Raising Awareness for Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship for the Arts

The Mellencamp Family, with Connie and Steve Ferguson, are hosting a free public exhibit of Marilyn Mellencamp’s paintings at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center from September 17-22 to raise awareness about the Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship for the Arts, and to pay tribute to their late wife and mother’s artistic accomplishments.

The Marilyn Mellencamp Memorial Exhibit will be on display Sept. 17-22, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium. Admission is free.

Marilyn was instrumental in establishing the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, Ind., and is an exhibited painter herself. To honor Marilyn’s memory, the Mellencamp family established the Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship for the Arts fund at the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The fund will provide tuition support to a high school senior in the Seymour area who plans to pursue fine arts, theatre, or music at the college level.

Many know Marilyn as the mother of John Mellencamp, the famous rock-and-roll musician who also paints. However, his mother was the first to begin a career in painting when she first began painting seriously in 1959 with Nashville artist John Rigley, who was associated with the Brown County Impressionists. She attended the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and studied with teachers in places as far away as New York, France, and Spain. Her attention to detail and classic technique show up in lovingly rendered portraits and rich still-lifes.

“This is a great partnership between the Mellencamps and Ivy Tech because Marilyn’s commitment to arts education mirrors our own,” said Paul Daily, Artistic Director of the Ivy Tech Waldron. “We just established our new Associate of Fine Arts degree, and the Mellencamps just established a scholarship that will make it easier for Seymour high school graduates to pursue any kind of arts-related degree, whether it’s two-year or four-year.”

“By making their scholarship available to theatre performance and music students, as well as fine arts students, the Mellencamp family is supporting the full range of artistic expression, and affirming their faith in the next generation,” said Julie Roberts, Ivy Tech Waldron Gallery Director.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Marilyn Mellencamp Scholarship for the Arts should contact:

The Community Foundation of Jackson County
107 Community Drive
P.O. Box 1231, Seymour IN 47274

About Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center

Ivy Tech Waldron is an Ivy Tech Community College building that is open to the public. Visitors can take art classes, enjoy a performance, or browse gallery spaces in Bloomington’s recently-voted “best art gallery” by The Herald-Times’ Reader’s Choice Awards. For more information, visit www.ivytech.edu/waldron. Art classes are offered through Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning at www.ivytech.edu/cll.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.