” off 1991’s The Missing Years, with Mellencamp’s group backing him up. It’s an eyebrow-raising update of the original ballad, punctuated by loud electric guitar and Kenny Aronoff’s pounding drums. Prine even had a bit part in the movie itself — catch a glimpse of him in the trailer, greeting Mellencamp’s Bud Parks at the airport.

But it’s the Buzzin’ Cousins entry, written by Mellencamp, that stands as the centerpiece of the Falling From Grace soundtrack. “Sweet Suzanne” is an intoxicating shot of heartland jangle-rock, with all five of the artists — each in their idiosyncratic vocal style — trading lines. Released as a single to country radio, the song ended up nominated for the 1992 CMA Award for Vocal Event of the Year. It lost to Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt’s “This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time).”

McMurtry, who was recording his own album Candyland at the time, recalls “Sweet Suzanne” as a Mellencamp outtake from either The Lonesome Jubilee or Big Daddy sessions. He remembers traveling to Indiana to sing on the track with the group — but thanks to some Prine mischief, that’s about it.

“They put us up at the Best Western in Bloomington, Indiana, which is off the highway that goes to John’s studio,” McMurtry tells Rolling Stone in an email. “Not long after I checked in, there was a knock on my door. I opened the door and there was John Prine and Joe Ely. Prine had a half-empty pint bottle of vodka in his hand and a big grin on his face. I don’t remember what happened after that.”

Prine died Tuesday in Nashville due to complications related to COVID-19. Mellencamp likened the loss of his Buzzin’ Cousins collaborator and costar to “losing Moses.” “He stood on top of the hill and he gave us words of wisdom and truth,” Mellencamp said on social media. “John Prine’s name is written in the stars.”

2  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / John Prine (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020) Message from John on: April 08, 2020, 01:15:20 pm
Losing John Prine is like losing Moses. He stood on top of the hill and he gave us words of
wisdom and truth. John Prine and I wrote songs together and made a movie together. We
laughed together, and he spent many a lost weekend at my house. John Prine’s name is written
in the stars. And we should all be happy that he has left us with such wonderful songs and
records, just like Moses leaving tablets, that remind us what it is to be a good person and a
great songwriter.– John Mellencamp
3  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / John Mellencamp Supports Mike Bloomberg For President on: February 05, 2020, 12:07:18 pm
Today, Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter and co-founder of Farm Aid, John Mellencamp is announcing his support for Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg in a new TV ad, praising his pragmatic approach to rebuilding America by revitalizing small towns and rural communities.

“The stakes are too high to not nominate the candidate who will take the fight directly to Trump,” said John Mellencamp. “From small towns to big cities, Mike Bloomberg has the experience to represent all Americans. He’s a job creator, philanthropist and true public servant, and I am confident that as president, he will restore America to a place we can be proud of once again.”

"John Mellencamp is one of the great voices of the American heartland -- and the American experience that binds us together,” said Mike Bloomberg. “His words and music have inspired generations, and his activism -- from co-founding Farm Aid to fighting hunger and homelessness among veterans -- represents America at its best. We had the opportunity to get to know one another through the film, 'From the Ashes.' He contributed a powerful song to the soundtrack, and the film raised awareness about the tragic toll that coal mining takes on local communities. He's an American treasure, and I couldn't be more honored to accept his support."

TThe ad featuring Mellencamp is entitled “Small Town” will run across digital channels and in relevant broadcast programming across 23 states beginning Wednesday, February 5th.

Born in Seymour, Mellencamp has lived in Indiana his entire life and been a champion for small-town values. He is an American singer-songwriter known for “Our Country,” “Pink Houses,” and the chart-topping “Small Town,” which was released in 1985 and became #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which launched a movement of heartland rock that celebrated family farms and blue-collar workers. He is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a recipient of the prestigious John Steinbeck Award. /p>

Mellencamp is also one of the co-founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 and for 35 years has held an annual concert to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and raise funds to keep farm families on their land.

