A touch of France in Camas

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category icon Editorials, Opinion

Downtown Camas will come to life this weekend — with a touch of French flair that will focus on some of the finer things in life — featuring original artwork, live entertainment, dancing and fine dining under the stars.

Friday and Saturday’s events, the plein air fine art competition and Camas in White, respectively, will add touches of whimsy and color to Fourth Avenue.

En plein air (in the open air) painting gained popularity in Europe in the mid-1800s. In the event’s second year here in Camas, artists’ creativity will be on display as they situate themselves on downtown sidewalks with easels, paintbrushes, paints and canvas and make magic.

Similarly, Camas in White is modeled after the original “Diner en Blanc,” started in Paris 25 years ago. The Camas version in its first year in 2013 was so successful that the group organizing it decided to bring it back again. Participants will dress in their finest white attire and elaborately decorate their tables in white.

Both of these events serve to celebrate the community and the people who live in it. But there is a greater purpose as well. All of the paintings created during the plein air event will be auctioned off the next evening during the Camas in White event. The artists have agreed to donate half of the proceeds to the Camas-Washougal Mural Society, an organization that has already helped to fund two murals in downtown Camas.

Take a trip downtown, and experience the French-inspired whimsy for yourself.