By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — The new Paint the Peninsula festival is on throughout this weekend, with a French-style party Saturday night and an outdoor celebration Sunday at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
First off, the public is invited to partake in people's choice voting on the dozens of plein air — outdoor — paintings on display at the fine arts center today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
These canvases, the fruit of the Community Plein Air Contest, are arrayed as a giant painting.
Also happening today is the Paint the Peninsula Competition, in which some 28 professional artists are setting up their easels outdoors.
They're competing for the top award at the first Soiree de Gala, a fundraiser at the fine arts center from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
The winning artist will have his or her plein air painting turned into the label for a new Camaraderie Cellars wine.
Tickets to Saturday's soiree are still available for $100 per person at 360-457-3532 orwww.PAFAC.org.
During the party, patrons will enjoy food, drink and conversation with the artists, and be the first to know the competition's victor.
Open Air Festival
Sunday brings the free Open Air Festival in Webster's Woods, the park surrounding the arts center. Activities for all ages — storytelling, mural painting, photo hikes — will go from 11 a.m. to4 p.m.
Visitors also will have a chance to see a fresh crop of plein air “quick draw” canvases by Paint the Peninsula's pro artists.
Information about all of these events is at www.PAFAC.org — but Robin Anderson, the center's executive director, urges art lovers to stop by today to see the community contest results in full color.
Saturday night, she added, presents a chance for art lovers to not only meet painters from across the region but see the Peninsula's beauty through their eyes.
Both the pro competition and the Community Plein Air Contest drew a wide variety of people, Anderson added. Youngsters, adults and families showed up for the contest, eager to get out there and paint.
“People said: 'We're so excited. We always wanted to do something like this.'”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.