July 11, 2013 - Harrogate, Tennessee — Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will offer a plein air painting workshop for ages 14 and up in Cumberland Gap, Tenn., July 25-27. The workshops are part of LMU’s summer-long Arts in the Gap (AITG) community arts programming.

En Plein Air is a French phrase that literally means “in the open air,” so this workshop is about painting outside. The goals of the workshop are to engage the participant in their surroundings; enhance their skills of observation and expression; increase visual literacy; improve painting skills in a nurturing and noncompetitive environment; and to build self-confidence through creativity. Students will learn how to frame and focus their subject, to use pencil and watercolor sketches for layout design and to complete a final landscape painting using acrylics. The fun hands-on experience will be led by Professor of Visual Arts Elissa Graff.

“Our goal is first and foremost for the students to share in the joy of painting our extraordinary landscape,” Graff said. “Whether it is an intimate view of a pile of leaves, sticks and bugs indigenous to Claiborne, Bell and Lee Counties, or to strike brush to paper to express the majesty of our Cumberland vistas.”

The workshop will be based out of LMU’s Cumberland Gap Arts Studio (703 Brooklyn St.) and instruction will run from 9a.m. to noon each of the three days with afternoon open sessions. An individual can choose to attend one or all sessions. The cost to attend is $10 per day or $25 for all three days. The fees include all needed supplies.

Graff received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Kansas. She is currently pursuing her doctorate, which focuses on engaging today’s college students through use of experiential practices, and will defend her dissertation at the end of July. Graff obtained her kindergarten – 12th grade art teaching certification from Appalachian State University while working as a curator for the institution. She is a professor of visual arts at LMU and resides in the Cumberland Gap region of Southeastern Ky.

Space is limited and registration is encouraged. Contact Katie Pendley by email at or call 423.869.6203.

AITG includes stand-alone events as well as residential experiences and camps. Based primarily in LMU’s Paul V. Hamilton Center for the Arts in Cumberland Gap, Tenn., and on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., the program will bring a wide range of arts experience to the region. AITG programming will run from June 1 through July 27. A full schedule including links to registration pages can be found at .

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

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