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Watch artists paint across the national park Sept. 26-30
September 26, 2022

plein air artist at clingmans dome
Plein air artist at Clingmans Dome; Image courtesy of GSMNP

Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to watch 20 nationally acclaimed artists paint “en plein air” (in open air) style across the park beginning Monday, September 26 through Friday, September 30.

On Monday through Wednesday, four artists at a time will paint in Elkmont from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., while the other sixteen artists will paint in areas across the park. On Thursday, September 29, all 20 artists will paint in Cades Cove from sunrise to 3:00 p.m. On Friday, September 30, artists will paint on their own across the park. Volunteers will be on site to provide information. The opportunity to watch the artists create is free and open to the public.

The origins of National Parks are deeply connected to artists. In the early 1900s, the scenic beauty of landscapes across the nation were shared through images created by artists. In many cases, people were inspired by these images to advocate for the protection of these special places as National Parks. Early painters, photographers, and writers captured the uniqueness of the Smokies in a manner that helped inspire the grassroots effort to create Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934.

The upcoming ‘Plein Air in the Park’ event is sponsored by Friends of the Smokies, the official nonprofit philanthropic partner of the park. For more information, please visit the Friends of the Smokies website at For more information about the people, places, and stories of arts in National Parks, please visit

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