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Show Report: 47th Ocean View Art Show

Just getting ready to unload the truck from the weekend's show at Ocean View, in Norfolk, VA. The show was a great one-day show - but it lasted two days! First, the location is Ocean View Beach Park, in Norfolk, VA. Despite the name, the park is on the Chesapeake Bay. It's a nice park with grassy fields and paved pathway winding through the middle. Chesapeake Bay Art Association has been putting on this show since 1962.

The weather didn't cooperate with us Friday or Saturday. Gusting winds both days, with rain on and off Saturday. Still we had people out walking with umbrellas and shopping on Saturday. Unfortunately a couple artists lost tents during the day Saturday. One came back on Sunday with another tent, one of the club members brought out a tent for another artist, and I saw a couple people set up without tents on Sunday! Sunday was a great day, weather wise and crowd wise. Sunny, slightly breezy, fall weather, with the temps in the 60s. There were a steady throng of people all day long and we could have stayed open later than 5 and still done good. I saw one sale being made while the artist was loading up their truck!

Artist attendance was down a little from last year's 71. This year we had 62 spaces, although at least one canceled at the last minute for health reasons. Publicity was good, with two TV stations coming by, several newspaper articles, and radio announcements. Our "Student Tent" took up 2 spots, and was full of artwork from local High School Students. All the proceeds from the weekend will go to an Art Scholarship fund for one or two students.

Next year, keep the second weekend in October in mind for a nice show in Norfolk. Booth spaces are about the lowest around (under $100), and it's an artist run show where we try to make everyone feel at home. To some of the artists it's just like a big picnic in the park with friends. Sales are an added bonus.

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Comment by Pauline Ross on October 29, 2009 at 8:20pm
Hi Dave... I really like doing Ocean View Art Show. Think this was my 7th or 8th year. The weather anywhere in Hampton Roads presents challenges at all shows. The bay adds wind. My neighbors EZ-up blew over several times! No weights! I like the fact that artists are running it and the volunteers were especially helpful this year. Sales were down because of Saturday rain but overall, it went well. I like it in October too. The area has upgraded and I feel so has the crowd.
Comment by Jill Beninato on October 18, 2009 at 4:08pm
Thank you have been so helpful!
Comment by Dave Hinde on October 18, 2009 at 3:49pm
1. I didn't have any real leaks this past weekend. It did drip a little on the center seams at a show last year. Not really what I'd call a leak, more of a drip on a couple stitched places
2. I haven't done anything, but understand there is a spray available
3. I do use the weight bags from Flourish, and found it's better to use gravel than sand! Sand leaks.
4. It does let in enough light to show my work, but I'm still investigating different lighting systems. I want something that can run off a power pack, probably CFL or LED lights. I've actually found that I need the lights more for indoor shows. Inside you are relying on the rooms lights, and you may be in the shadows.

That's a good price for a Caravan with sidewalls. I got mine at Costco for around $200.
Comment by Jill Beninato on October 18, 2009 at 2:41pm
Thanks Dave for your suggestions...I have a few more questions if you don't mind...
1. Did you find that the tent leaked badly in heavy rain?
2. Did you take any other measures to waterproof it?
3. Did you use any weights on the four legs?
4. Does the tent material let enough light in to show your work well?

I am leaning towards the Caravan Display Shade kit at this time....I found it on sale for $167.99 at some place online called the Sports Chalet...If I save some on the tent, then I can afford the mesh panels from Flourish to go with it....
Comment by Dave Hinde on October 18, 2009 at 2:08pm
I love my Caravan. The wind was pretty bad in Ocean View this year and last year, and it stood up with no issues. The only think I don't like is the cheap quality sides. The zippers do have a tendency to pop. I'm on my second set of sides, but didn't have any issues this year. I have learned a couple tricks in getting them set up. Before you put the tent all they way up, put the sides on. I've even heard of people that don't expand the last corner of the frame all they way until the sides are in place.

I think the Sta-bar, and the fact that I use heavy steel grid wall panels help keep everything steady on straight. Fastening the wall panels to the Sta-bar helps square up the tent. I'm not sure the ceiling tarp really helped, but it's added insurance in case of leaks.

If you haven't done outside shows before, I suggest you start out with some smaller shows, or more "relaxed" shows. I'm planning on doing Gosport in May next year, and possibly the Chesapeake show that is put on by the same group as Stockley. Cheaper entry fees and the jurying is not as tough.
Comment by Jill Beninato on October 18, 2009 at 9:06am
Hi Dave...I live in Va. Beach and was wondering how you like your Caravan canopy? I see from your posts that you have made some modifications with the sta bar supports and a ceiling you feel comfortable using this canopy? I want to apply to Stockley Gardens, Neptune and maybe the boardwalk and I am going to need a canopy...Not sure I want to invest in a Light Dome, etc. since I don't plan on doing many shows...Thanks for your help!
Comment by Dave Hinde on October 14, 2009 at 2:21pm
I've just updated it, and apparently it propagated to all my previous posts. Not sure why I didn't put it there in the first place! My name's not a State Secret, but the company that pays my full time wages does monitor the internet to make sure we don't discuss Secret stuff:-)
Comment by Nels Johnson on October 14, 2009 at 6:41am
Great report Dave. But what is your last name, is this some State Secret?
Comment by Dave Hinde on October 12, 2009 at 2:28pm
The Ocean View Show used to be mid-August, but it was just too hot for a lot of people. This is the 3rd year it's been in October. The Ocean View Show and the Stockley Gardens Show almost seem to compliment each other. I think the two shows compliment each other. Some of the same artists will do both, but Ocean View draws a higher percentage of local artists than does Stockley Gardens. The cost is lower at Ocean View ($50-75 this year), but the sales are not as good as they'd be at Stockley Gardens. From a part time artist's perspective, Ocean View is much easier and fun to do. The spaces are roomier, usually with just lawn behind you, and it's a more relaxed atmosphere. I don't do Stockley, but if I did, I'd have more sales, but pay a higher fee, so I don't know if I'd end up with any more at the end.
Comment by Leo Charette on October 12, 2009 at 1:30pm
Good report Dave.

I am curious. Stockley Gardens Fall Fest will happen this coming weekend in the Ghent area of Norfolk. It would seem that two shows in the same area with just a weekend apart would be a problem. Have these two shows always been a week apart?

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