It’s hard to pass by Camas’ latest public art installation — the cheerful, flower-drenched “Camas Love” mural on the Wintzer Acupuncture building at the corner of Northeast Fifth Avenue and Northeast Cedar Street in the city’s historic downtown — and not stop and smile.
Which is kind of the whole point, says the mural’s creator, Camas High School senior Hailee Parman.
“I was inspired to do ‘Camas Love’ because of how everyone in our community cares for each other,” Parman recently told the Post-Record. “And I experienced this ‘Camas love’ when I was working on the mural. People would stop by and comment on it.”
Parman began the mural in October for her high school senior project.
The daughter of Aaron and Nicole Parman, who grew up in Camas with her younger sister, Maya, a sophomore at Camas High, Parman has always considered herself artistic.
“I grew up doing everything creative,” she said. “And I’ve been taking art classes since I was really little.”
The teenager plans to major in fine arts with an emphasis on graphic design at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, next year, and is looking forward to an art-business collaboration that could help her fund that college experience.
On Friday, March 6, the downtown Camas business Papermaker Pride, which specializes in Camas-themed clothing, will host an artist reception for Parman in conjunction with the Downtown Camas Association (DCA)’s monthly First Friday celebration.
The DCA will host a ribbon-cutting at the “Camas Love” mural at 5 p.m. on First Friday, and Papermaker Pride will showcase Parman’s other artwork as well as a new line of clothing featuring the teenager’s “Camas Love” mural design.
Located in a second-story studio above the Arktana boutique, at 417 N.E. Fourth Ave., Papermaker Pride offers a full range of Camas-themed T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, baby onesies and other apparel in sizes that range from newborn to 5X.
Owners Karen Gibson, Sheryl Obegi and Jamie Reimer celebrated their own ribbon-cutting during the December 2019 First Friday event, and Gibson, a graphic designer, said she was drawn to the bright and cheerful design on Parman’s “Camas Love” mural, so she and Obegi reached out to the Camas teen.
“I saw (Parman) working on the mural and loved it from the start,” Gibson said. “We told her we would love to feature (the design) on apparel.”
Parman said she was excited by the idea of seeing her artwork on clothing, and even more thrilled with the Papermaker Pride owners asked if she would like to receive 25 percent of the clothing line’s proceeds to help pay for her college expenses.
“(Gibson) really left a lot of the decisions up to me, which was really fun,” Parman said. “I went with some lighter colors and a lot of white, because (the ‘Camas Love’ design) just looks nice on white.”
Featuring local artists’ work on apparel is something the Papermaker Pride owners hope to continue after Parman’s debut on March 6.
“Hailee is our first ‘Camas-grown artist,'” Gibson said. “But we are open to featuring other local artists.”
The First Friday artist reception for Parman kicks off with a 5 p.m. ribbon-cutting at her mural and then heads into the Papermaker Pride shop, where the “Camas Love” clothing line will have its unveiling, and Parman’s other artwork, which often features images of women, will be on display.
Parman, who also will celebrate her 18th birthday on First Friday, said she’s been inspired by the art-business collaboration with Papermaker Pride.
“I think I was a little concerned about deciding which college I wanted to go to, and about my prospects after college,” Parman said. “I knew I wanted to major in art, but this (the Papermaker Pride opportunity) has opened my eyes to the fact that there actually is a way to make money off of (being an artist), which is why I’ve decided to have an emphasis on graphic design,” Parman said.
As for how she’ll spend her remaining months in Camas before heading to Boise, Parman said she is busy in school and enjoying her Camas High art classes — “My teachers are so inspiring,” she said. “School has just been a great place for me.”
Much like her mural’s message, Parman said she has a deep love for her hometown.
“I have really enjoyed being a part of the Camas community,” Parman said. “It was a wonderful place to grow up … and I love kayaking and running the trails here, and going to the events like Camas Days and First Friday. I’ve really just loved growing up here.”
To see Parman’s “Camas Love” clothing line after the First Friday event, visit the Papermaker Pride shop at 417 N.E. Fourth Ave., in downtown Camas when the “We’re Open” sign is out; or check the business out online at papermakerpride.com or by searching for “Papermaker Pride” on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.