When John Mellencamp originally acquired the property in Seymour, Indiana, where the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts (SICA) currently stands, it was his mother Marilyn who told him they should make it into a regional art center for the community.
Marilyn not only was an accomplished artist herself, but she had always been a passionate supporter for the arts. It was Marilyn’s love for painting that prompted John’s interest in art as well.
Marilyn Mellencamp passed away last January, and in keeping with her devotion to the arts the Mellencamp family is starting the Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship for the Arts fund at the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
This scholarship will provide tuition support for a high school senior planning to attend college to major in art, music or theater.
Working with Marilyn’s family, SICA is hosting a celebration of Marilyn’s life and work on Saturday, July 14. Starting at 1 PM SICA will open an exhibit of Marilyn Mellencamp’s paintings in the main gallery of the art center.
“Marilyn’s family has collected close to fifty of the best paintings by Marilyn,” said SICA executive director Warren Baumgart Jr. “It will be an incredible opportunity to see the scope of Marilyn Mellencamp’s talent as a gifted artist all in one place.” The Marilyn Mellencamp exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibit will remain at SICA throughout the month of July.
Starting at 6 PM Marilyn’s family is sponsoring a free concert on the Don Hill Stage at the art center featuring Brent James & the Contraband. Special guests will include David Campbell, Mike Gerth, Kenny Parks, and John Whitcomb.
Brent James & the Contraband is scheduled to take the stage around 9 PM. This is an outdoor event and the audience is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.
“Marilyn was an inspiration to so many in our community and SICA certainly owes Marilyn a debt of gratitude for her vision that made the art center what it is today,” said Baumgart. “We really miss Marilyn, but I can’t think of a better way to celebrate her life than with lots of good art and good music.”
The Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship for the Arts will be launched at the event. Throughout the evening the public will be able to make donations to the scholarship fund in Marilyn’s memory.
Gifts to the fund are also being accepted by the Community Foundation of Jackson County in Seymour, Indiana, (812) 523-4483. SICA is located at 2001 N. Ewing St. (State Highway 11) just north of Seymour in the Rockford area. For more information contact SICA at (812) 522-2278 or [email protected] .
About The Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship For the Arts
Marilyn’s husband, Richard, & their children established this scholarship to honor her while providing an opportunity to assist an area high school senior who plans to pursue a college degree in arts, theatre, or music.
Aside from being a painter, Marilyn was very instrumental in establishing Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour. This facility houses the area’s only art gallery, as well as offers classes in painting, pottery, & other fine arts. The scholarship will provide a high school senior pursuing a major in art, music, or theatre with funds toward tuition. Marilyn’s family hopes this can become an ongoing scholarship, assisting future art students for years to come.
Click HERE and HERE to download the brochure about the scholarship which includes a donation form to help support this wonderful cause. Please make your tax deductible gift to the Community Foundation of Jackson County. If you have questions please call the Community Foundation of Jackson County at 812-523-4483
“Anyone can paint,” Marilyn would say. “It’s all about value, colors, and shapes. The real secret to artistry is paint what you see—it’s that simple.”
The Art of Marilyn Mellencamp A Retrospective of Her Works
Marilyn pursued painting seriously since she first took lessons from
Nashville artist Fred Rigley in 1959. She studied with many well-known
artists including David Leffel of New York, Greg Kreutz in France, and
Groppie in Spain. Other instructors included Louse Gray Symons, Vesta
Seville, Alice Thompson, John Reynolds and Jan
Royce. Marilyn also attended the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis.
Marilyn was a supporter of the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. She not only attended the SICA’s painting workshops, but hosted her own art shows at SICA. Marilyn’s many art exhibits included shows at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis and inclusion in the distinguished Hoosier artists show at the Story Inn gallery.
Marilyn particularly enjoyed painting still life's and portraits. She was inspired to paint for the sheer enjoyment of it and often described her art as “painterly.” She liked to perfect it with the first stroke—a feat that very few artists can accomplish.
About Southern Indiana Center for the Arts
The Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, commonly referred to
as SICA, is housed in an 1851 two-story Greek rival mansion owned by recording
artist John Mellencamp. SICA is a not-for-profit organization operated by an
Executive Director &a volunteer Board of Directors. Membership to SICA available
for families, individuals & corporate entities. Members are kept up to date about
happenings at the Center through newsletters & also receive special
offers/discounts on a
variety of classes that are offered year-round.
Southern Indiana Center for the Arts
2001 N. Ewing St.
Seymour, Ind. 47274
Email: [email protected]