57th St. Art Fair- How it went.

That was SOME FAIR- unfortunately I don’t mean I sold out or anything like that. We had a lot of dramatic WEATHER with dramatic results.

Overall I felt we were pretty lucky …until the end.

I was mostly worried about the morning load in. We purchased this hand truck (the R10) just in case we weren’t able to drive to our spot.  It’s a great item, recommended by our good friend Judy who was also in the fair. She is pretty much my go-to gal for Art Fair tips. She’s been in the biz for 20 years and can take down her tent before you can say “Jumping Jehosaphat!”

But I digress.

We were in the “alley” behind the school and were able to drive to our spot…. if we were stunt drivers! Inching through other artists’ vans and trailers we finally got close enough to unload. Then we left our 10 year old to guard everything while we went off to parallel park in the streets of Hyde Park. There were rumors of an artist parking lot- attested to by our neighboring artist but hotly denied by one volunteer manning a street barrier.

After my husband helped me maneuver the UHaul cargo van into a parking spot we walked back and began to set up.  The sky got darker and darker.

After we got the tent erected and had even put a tarp from the back of our tent over the fence behind us to make a kind of back tent area-

(you can see the moisture on the ground)

and after we got everything assembled and inside, it POURED.

We were dry and protected.  So I felt lucky.

Then, magically, at 11 when the fair opened, it stopped raining!

Unfortunately the damage was done, we had pretty low traffic that day.

I also felt lucky that both of the artists on either side of our tent didn’t show up! We could open our walls up and have a lot more visibility.

So we spent some of the time getting to know our nearest neighbor, a beautiful young woman who makes incredible glass and metal sculptures.

I was really happy to see so many of my friends who came to visit and look at my whole set up. It was the absolute best part of the fair for me.

Near the end of the day, rumors of high winds went from booth to booth. We passed on the information and my husband began strapping down the tent to the fence in back and doubling up our 40 lb. sandbags to the front poles.

At the end of the day I took everything down and packed it into the boxes and put them all on the ground- no stacking of boxes. This is pretty much standard procedure. Then we zipped up the tent and drove the UHaul home.

I was asleep by 9:30.

Sunday dawned absolutely clear and cool- none of the steaming humidity that made us all sticky the day before. It was going to be a great day!

We parked and walked the 4 blocks to our tent, passing our glass sculpture neighbor’s tent and were horrified to see shards of broken glass spilling out from under her tent.  High winds had blown her tent into her display and knocked down a lot of it on one side. Many pieces were irretrievably broken.

We opened our tent to find that indeed, high winds had knocked our shelves down but nothing was damaged. We  put the shelves back up and began to set out the work. When our neighbor arrived she was devastated.  The entire artist community felt terrible. Everyone wanted to help. A fellow glass artist came and helped her sweep up the carnage. There was an outpouring of sympathy and support for her.

Being the amazing person that she is, she rallied from losing perhaps one third to half her inventory and within an hour, her booth looked amazing again.

We had a lot more traffic on Sunday, more friends stopped by and I had a fairly steady stream of customers.

After the example of what wind could do (of course rain doesn’t hurt my work!) I was very skittish every time there was a gust; but the wind only blew over a vase that had flowers in it – the flowers made it top heavy- and the vase didn’t break (because my work is sturdy!)

There was a sudden cloudburst and all the fairgoers simply dashed into the nearest tent. It was kind of fun to “host” a small group of people during the short shower.

At the end of the day we had to take everything down before we could get a ticket to drive in and load up. We felt pretty good because we had packed up in about an hour or so- everything was stacked and ready to go but when I pulled in I was unable to park and there was probably 15 minutes of screwing around and waiting for various people to move their vehicles before I could finally pull up.

And then, KASPLOOSH!  A deluge!  Now we’re throwing our shelves in (they can’t get wet- the POTTERY can get wet, but not the shelves!!) helter skelter and trying not to swear at eachother. In retrospect, we had a tarp there – we should have just covered everything and waited a bit.

When we got home and unloaded we were utterly exhausted; my darling 10 year old son wiped off every shelf bless him! And we used that hand truck and it was great!

I am really looking forward to the Krasl.

3 Replies to “57th St. Art Fair- How it went.”

  1. Glynnis, omigosh, last year I did the Cantigny Art Fest and my tent snapped in half after a rainstorm and I was within inches of destroying glass in a neighboring tent. I’m not sure how I went on. I think I was too dehydrated and exhausted to know what was happening during it all. It’s a lot of work and you seemed to have pulled it off. Congrats and I hope to see you and your work at an art group soon!

  2. Tent looked great Glynnis. I think the fair needs to change its name to the Job Art Fair, where an artist’s patience is tested by natural disaster.

  3. Glynnis,
    You & your family are troopers! And in retrospect, sounds like you made some smart choices with regard to how you packed up your tent for over night. the booth looked fabulous and I love the banner with your potters mark!!!!!!

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