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Seymour Officials Hesitant On John Mellencamp Mural

Guitar Shop

Photo: Bill Shaw

The interior of This Old Guitar is adorned by various John Mellencamp memorabilia. The proposed mural would go outside the store.

John Mellencamp’s music says it all: he was born in a small town. The singer’s music has long been founded on the ups and downs of living, loving, and working in the American Heartland.

But city officials from the town that inspired many of those songs are unsure if plans to construct a mural honoring the singer are a good idea.

Larry McDonald, who owns the This Old Guitar music store where the mural would be placed, says the mural is not a marketing ploy, but a way of thanking Mellencamp for never forgetting where he is from.

“I don’t think it was a dollar and cents thing. I think it was more of an honor to be a part of it, and it’s an honor to put his picture on the side of the building,” McDonald says.

Members of the Seymour City Review Board have expressed concerns about the cost of preparing the building for such a project and the cultural value of the mural. The cost of the project would primarily stem from restoring the bricks on the building, which according to McDonald could cost nearly $50,000.

The project is the brainchild of artist Kay Fox. She is hopeful the city will support it and consider awarding the project some grants to help with the construction.

“I would like to have a mural where people could actually see a timeline, kind of like a younger version all the way to where he is now, where people can actually see the stages of his life a little bit is what I’d like to have,” Fox says.

Fox says the materials for painting the mural itself would be donated.

The review board is waiting to receive more information before making a decision.  If members decide not to support the mural, Fox says she might pursue another location where it would be cheaper to construct the project.

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