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LMU Arts in the Gap Hosts Hurricane Katrina Exhibit

Harrogate, Tennessee, August 24, 2018— Lincoln Memorial University's (LMU) Paul V. Hamilton Center for the Arts in Cumberland Gap is hosting Peter Precourt's exhibition “Roller Coaster:  Excerpts from the Katrina Chronicles” through September 21, 2018. 

With this body of work, Precourt explores the devastation he and his family experienced at the hands of 2005's Hurricane Katrina. He contextualizes the history of the storm as it specifically affected Mississippi and the Gulf Coast. Precourt finds in the storm and its coverage a familiar narrative of ignoring the plight of Mississippi. Through the use of text and image and a mixture of drawing materials, Precourt takes us into the destroyed landscape in the aftermath of the storm. The artist seeks to find his place in the world post-Katrina and illustrates how the storm underscored the continuing struggles of this vulnerable place. 

“Ultimately, it made sense to me to tell ‘The Katrina Chronicles’ in a form that embraces the stepchild nature of Mississippi and the leveling power of Katrina,” Precourt said. “The ‘Chronicles’ are told in a visual format that hovers somewhere between a graphic novel, a journal entry, a painting, a memoir and a flippant conversation.” 

Precourt and his family moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, in 2005 when he began a job at a small college that overlooked the Gulf of Mexico. Less than a month after he arrived, he lost most of his possessions, including his art and art supplies, in Hurricane Katrina. 

“The most depressing visual feature of the Mississippi coast, after the immense destruction, was the endless amount of debris. Everything was leveled and spread across the coastal landscape,” Precourt said. “Over the past decade plus, I have struggled to come to terms with a way to tell my experience, which is a single story amongst thousands of stories in the aftermath of Katrina.” 

Precourt now serves as associate professor of art and art department coordinator at the University of Maine at Augusta. 

The LMU Center for the Arts houses the Art Program at LMU and is nestled in the historic town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The Art Program and the Gallery at the Arts Center strive to bring cutting-edge contemporary art from local and regional artists to the LMU community. The Cumberland Gap Arts Center is located at 703 Brooklyn Street in Cumberland Gap and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

For questions or comments about the exhibition or the gallery, please contact the gallery director, Michael Giles, at michael.giles@LMUnet.edu

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 admissions@LMUnet.edu.

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