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State of the Arts: John Mellencamp Brings Somber Artwork to Youngstown

John Mellencamp has been making music and touring since the 1970s. But unbeknownst to many he’s dovetailed his music career with work as an accomplished painter. On this week’s State of the Arts, WKSU’s Mark Arehart  takes us to the Butler Institute in Youngstown for a look at the rocker’s newest exhibit.

Listen  to WKSU's Mark Arehart as he tours the new John Mellencamp show at the Butler Institute HERE.

Tribune Chronicle:Mellencamp Showcases Talent

Someone once told John Mellencamp that if he really wanted to sell his work, he needed to paint still lifes and flowers.

“I don’t want to sell paintings that bad,” Mellencamp said.

One walk through “John Mellencamp: Expressionist,” which opened Thursday at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, is proof that he didn’t take that advice. Inspired by the work of German expressionist painters, Mellencamp’s work is filled with dark subject matter and figures that range from sad to serious to grotesque.

Today's Featured Painting

Fairmount,         2017,         48 x 35,         Mixed Media on Plywood



48" x 35"

Mixed Media on Plywood


Current Work