4  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / The Terris Theater Presents Ghostbrothers of Darkland County 10/21- 11/8 on: January 22, 2020, 12:15:50 pm

Last Saturday, during Goodspeed's 15th annual Festival of New Musicals, the two-time Tony Award-winning theatre announced plans for a fresh approach to its new musical development at The Terris Theater in Chester, CT.  Goodspeed's
Executive Director Michael Gennaro explained, "Our new musical process at The
Terris has been redesigned and will be relaunched as 'The Worklight Series'. In
our first season, we will develop three musicals and present them to our
audience as staged readings." He continued, "Audiences will still experience
great stories and music, but since the shows will be more actively in progress,
the performances will look different - focusing not on costumes, scenery or
props -- but the musical on the page, often times with book-in-hand."

Closing out this first season will be Ghost Brothers of Darkland County which features a Book by Stephen King and Music and Lyrics by John Mellencamp (October 21 - November Cool.
5  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: New album/tour in 2020? on: January 08, 2020, 08:59:13 am
Any word on a possible new album and tour this year. The last five albums of new material have been outstanding, can't wait to see what John comes up with next.

The good news is John is in the studio recording new music!  Bad news no tour until 2021. Sad
6  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Variety Sting, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp Relive ’80s Glory Days on: December 12, 2019, 11:26:15 am

Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp teamed up for two duets; Debbie Harry and DMC (Darryl McDaniels) collaborated on an epic rap collaboration; and the Eurythmics reunited for a set at Sting and Trudie Styler’s 30th annual Rainforest Benefit at the Beacon Theater in New York City Monday night (Dec. 9).

The event  was hosted by actor Robert Downey Jr., who showed vocal chops of his own with a cover of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and cracked several ’80s themed jokes while gently chastising the crowd about cell phone use. The evening also featured performances by Sting, James Taylor, Bob Geldof, Shaggy, Ricky Martin, MJ Rodriguez, Adrienne Warren (star of the new Tina Turner Broadway musical “Tina”), Joe Sumner (Sting’s son, who fronts his own band, Fiction Plane), and Zucchero with a house band that included musical director Narada Michael Walden, bassist Will Lee, guitarist Felicia Collins, and former Rolling Stones backup singer Lisa Fischer, who shined brightly with a front and center showcase on Sting’s “We’ll Be Together.” The solo classic also served as the centerpiece for the evening.

Formerly held at Carnegie Hall, the event changed to the Beacon Theater because, Sting told Variety, “It was booked. I had my birthday here eight years ago, and I loved it. It’s more of a rock and roll venue.”

Ever the gentleman, Sting credited his wife, Trudie Styler, with handling all the logistics of the bill. “Behind every man is a good woman,” he said. “We are creating a community here with people who are concerned about the same issues we are, and it’s a lovely feeling. We are only going to solve this problem as a community.”

And while Sting served as a master of ceremonies, joking with Downey or taking a moment to remember performers from past Rainforest lineups who have passed away, it was Styler who made the call to action with a passionate speech that took a swipe at Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro’s accusations that actor Leonardo DiCaprio is responsible for the destruction of the Rain Forest. “You can’t make this s–t up,” she said.

The lineup of socially conscious artists included Band Aid organizer Geldof, who couldn’t resist seizing the moment to make a political plea. “Welcome to Boomerstock,” said Geldof, who performed the Boomtown Rats hit, “I Don’t Like Mondays.” (He cracked afterward, “I’m so f–king sick of doing that song.”) “We’re the old guys and girls with guitars and keyboards that still think it’s possible to change things,” he added. Although he did not name President Donald Trump by name, he did express hope that “by next year you will be rid of that man” before launching into a cover of the anthemic, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding.”

