LMU art program moving to Cumberland Gap

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Investment from a Tennessee college is turning a ragged town block in Cumberland Gap into a folksy artists' village.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/OoGkCq) reports that Lincoln Memorial University has spent about $1.2 million to purchase almost every structure on the block.

LMU has already stripped a former dive bar down to its studs and will transform it into a studio for ceramics and metal works. Other structures also will be renovated.

Lincoln Memorial President James Dawson says the rural town where three states meet "really lends itself to the arts." He says the school's fine arts program will start moving to its new home, which is only a few minutes from its main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., beginning in January.

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