Art Fair Aftermath

Add New Post ‹ Life Needs Art by Karen Koch — WordPress.htmAh, art fairs! Aren’t they fun? Wandering among the booths, browsing wares from familiar artists and new makers, picking up something cool for yourself or a gift.

Yes, and from my perspective as an exhibitor, they are fun to do. I love talking to people about my work, hearing what they enjoy, seeing what they’ve purchased, and watching them get jazzed about art in general. Plus, the artists at these shows are the nicest people around. I’ve made some great friends with folks in neighboring booths.

And, to be honest. I like setting up my booth and seeing my work all displayed in the bright white tent. It looks cool.

But the flip side is: fairs aren’t easy to do. Weekend shows often let us set up the tents and displays on Friday, which is nice. Saturday morning, we have to set up our work before the patrons arrive. (One-day shows require us to set up everything that day, which can be a logistical scramble.) Then, Saturday evening we pack up our work, take it home, and bring it back and re-display it on Sunday. Sunday evening, everything (art and tent), gets packed up and carted home.

Art that doesn’t sell must be unloaded in the studio, inspected, cleaned of bugs and pollen and dust, and rehung. The tent and displays go home, where they are unpacked, inspected, dried, and packed away for the next show.

So the timeline for a 2-day art fair looks like:

Thursday: Make list and pack
Friday: Set up the booth
Saturday: Set up art, visit with patrons, repack art
Sunday: Set up art, visit with patrons, pack up everything
Monday: Unpack, clean, repair, repack

Easy enough, really, when the weather is good.

Muddy Booth, Art Fair AftermathWhen the weather is crummy – like this past weekend – it’s a whole different beast.

Last weekend was the trifecta of Rain, Mud, Wind. None of which are kind to my artwork.

Most of the weekend, I was standing in a 2-inch-deep mud puddle. Dodging earthworms. Drenched head to toe. Worried if my work was getting damaged.


The short version is that my artwork survived undamaged. Thank goodness!

But the tent and displays were as drenched and muddy as me. Stuff that never came out of the car got wet and muddy. Now, everything needs to be scrubbed, including the car interior.

Not exactly a fun job. I’ll take care of it just as soon as it stops raining. This summer, it could be a while.

Walls, Art Fair Aftermath

Tarp, Art Fair Aftermath

Tent, Art Fair Aftermath

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