Camas artist Liz Pike will host the Fern Prairie Art Fest this weekend at her own Shangri-La Farm.
“Art is an important part of life. It unites us as people. It’s clearly missing in today’s current events,” Pike said.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, visitors can peruse 15 artists’ booths spread around Pike’s extensive gardens.
Pike, a Master Gardener and former state legislator, is well known locally for her colorful sunflower paintings. Her works depicting natural subjects can be seen at Camas Gallery and she’s been selected to display her art at the Washougal Art Festival every year since its inaugural show in 2016. Her works have also been featured at many other local venues and shows, from the Three Creeks Community Library to the Battle Ground Art Alliance Spring Show.
Pike has continued to make art during the pandemic — as have artists everywhere — but opportunities to connect face-to-face with the public simply aren’t available due to restrictions on public gatherings, or out of an abundance of caution on the part of organizers. Most summer art fairs have been canceled or moved online, a fact confirmed by a quick glance at www.lizpike.art, where she lists her recent and upcoming shows. Pike said she just received notice that this fall’s Clark County Open Studios Tour, which had accepted Pike as one of its featured artists, has been canceled.
“That’s the frustration that I hear not just from artists, but from people,” Pike said. “The community loves to celebrate art and they love festivals.”
Pike decided to offer up her own property as a beautiful, relatively safe outdoor venue for such an occasion.
“They will be among the gardens, but the artists themselves will be 6 feet apart,” Pike said. “They’re all going to be in their own tents. We’re just going to ask the citizens who come to maintain social distancing in the garden.”
This is a juried art show, meaning that the artists participating in the fair went through an application process and were selected by a panel of other artists for their originality and creativity, mastery of medium and professional display.
“Art lovers like to go to juried art shows because the quality of art is there,” Pike said.
There’s no admission charge to attend the fair, although participating artists have been asked to pay a modest booth fee. There is also free shuttle service on the “Sunflower Mobile” from the guest parking area at Grove Field Airport, 632 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas. Attendees can also walk the quarter-mile trail from Grove Field through the woods to Shangri-La Farm. Either way, Pike hopes to get a good turnout.
“I want to bring the community together with artists and have us celebrate art again in a safe way,” Pike said.