Clem Penrose is the founder and current President of The New Harmony Artist’s Guild Inc. the presenter of The New Harmony Music Festival & School.
In The 1950’s and 60’s Clement Biddle Penrose VII was raised and reared by his many and wise “Aunts” in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. With a heart for the Gulf-coast, Clem inherited prominent Indiana (Posey County) lineage through his mother’s family. Penrose, is the great-great-great grandson of Welsh philanthropist/philosopher/sociologist, Robert Owen. It was that branch of the family that helped him to acquire direction from an “intuitive spirit” Penrose believes carried with him as a young boy: “I sharpened my skills as an artist and opened my eyes to the universe of artistic license in a number of directions during this time.” Penrose pursued the fine arts, and and began to put pen to paper, jotting down musical scores as a country-blues songwriter in the 60s, something he still does regularly to this day. Penrose then began to travel, hitch-hiking, truck-driving, walking with little more than a guitar on his back.
After years on the road, he returned to New Harmony, Indiana in the early 70s during a period of restoration and renovation. In this environment, Penrose’ continued: painting, drawing, writing and encouraging and performing music. Choosing to remain in the community, Penrose found work as a sign painter and continued living by his brush as a sign-painter. Like so many, Penrose has combined his life experiences and his love of the painterly, musical, crafting, and aesthetic disciplines into a concentrated, recognizable and iconic style of contemporary living/sharing that is at once both unique and memorable.
“As an educator, Clem has nurtured countless musicians…Guitarists, singers, harmonica players, and those who just want a chance to play music. His boundless spirit to create and to join-in the fun is truly a joy to be with.”
-Christopher Layer, Director-NHMF&S