Singer-songwriter John MellencampRock’s proudest Hoosier, plans to donate his archives to Indiana University, the institution announced Friday at a Mellencamp symposium being held on campus.
Mellencamp’s association with the university continues to grow. The future archive was just one of many developments discussed at the Friday symposium, which included a live interview with the musician as well as talks and panels “that brought together academics, industry leaders from music, journalists and more on campus for a deep dive into the cultural and social impact of Mellencamp’s vast body of work,” according to IU.
A sculpture is commissioned for the Bloomington campus, which will be placed near the Fine Arts Plaza “and will symbolize the strong connection Mellencamp has with his southern Indiana roots.”
Mellencamp’s activity as a painter will be celebrated in an exhibition at the university’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art during the 2023-2024 academic year.
His fondness for college goes beyond honors and symposiums, as he proved by recently launching his 2023 campus tour.
“John’s impact on American music and culture is immense,” IU President Pamela Whitten said in a statement. “On behalf of Hoosiers everywhere, I am exceptionally proud of John’s association with IU and deeply grateful to him for choosing the university as the permanent home for his archives. His collection will be an incredible resource for scholars of the arts. and a clear source of inspiration for our students. We are delighted to honor him and celebrate his many contributions to music, art and IU.
Mellencamp began painting in 1980, shortly after her musical career began. About 170 of his pieces were collected recently in a coffee table art book titled “John Mellencamp: American Paintings and Assemblages.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s most recent album, “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack,” was released last year.