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Plein Air exhibition brings Gorge to life with words

Sponsored by Center for the Arts

The 2009 Plein Air Writing Exhibition, sponsored by the Columbia Center for the Arts (CCA), presents the work of its participating writers at a public reading -- which also celebrates the launch of its online anthology -- on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in the CCA theater (Third & Cascade in Hood River).

A no-host reception follows the reading.

Nineteen Pacific Northwest writers participated in this year's event, which included five scenic spots: The Gorge White House, Columbia Hills State Park, Maryhill Museum, Hollenbeck Park and downtown Hood River. Works from these writers will be presented at the reading and also published in this year's Plein Air online anthology, entitled Last of Summer's Sweetness.

The anthology is available Sept. 20 at

Reading are: Kristy Athens, Blue Ackerman, Linda Jo Hunter, Mary Schlick, Jack Mills, Julie Jindal, Paula Friedman, Himanee Gupta-Carlson, Diane Allen, Judy Davis, Tiel Aisha Ansari, Ruby Murray, Penelope Scambly Schott.

En plein air is a French term for painting in the out-of-doors with the goal of capturing a moment -- the lighting, the clouds, the mood -- as quickly as possible. The idea for writers is essentially the same: capture a moment before it disappears. Of course, writers are not bound to re-create visual portraits of the landscape -- the "moment" might involve other people in the area, sounds or conversations overheard, smells and sensations, or even inner thoughts. The goal is to capture a snippet of time as deftly and quickly as possible and paint a picture for others to "see."

The Plein Air Writing Exhibition is part of the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Painting Competition and Writing Exhibition. The painting exhibit opened Sept. 4 and runs through the end of the month in the CCA gallery.


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