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Thunderstorms are expected at the art fair I'm attending next weekend. I've participated in a couple small local shows, but this will be my first larger show. And I've never done a show in the rain. 

To prepare, I recently purchased a flourish trimline tent with a clear door wall for the front. I'll use flourish's mesh panels to hang my paintings and digital art, and I'll have a couple art bins for prints. I also have foam grid flooring.

Any tips or advice? Should I take artwork that I'm not that worried about getting ruined by rain and save my better work for shows that won't damage it? 

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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A few tips

Don't hang artwork too close to the ground. There might be splash damage when water runs off the roof of your or your neighbor's booth.

Make sure to have enough room entirely in your booth for your display, inventory and for you to sit and make sales.

Use plastic bags that you can tape closed for people leaving with their purchases.

Use pieces of treated 2x2's or 2x4's to lay on the wet ground to pile your boxes on top of.

Make sure to have a few white tarps with you to cover your dolly when moving your display and artwork to and from your vehicle.

I'm sure others can contribute some more suggestions.

Larry Berman

^^^ = like

We are scheduled to do a show this weekend.  This is our first time at this show and so looking forward to it.  It is at Melrose Plantation in Melrose, La.  It has been raining for a few days there and rain is expected to continue.  So the grounds will already be wet and rain is expected during the show.  Last time it was like this at 2 other shows it was a slosh pit.  One of those 2 shows continued both days.  The show cancelled Sunday.  I am not looking forward to the mess.

  A tarp for under your flooring,  it can get pretty muddy and this will be a barrier to keep you floor cleaner.

  Clean up afterward will not be fun, try to minimize it with lots of tarps you can hose down later.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll let you all know how it goes. Right now the chances of thunderstorms are 80% for both days :-/


It sounds like we could be at the same show this weekend.  I will be at Melrose Plantation in Melrose, LA.  What about you?

I'll be at Artsfest in Stillwater, OK.

Set up your cell phone to get the local weather and watch the radar.  I use an app called Dark Sky which alerts me when rain is coming and how long it will last.  It isn't always accurate about how long it will last but pretty accurate about how much time I have to prepare.  And in really bad weather remember your safety is more important than you artwork and get to shelter.  It amazes me how many stories I hear from artists about how they held the tent down in the tornado....  If you do go to shelter zip the tent up all the way against wind getting in and picking it up.

We use Dark Sky also. I was was introduced to it at the Deerfield, IL show about three years ago. Our neighbor used it, and told us about it when she told us rain was arriving at 6:00PM. We zipped up early and walked to the van right at 6:00. About a hundred feet from the tent, the rain started coming down. I downloaded the app that evening ;-)

During tear down last year in Tupelo, there were warnings from local weather about high winds and storms coming. The radar display showed two cells east and west of the show site less than a mile apart with us in the middle. The winds picked up some but we were dry the entire time. I trust that app.

For dollying , stacking for set up or take down, I use heavier mil weight plastic drop cloths. For overnight Colorado mountain storms, we drape our walls with the same drop cloths held in place with cloths pins. For pin-hole leaks in tent roof I have a tube of silicone. Inventory is in plastic tubs with tight lids. Medium is leather. Personal gear includes rain jacket with hood, rubber soled boots or Tinglies for leather soled boots.

I have a couple of clear shower curtains that I hang on the front crossbar of my screen setup when rain is forecast. I can pull out one or both as far as needed to keep the rain off the art, but still let the people come in. I reinforced the bottom corners with packing tape and punched holes in so I can bungee them down and keep them from blowing. Of course, they only work when the rain is light and folks are still walking around. When it pours I just zip up like everybody else and wait it out.

I too use clear shower curtains. In my case they cover saddles.  The slightest sprinkle will leave a watermark on leather. 

For us non I pad I phone people (yes there are still some of us out here), is there an app to recommend that is good or close to being as good as Dark Sky?


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