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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  • Great info here, thanks! It will definately help me to be prepared. Don't trust the weather even if you from sunny region.

  • 301670724?profile=RESIZE_480x480Thanks to all your tips and my excessive planning my artwork managed to stay dry at the art fair! It rained and thunder stormed both days. There was even hail on Saturday night. My trim line tent made it through it all, no leaks. The cleanup sucked though; I had to dry everything out the next day. But I had good sales at the show so I'm happy I went even though there were storms. I've attached a photo of my booth so you all can see my setup. And thanks again for the advice everyone! Really appreciate it :-D


    • Nice work!  Love the cats.

  • 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?

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

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

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