Coming into the Open

Artists to paint ‘en plein air’ at September First Friday event in downtown Camas

Gina Mariotti Shapard and her daughters vote for "People's Choice" awards during Camas' 2017 Plein Air art event in September 2017. This year's Plein Air show will be held throughout the day, Friday, Sept. 7, in historic downtown Camas.

Artist Heidi Curley paints during the 2017 Plein Air art event. This year's Plein Air art extravaganza kicks off at 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 7, with artists painting "in the open air" until 4:30 p.m., and their artwork displayed at the Camas Gallery throughout the evening for First Friday. (Contributed photo courtesy of Downtown Camas Association)

Artist Ann Amies sketches en plein air "in the open air" during the 2017 Plein Air art event in downtown Camas. This year's event will bring artists back to downtown Camas' streets in conjunction with the Downtown Camas Association's September First Friday, Sept. 7. (Post-Record file photo)

Visitors watch artist Heidi Curley paint during the 2017 Plein Air art event. Come see artists creating "in the open air" at this year's event, held throughout the day, Friday, Sept. 7, in historic downtown Camas. (Contributed photo courtesy of Downtown Camas Association)

Artist Cheryl Mathieson paints a downtown Camas scene during the 2017 Plein Air art event. This year's event brings "en plein air" artists back to Camas' downtown streets on Friday, Sept. 7. The artists' work will be displayed at Camas Gallery that evening, during the September First Friday festivities, and auctioned off Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Dinner in White on the Columbia fundraiser. (Post-Record file photo)

Several artists will take a more natural approach to their craft at the September First Friday event in downtown Camas, painting “en plein air” the French term for painting outdoors “in the open air,” throughout the day on Friday, Sept. 7.

Plein air artists will set up their easels on various streets throughout Camas’ historic downtown from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The finished artwork, capturing downtown scenes, will be on display at the Camas Gallery, 408 N.E. Fourth Ave., from 5 to 8 p.m. that evening. Community members can vote on their favorite plein air pieces, and artists will receive “People’s Choice” awards. The plein air art will be auctioned off the following evening, Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Dinner in White on the Columbia, a benefit for the Washougal Library Building Fund held at the Port of Camas-Washougal’s Marina Park.

The September First Friday festivities also feature live music by the Lance Kinnaird Duo, sponsored by Nuestra Mesa, from 6 to 9 p.m.; artist Elida Field’s “Art, Women and Wine” event, with featured artists showcasing work at downtown Camas businesses; the Friends of Camas Arts Art Show and Sale, a fundraiser for the Camas School District, at Journey Church; art shows at Camas Gallery featuring painter Cheryl Mathieson, at Attic Gallery featuring painter Jean Schwalbe and at Second Story Gallery above the Camas Public Library featuring the watercolors and oils of artists Mary Alred and Julie Ann Smith; and a Hidden Bronze Bird Tour, which showcases 14 sculptures, each dressed in something special for the event, throughout downtown Camas — find out what the birds are wearing to be entered to win a special prize basket; and a variety of activities for children and the whole family.

“This event celebrates the love of the arts,” Carrie Schulstad, director of the Downtown Camas Association (DCA), said. “We will have incredible art all through the town, and this is an engaging way to get the whole family experiencing the art and hopefully enhancing their interest in it. It’s wonderful to be able to meet the people who have created what you are experiencing.”

The DCA coordinates themed First Fridays each month of the year to support downtown Camas and bring the community together. For more information, visit downtowncamas.com/event/plein-air-art-event or facebook.com/camasfirstfriday.