Other highlights included Mellencamp delivering a captivating acoustic version of “Jack and Diane” before summoning Springsteen to join him for a taut “Pink Houses.” With both men trading verses and bringing the house to its feet. Mellencamp was particularly spry, working the crowd while Springsteen went to work on guitar. The two later united for “Glory Days” (Springsteen sound-checked “I’m on Fire,” but it was cut for time), that was still ebullient despite a missed cue and Springsteen declaring, “We f–ked up!”

Debbie Harry made a statement during her brief set, donning a red cape that read “Stop F–king the Planet” (she wore a similar black jacket with the same message on the carpet). She was joined by rapper DMC of Run DMC mid-way through the seminal 1980 hit, “Rapture,” with DMC rapping to leave “the Rainforest alone.”

James Taylor was delightfully engaging with the crowd, seated simply with an acoustic guitar for “Your Smiling Face” and cheating a little bit with the theme with “a song from the early Sixties” with a sweet interpretation of the Carole King and Gerry Goffin penned hit for The Drifters, “Up on The Roof.” He even joined DMC in a a quick mic moment on the RUN DMC/Aerosmith collab “Walk This Way.”

Shaggy fully embraced the theme with Eddy Grant’s 1982 hit “Electric Avenue.” Said the Jamaican star: “As a Caribbean boy, Eddy Grant was somebody I looked up to!”

But it was the Eurythmics reunion of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart that stole the show with a trio of pop perfection, opening with “Would I Lie to You,” an exquisite “Here Comes The Rain Again” (appropriate for the rain drenched New York City evening), and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Lennox owned the moment with rock star precision, her voice a fine tuned instrument against Stewart’s lustrous instrumentation. It begged the question–could this act be repeated?

Speaking to Variety on the red carpet, Lennox explained that, although the duo hadn’t performed together since 2014, the invitation to reunite for the cause was too important to pass up.

“Sting and Trudie were visionaries back in the day and this is going to be the last concert of it’s kind, but I believe the Trust will continue, so for us to finally be here tonight is a historical event,” she said. “It’s hugely significant because we all know, as do most people with any intelligence understand, what is happening in the Amazon at the moment and the huge destruction that has been going on for decades. … I just feel so privileged to be a part of it tonight, and be able to contribute a very small part to what I hope will be a huge fundraising event and will continue to make a supportive impact especially on the indigenous tribal people whose lives have been devastated and all the animals. The benefit of the jungle is it is the lungs of the planet, and we are all a part of this big picture.”

In a way, the event was a reunion of artists from the 1987 album “A Very Special Christmas,” which included contributions from Sting, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Run DMC and The Eurythmics, all holiday staples as radio station everywhere.

The show concluded with a group cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” (with a reprise of DMC’s freestyle rainforest rap) a treat for invited guest Neal Schon who sat in the crowd (“There’s a lot of good friends here,” Schon told Variety earlier), which included actors Chazz Palmentari, Val Kilmer, Clive Davis, Julie Chen, Brian Stokes Mitchell, billionaire hedge funder Ray Dalio, “Lion King” writer Irene Mecchi,  and Chic legend and produce Nile Rodgers, who praised Sting’s efforts on the red carpet.

“I performed here with Sting for many years,” Rodgers recalled. “The last time was six years ago, and I unfortunately had two bouts of cancer since I played last, but I am here and I am well and I am cancer free,” he said. “I have been supporting the cause for a long time and it’s sad to me that we still have to do this. It seems like the world is slow to get the message.”

Sting is set to receive the Global Citizen Artist of the Year Prize, honoring a creative individual or group who uses their platform and their work to create change not only through conversation but meaningful impact. The Rainforest Foundation could get another financial shot in the arm, as the award includes a $150,000 prize paid to the organization through which the individual has achieved impact.  Set to air 8 p.m. Dec. 20  on NBC from London’s Royal Albert Hall, the “Global Citizen Prize” special will also feature appearances by Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Raphael Saadiq, Stormzy, Chris Martin and H.E.R with presenters Connie Britton, Emma Bunton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jason Derulo, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Leona Lewis, Himesh Patel and Kal Penn.
7  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Re: John is joined by Bruce for Pink Houses at The Beacon Theatre on: December 11, 2019, 09:32:39 am
Is that Andy York trading guitar licks with Bruce and singing background vocals?

