New DH calendar
Article updated: 6/1/2013 9:48 AM

Mellencamp mural stirs debate in small Ind. town

  • Article
text size: AAA
By Associated Press

SEYMOUR, Ind. -- Indiana rocker John Mellencamp likes to sing about the small town where he grew up, but some in his native Seymour aren't sure they want to see the singer's likeness on a building downtown.

Artist Kay Fox has proposed creating a mural depicting several images of Mellencamp and installing it on a building that houses This Old Guitar music store in downtown Seymour. She said it's a way to honor the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer for his contribution to the arts.

Advertisement

"I've been wanting to do this for years," she told The Tribune (http://bit.ly/1135MxT ).

The proposal needs permission from Mellencamp and from a city review board established in 2011 to help preserve buildings in the Downtown Historic District. The city's building commissioner must approve any changes or work to the exterior of a building in the district.

Board vice chairman Brett Bevers, who owns the building where Fox wants to place the mural, said he's intrigued by the idea.

"Initially, I wanted to have more of Seymour's history depicted in the mural, but after seeing her idea and with the music store being there, I think it's appropriate," Bevers said. "Culturally, I think it would be a nice addition to that area."

But chairman Tom Goecker said he wasn't sure the mural should be a permanent fixture and worried that approving it would set a precedent that could lead to others.

"For the short term, I think it's OK," he said. "I'm not sure if it's a good idea for the long term, though."

Planning commission member Mike Jordan went further, saying he thought the mural idea was "cheesy."

Fox, who teaches at Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, said it's important to honor Mellencamp for his contributions. He owns the home and grounds where the art center is housed and leases it to the center's board of directors for $1 a year.

She said the mural would "a way to say 'thank you' in a big way."

The review board has tabled discussion of the proposal until Fox receives permission from Mellencamp and the board receives more information about how long the mural would be in place. Fox has said that if done right, it could last 10 years.

Fox said the building's exterior has loose bricks and would need repair before a mural could go up.

"If we can't get that done, then the mural may not even happen," she said.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.