An art explosion

It’s been incredible to see the explosion of public art in Camas and Washougal.

It’s an effort that slowly began years ago with artwork accessible to all in locations including the Camas Public Library and the Washougal Pedestrian Tunnel, but has really taken off during the past several years in both of these small cities.

Metal sculptures, painted murals and street art can all be found, primarily in the quaint downtown areas that are most pedestrian friendly.

As detailed in an article in today’s Post-Record, on Saturday the area’s newest art piece will be unveiled. “Golden Back Heron,” created from recycled metals by Portland artist Tom Jackson, is featured in a rain garden at Washougal City Hall.

This piece joins one nearby, that was dedicated just last month. The metal sculpture “Fire,” created by Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei, incorporates bright colors in the design to give the piece a fiery look. Inspired by smoke stacks of old steam ships, it is located at Washougal’s Steamboat Landing Park.

With volunteer groups driving this artistic renaissance of sorts, the addition of more public art is being planned. The Downtown Camas Association continues its fundraising effort to bring a Bronze Bird Tour to the area in 2017, while a mural at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal and the placement of an art piece as part of the landscaping at the new roundabout in Camas have been discussed as well.

The value of free public art is a concept that has been proven. It brings a community together, encourages art appreciation and improves quality of life. And maybe most importantly, in this modern time when our eyes are often focused on computer, television, smart phone and tablet screens, public art provides an opportunity to stop, look and listen, and contemplate what is happening in the world around us.