From our vantage point on the right side of the orchestra, we could see Lisa Germano warming up with her violin in the wings.

Yes, that's Andy York  and Miriam Sturm on violin. It was an amazing night!

8  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Beacon Theatre Videos from December 9th on: December 10, 2019, 10:15:17 am

Glory Days

Dont Stop Believing
9  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / John is joined by Bruce for Pink Houses at The Beacon Theatre on: December 10, 2019, 09:35:39 am
Pink Houses
10  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Springsteen and Mellencamp sing ‘Pink Houses’ and ‘Glory Days’ together on: December 10, 2019, 09:05:51 am

Go to the link to watch the videos.

A dream came true tonight for fans of what they used to called heartland-rock, as arguably the two leading icons of the genre, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, sang Springsteen’s “Glory Days” and Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” together at the Beacon Theatre in New York. You can watch video of the songs, below.

The numbers were part of a benefit concert for the Rainforest Fund organized by Sting. The theme of the evening was hits from the ’80s and ’90s.

Other numbers included Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” (sung by Robert Downey Jr.), the Elvis Costello hit “What’s So Funny (‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding)” (performed by Bob Geldof) and Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” (performed by Sting). Springsteen also performed “Dancing in the Dark” and took part in the ensemble finale, “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Other performers included Eurythmics, James Taylor, Deborah Harry and Shaggy.

Springsteen and Mellencamp have been linked in many ways through the years.

Sting has been presenting all-star Rainforest Fund benefits in New York — always, before this year, at Carnegie Hall — since 1989. It’s not an annual event but he has done 18 of them over those 30 years.

Trudie Styler — Sting’s wife, Rainforest Fund co-founder and the producer of the concert — said in a statement: “With the Amazon blighted by fire this summer, and a real and growing awareness of climate change, there has never been a more important or more opportune moment to fight to protect our forests. All life on earth depends on their survival.”

Thanks to Spring-Nuts for posting this video to YouTube. It starts with Mellencamp performing “Jack & Diane” by himself, and then “Pink Houses” with Springsteen.

11  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / All About John / Re: Calling all Mellenheads on: November 26, 2019, 03:38:07 pm
Hi Sharon

is it a closed group?......didn't seem to be much action on the page I got into?


You have to join the group. 

A new exhibition on display in New York City features work by two recognizable names: John Mellencamp and Robert Rauschenberg. Assemblages and paintings by the Grammy-winning singer of hits like “Hurts So Good” will hang next to mixed-media pieces by the late artist (who died in 2008) at ACA Galleries until December 21. The show opens to the public October 24.

“We both use bright colors,” Mellencamp jokes to Architectural Digest over email when asked how Rauschenberg’s work and his own complement each other. (Neither man’s pieces are void of color by any means, but Mellencamp especially favors a darker palette.) Of course, there’s more to the juxtaposition of these two artists. Both use a variety of materials to create highly textural, often collage-like pieces of work with plenty of shapes and images hidden throughout.

They also come from different generations—with many of Mellencamp’s featured pieces dated in just the past few years. (Calling anything “completed” would be wrong, the “Jack and Diane” singer says: “I have paintings that I have worked on for 25 years. So art is never done, only abandoned.”)

Mellencamp’s fiancée, Meg Ryan, appears in one of his paintings (above); boxing paraphernalia appears in another piece (his son Hud is a boxer); there’s a self-portrait in the mix; and he references gun control in other work, but he says that overall, his inspiration comes from one very simple place. “The need to create,” he says. “I paint or I write songs or make something every day. I’m very fortunate, I live an artist’s life.”

