- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

DELAND, Fla. (AP) — John Mellencamp is known for his music, but a Florida museum is hoping to introduce audiences to his paintings.

The Museum of Art-DeLand opens its new exhibit, “The Paintings of John Mellencamp,” on Friday. It features roughly 40 paintings by the singer.

According to the museum, Mellencamp’s mother was an artist and encouraged him at a young age to paint. He attended art school in New York in the early 1980s.

The museum’s CEO says Mellencamp’s art shows “human existence painted as simply, starkly and fully as he himself experienced it.” Some of the paintings explore themes of racism, war, faith and justice.

Mellencamp released his 22nd album, “Plain Spoken,” last month.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 28 before traveling to the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia.

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