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SC SOUND CHECK

Woody Guthrie Prize recipient John Mellencamp takes up residence in Woody’s house with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curated exhibition “Mellencamp.” BY G.K. HIZER If you’ve visited the Woody Guthrie Center multiple times and think you’ve seen it all, think again. The center’s gallery space opened a touring exhibit of John Mellencamp’s life, work and memorabilia Aug. 31. The exhibition will be available for viewing into January 2019. In conjunction with the exhibit, Mellencamp was awarded the Woody Guthrie Prize. “The Guthrie Prize is awarded annually to an artist who continues Woody’s work and message,” says Deana McCloud, executive director of the Woody Guthrie Center. “In that sense, John certainly qualifies. Not just based on his work with Farm Aid, but also as an advocate for equal rights and marriage

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equality and very much as an advocate for social change.” Past recipients of the award include Norman Lear (2017), Kris Kristofferson (2016), Mavis Staples (2015) and Pete Seeger (2014). Whereas previous award ceremonies and concerts have been held in varying locations, such as Cain’s Ballroom, this year’s ceremony took place in the center’s adjoining FlyLoft. “John specifically requested that we not leave ‘Woody’s house,’” McCloud says. Mellencamp already has a healthy working relationship with the center and has toured the archives multiple times. “John is always very funny, witty and

humble when he’s here,” McCloud says. “When he was here with his band a few years ago, he said that he had done a painting in honor of Woody and asked if we would want to display it. Of course, our answer was yes and it has been on display in the entry to our gallery.” Another of Mellencamp’s paintings, this one focusing on Martin Luther King Jr, is included with the traveling exhibit. “We thought it was great, being that we’re next to Wall Street, and it’s such a strong statement from John that we decided to put it on the main gallery floor to draw full attention to it,” she says. Included in the collection are handwritten lyrics, the Gibson

Dove acoustic guitar used throughout his career, and more. “John’s motorcycle, a 1966 Honda Scrambler, is included in the exhibit and will be sitting on the gallery floor, which is a fun addition,” McCloud adds. Mellencamp, a native of Indiana, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and was inducted this year into the Songwriters Hall of Fame by Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie. In 2012, Mellencamp received The John Steinbeck Award: “In The Souls of the People.” As a co-founder of Farm Aid, Mellencamp has helped give a voice and raise money for dispossessed farm families. He continues to tour and impact the musical landscape with his influence

Profile for Preview 918

September 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 9)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

September 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 9)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...