In April, Architectural Digest was able to see inside the SoHo loft where Mellencamp does his creating. Decorated by Trevor Goff, the space is industrial, with exposed brick and pipes, plus plenty of steel and distressed mirrors.
13  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / John To Perform with Sting At The 30th Annual Rainforest Fund Benefit on: October 24, 2019, 09:46:20 am
Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and John Mellencamp will perform with Sting at the 30th annual Rainforest Fund benefit concert. Hosted by Robert Downey Jr., the event is set to take place at New York’s Beacon Theater on December 9th.

Named “We’ll Be Together” after a 1987 Sting single, the lineup also features Shaggy, Eurythmics, H.E.R., Ricky Martin, Bob Geldof and MJ Rodriguez. Benefit Level tickets start at $1,000; remaining tickets will be available on November 1st via Ticketmaster.

Founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, the Rainforest Fund aims to protect the world’s rainforests and defend the human rights of the indigenous peoples who live there. “With the Amazon blighted by fire this summer, and a real and growing awareness of climate change, there has never been a more important or more opportune moment to fight to protect our forests,” Styler said in a statement. “All life on earth depends on their survival.”

The evening is also a tribute to the Eighties, during which MTV-era acts like Mellencamp and Geldof united for social change and participated in massive benefits like Live Aid, Farm Aid, and Band Aid.

Sting and Styler have thrown 17 Rainforest Fund benefit concerts over the years since 1991. The last was in 2016 and featured Springsteen, James Taylor, Idina Menzel, Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector. This is the first year it will be held at Beacon Theater — all have previously taken place at Carnegie Hall.
ACA Galleries is pleased to announce a 2-man exhibition featuring artworks by John Mellencamp and Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition, Binding Wires will open at ACA Galleries on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in New York. This exhibition investigates the dynamic juxtapositions of two bodies of work: Mellencamp’s sculptural assemblages and portraits alongside Rauschenbergs’s mixed media artworks.

As Mary Lynn Kotz writes in her essay, born in the 20th century, a generation apart, Robert Rauschenberg and John Mellencamp are driven by the art imperative. They absolutely have to create! Where this need comes from is a mystery; but what feeds their souls embellishes our lives.That swiftly-changing century’s powerful events and its styles offered different circumstances to each: One man going through lean years of the Depression and then war; and the other through the boom of America’s post-war years. As children, both boys started to draw and create and both were inspired—but also discouraged—by their parents. Their inherent creativity deepened, to make art that propelled them away from their childhood homes. As artists, their national reputations were forged in New York, but both grew up far away in the heart of America. Both artists use collage and assemblage to powerful narrative effect and employ a vast array of found, conventional and nontraditional art making materials. Binding Wires demonstrates how each combines seemingly disparate elements to form a cohesive whole and make potent visual statements. This exhibition is produced in association with Eckert Fine Art and curated by Mikaela Lamarche.

About John Mellencamp
Born and raised in Seymour, Indiana, Mellencamp is an acclaimed singer-songwriter and musician, as well as an accomplished painter and long-time activist. He started painting at an early age, influenced by his mother, also an artist. Mellencamp studied briefly at the Arts Students League in New York, where he discovered the work of Twentieth-Century Modernists. As his musical career flourished, he began to paint earnestly in the 1980s with an early affinity for portraiture influenced by the works of Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recipient of The Woody Guthrie Award, the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation's Champion Award, the Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Founders Award
and co-founder of Farm Aid – a nonprofit organization  whose mission is to keep family farmers on the land.

About Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008) worked in a wide range of subjects, styles, materials, and techniques throughout his career. He has been called a forerunner of nearly every postwar movement since Abstract Expressionism, although he remained independent of any particular affiliation. When he began making art in the late 1940s and early 50s, his belief that “painting relates to both art and life” presented a direct challenge to the prevalent modernist aesthetic.

The celebrated Combines, begun in the mid-1950s, brought real-world images and objects into the realm of abstract painting and broke down the divisions between painting and sculpture. Rauschenberg’s lifelong commitment to collaboration—with performers, printmakers, engineers, writers, artists, and artisans from around the world—is a further manifestation of his expansive artistic philosophy.

