Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...Severe weather hitting art fairs this season!

This photo was taken at the Fountain Square Art Festival on Saturday, June 28: showing the damage at the Evanston, IL as the result of a "micro burst". I seriously considered doing this particular art fair this year and would have been there except the entry fee was higher than I wanted to pay, considering the questionable economy. You can view a video of the aftermath here.

The weather this year has been erratic and many art fairs have been the brunt of it. I've been lucky so far, but what I'm about to share has certainly has made me give thought to just how vulnerable we are out there in our pretty white tents.

Some organizers are watching the weather for you, but rarely give you enough time to get your work out...let alone get your tent down. Unless you have an easy-up tent it just takes awhile. I understand that the storm system could by pass or dissipate...but I hope the events that follow will give organizers a wake up call as to their responsibility to their artists.

This is what happened at the Omaha Summer Arts Festival. The photo was taken by Don Ament..."The Summer Arts Festival is the latest victim of the severe and unpredictable weather which seems to come up out of nowhere. Most of the artists were okay, but according to the Omaha World-Herald, 10 to 20% of the artists suffered enough damage to have to leave the festival after the Friday storm. The festival continues on after the cleanup."

These are some links from The Art Fair Insider if you would like to read the entire articles I have referenced. The remarks of the artists attending these art fairs are phenomenal...a real wakeup call as to just how terribly vulnerable we are out there. Stone Arch Festival of Arts in Minneapolis, Omaha Summer Arts Festival, Chicago...Evanston, Ill, Evanston, Ill..#2

I sit out there many weekends during the summer to the elements and at Mother Natures mercies. I've never experienced weather like there has been this summer and these storm reports have made me consider my display, packing, and my take down.

I never leave my art hanging at night and I always take my originals with me when I leave for the day...but there is allot left in the tent over night, (prints, framed and unframed in crates...and large framed prints in the "Stiffy" bags I've mentioned before). What I leave in the tent is as protected as possible for the "normal" storm. But these things seem to be getting worse and worse. It's impossible to hall all that I carry out each night, and just as impossible to get it down in a hurry...let alone out and into the van.

I try to always have someone keeping an eye on the weather for the area where I'm showing and I say a little prayer at the beginning and end of each day, for God's blessings and protection....don't think there is much else we can do. I did experience one bad storm system at Hinsdale, Ill. and chose to leave early before the next front got there...I escaped with all intact. Many did not. Many artists lost everything!

So I ask: Do you think "global warming" is the cause for the changing weather patterns? How do you prepare for bad weather when showing at outside events? Do you leave your work in the tent at night? Any advice for those of us out there on the art fair circuit? Would you be able to recover if a storm took your tent and made trash of your art?
The "Chat Line" is open...we look forward to your comments and please feel free to comment on what others have to say.

Hope you had a nice July 4th...I'm home this weekend, enjoying the wonderful weather.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
The Art Fair Insider

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment


Jennifer Bellinger said...

Hi Marsha, I, too , am doing a local art show this coming week. It's been 30 years since I have done an outdoor event. I'll post after the show any exciting happenings. My entire exhibit is original oils so I will be packing them out each night. A lot of work but like you, I will at least be able to sleep knowing I only left a tent and walls to the elements!

Marsha Robinett said...

Even though I take my originals with me...there is allot that remains, framed prints and other loose prints that I sell. I carry so much with me. It's just impossible to remove everything. Wish I could. (guess I could if the overnight forecast was really bad)

I too will be showing next the Chicago area again, (Napervill Woman's club show). Will be thinking of you and be checking out your blog to see how you did.

Karen Hargett said...

Marsha those are some sobering pictures. Weather has been so strange lately. Last year in May I had my best show in a flood - 19 inches of rain in one day but it rained for the entire 4 days of the show too. Driving back and forth was scary and not something I want to repeat. That show and some others put up huge tents and you raise your tent inside theirs. They were pretty well set for high water as we were on burmes. It does cut down on the chances of losing everything. I did have problems with a couple of mattes buckling and some fell behind the matting but do to all the dampness in the air but that was about it. If I do it again next year I'm not going to bring so many originals - that loss would be too much to handle. I don't foresee the weather getting back to "normal" - I think it is a sign of our times and will continue to be unpredictable. Good luck with your show next weekend - I'll pray for good weather for you.

Paul said...

Now you see why I work small and pretty much come in and out with what fills a tote. Just bought one with wheels that houses all my stuff so now i'm livin' large lol. Now just pray the weather cooperates for AITP!

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