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Please advise re: condensation danger with overnight outdoor shows.


I'm a photographer and have just scheduled my first two overnight outdoor shows, both within blocks from the ocean (in NJ (Asbury Park and Tuckerton)).

I have a Flourish Trimline with regular and mesh walls and a roof and my big concern is whether I have to protect my work--framed prints and canvases--from condensation and how I might best do that without removing everything from the walls.

Thanks for any consideration.


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I would not be concerned because painters, as well as artists of all sorts of creative disciplines have been doing overnight shows and multiple day shows for many years. I have not read of any complaints or concerns regarding condensation. A Trimline is one of the best tents available and is as waterproof as it gets.

I am at Golden, Co and it rained Friday afternoon and night. This morning condensation on the INSIDE of the tent was unusually heavy, in fact dripping when disturbed. It soaked two towels in wiping it up. You do not have to be near an ocean to get condensation. Nothing was damaged (leather) because we protect everything on the walls with drop cloths covering the entire wall ceiling to floor. 

Somebody told me that if you put a tarp on the ground it will help, but I don't know if that's true, and don't understand why it would be. I do know watercolor painters and pastel painters who bring their stuff in every night because of condensation. I'm an oil painter, and have never had an issue with it. 

As a photographer working with paper under glass condensation is a real issue for me.  After having to redo several pieces after a particularly damp show I came up with the following solutions.  I generally use a rug unless I am expecting a lot of rain.  Since condensation rises from the ground any kind of ground covering is good.  Before I got the rug I would buy cheap painting drop cloths and put that on the ground overnight.  I cover all my photographs with cotton sheets overnight.  They absorb any excess moisture.  I also put my tent high enough so that there is airflow underneath the sides.  Condensation will happen any time there is a significant temperature drop overnight especially on ground instead of pavement.  I do have a Trimline and before that a Craft Hut.  Since condensation comes up from the ground the type of tent will not protect you.  I have seen it so bad it was raining inside my tent.

Another concern close to the ocean is salt in the air which will do a number on any metal poles you have.  I always try to wipe down any metal poles before I put them away if I have been close to the ocean.

This is another reason I use the ceiling. Condensation forms on the underside of the canopy roof and it just drips onto the ceiling tarp and not my product.

I do wood wall art and some of my pieces are mounted on mat board. Condensation in the tent, or even damp weather will affect and warp the mat. One key, as Alison said, is to keep the tent high enough to get air underneath. We usually keep about a foot of space below the walls. This helps a lot to reduce, not eliminate, the dampness in the tent. One problem however is that with the tent higher you really have to weight or tie it down well because you are presenting the wind with a bigger surface to hit.

One of the reason I remove my art work each night during a multi-day show and do not put my work in my tent until the 1st morning if I can set up the night before.


Thanks to everyone for the information.

I store and transport my 16 x 20 frames in same-sized bubble rap bags and my canvases in the plastic bags in which they are originally sent.

Do we know if they offer enough protection if I leave them stored but in the tent, or if whatever they are placed in needs to be completely sealed/air tight?

Thank you again.



It's like any other show.... take your artwork with you at night.  Put a jar of Damp-Rid Beads in the trailer.  You can get those anywhere...  Walmart, Walgreens etc.

I haven't really had an any other show with which to compare.

I've thus far only done indoor single or multiple day shows with security so I've never had to remove anything.  With the volume (and therefore proximity) of work I hang and the fragility of the frames, it's a huge undertaking, especially when I show alone (I'm disabled on top of it...) and the truck is far from the tent.  So I'd have wanted to avoid doing so if possible, which it looks like not

So I'll ask again if anyone can advise whether storage in the tent needs to be airtight?

Thanks Wendy, re: the Damp-Rid.  That's new to me.


Well you are gonna be so happy when you use it then because it will solve your problem.  Buy a Tub of it (or a few) and you peel back the paper seal to expose a series of holes that expose these little white balls in the bottom of the tub that attract moisture.  When they are full of water they expand and the tub becomes full.... toss it and get a new one.  VOILA!  

As for not taking down the artwork....  in my opinion, that is a huge risk that I personally am not willing to take.


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