This text is adapted from an essay written by Julia Blaut, “Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective,” @Guggenheim (Fall 1997). (From the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation)

Since 1932 the American Contemporary Art Gallery (ACA) has been at the vanguard of American Art. As one of the oldest galleries in New York, its pioneering interest in progressive art was established early on in exhibitions, often introducing the work of artists Giorgio Cavallon, Aaron Douglas, Philip Evergood, Rockwell Kent, Alice Neel, Barnett Newman, Irene Rice Pereira, David Smith, Theodoros Stamos and Charles White, among many others. Over the decades the gallery’s scope and inventory expanded to include masterworks from the Renaissance to 19th century, Modern and Contemporary American and European painting, sculpture and photography. Today, ACA Galleries continues to break new ground, supporting new artists, representing established artists and distinguished estates; and presenting several exhibitions per year that honor the gallery’s deep historical roots by re-imagining them in a contemporary context.

About Eckert Fine Art
Jane Coats Eckert’s roots are in 19th and early 20th Century American artists, on whom she wrote and lectured. In 1996, she opened Eckert Fine Art in Naples, Florida, where she formed a business relationship and friendship with Robert Rauschenberg, traveling with him to such venues as the Guggenheim, the Bilbao and the Musee d’Art modern et d’Art contemporiain, Nice. She curated shows on Rauschenberg at three museums, mounted numerous exhibitions on his works, including one reuniting him with his BMW art car, in 1992 in an exhibition called Beamers. She is the past Chair of the Director’s Advisory Council at Mass Moca, served as Secretary of the Fine Art Dealers Association and was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in Litchfield, CT in 2017.

ACA Galleries
529 West 20th Street, Floor 5
New York, NY 10011
t: 212-206-8080
e: [email protected]

Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday – Monday: By Appointment Only

Southern Indiana Center for the Arts (SICA) is pleased to announce its October exhibit, Mellencamp: Three Generations of Art, which will feature works from John, Marilyn and Speck Mellencamp.

Opening October 2, the paintings will be on display through November 2.

This exhibit is sponsored by JCB and will feature many newer works from John including his striking mixed media mirrors from the Millican and Vickery collections. Also, featured will be more paintings from Marilyn, John's mother who painted at SICA as a part of the Wednesday group which still meets at the center to this date. Rounding out this great family show will be the work of Speck Mellencamp, who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design earlier this year.

"We are thrilled to have this talented family of artists featured here at SICA. John's generosity has provided SICA with the opportunity to reach so many people with Art in this region. To have a show of this caliber at our center is another example of John's passion for art in the area. We will be hosting a special members only reception from 6:30-8:30p.m. on Thursday, October 10,” said Executive Director Sean Hildreth. This event will be for SICA members only and reservations will be required in advance.

While John is known for his music, he is also an accomplished painter, who showed interest at an early age.

Marilyn would be working at her easel while her young children were playing and chasing through the house, she told the Indianapolis Star in a 1993 interview. They would roar by, except one.

"John would stop - at least 30 seconds - and look up at what I was painting."

John took up painting in 1988, studying portraiture with Jan Royce of Indianapolis and later with David Leffel at the Art Students League in New York City. Marylin and Speck also studied with Leffel. John started with Impressionism, but, soon found his own style.

His greatest influence is Max Beckmann - the Bob Dylan of painting, Mellencamp has been quoted as saying of the German expressionist. Another influence is Robert Rauschenberg. John and Rauschenberg will have a show at ACA Galleries, 529 West 20th Street, in New York City October 24 through December 21. More information can be found at

Southern Indiana Center for the Arts formed in 1991 and is housed in an 1851 Greek Revival brick mansion, owned by John and is leased to SICA for $1 per year. Hours are 12-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. SICA is located at 2001 N. Ewing Street, Seymour, and online at
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