Hail, Heavy Wind and Rain at Art Fairs: Part II


While on the subject of this weather-scarred art fair season let’s not forget the damage at the Evanston, IL, Fountain Square Art Festival on Saturday, June 28:

Fountain Square Art Festival

And here’s the story from the Chicago Tribune.

I heard a few other reports from Jerry Berta and Madeline Kaczmarczyk. Madelyn was nearby in Highland Park at the Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft, where there was some wind, but not the terror that was taking place in Evanston.

Another subscriber was at the Randolph Street Market (in Chicago) and reported “it was it was the windiest I’ve ever experienced – tents were moving around and umbrellas were flying up.”

Here is the report from Chicago’s #1 art fair fan, Ed Seidman, “Highland Park was a great show with a wide variety of media. There was a bit of wind, but not bad.

We are saddened by the micro-burst that wiped out Fountain Square on Saturday. It was sad to see the news with the broken ceramic bowls being swept up.”

In an earlier post I showed you a photo that photographer Don Ament took in Omaha, when he got home he reported when he got home to Kentucky he was so glad to be there he started shaking and felt such sadness for those artists who had lost it all in Omaha and the whole terrifying experience. Omaha Summer Arts Festival

He also reported that the main music stage big tent appeared to be ripped in half, with one half of it flipping over, with legs sailing into the second story windows of the nearby building.

This has been a terrible art fair season for the artists. No matter how well you are prepared for the weather the wind will always have the upper hand. Usually this coming weekend is the biggest weather-challenged event of all, the Boston Mills Art Fair in Peninsula, OH, famous for its flash floods.

Everyone please take care.


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3 Responses to “Hail, Heavy Wind and Rain at Art Fairs: Part II”

  1. Barbara Sistak Baur Says:

    Hi Connie,
    I was at Evanston. Here is my personal story:

    About 10 minutes before the storm, show officials ran around and told everyone that a bad storm was on the way and to take your art work off the display walls. First I tied on all the tents walls and clipped them tight. I was in my closed tent and taking some of the larger pieces down and leaning them together. The wind was horrendous. The tent fabric was flapping violently and the everything was shaking. But I was ready for high winds, due to my experience earlier in spring, and felt secure with my weight system. Then the wind really picked up speed. I grabbed on to the tent frame to give an extra weight. Then it got heavy. And heavier. Then it pushed me, the display walls and the entire tent down the ground. I was trapped under it and the tent next to me which had blown on top of me. It was a domino effect. I fell into the next tent. I was holding the debris away from me and saw large chunks other people’s stuff flying by. I couldn’t get out. The tent and display frame was twisted and the fabric flapped around me. I heard crashes and screams from all around and I was hoping nothing would slam into me. When the wind died down a bit, rescuers ran from debris pile to debris pile uncovering people. They finally got to me and said the storm wasn’t over and to run for cover. Which I did. After a few moment, swarms of artists picked up all of my stuff and art work out of the rubble and pulled it to the sidewalk. The tent was carted away to a “dead tent” pile with dozens of others. I quickly threw artwork and everything else into boxes. Several young men picked up everything and carried it inside a nearby church. Thank goodness because then it hailed and rained like crazy.

    I am bruised and scrapped but okay. The artwork, somehow, made it as well. I think it was the fast action picking up everything. I examined everything this morning and just minor repairs are needed on the frames. My able assistant (husband) thinks he can fix enough of the display panels to get me going for the Madison show. I will have to buy a new tent.

    So that’s the story!
    Barbara Sistak Baur

  2. Bill Says:

    And by the way, apparently patrons were not warned in time.
    My daughter attended the event and was hit by a flying table and had to go to the hospital. Hopefully, her “repairs” also remain minor.

  3. peaches Says:

    I was at the Evanston art fair as well- absolutely nobody warned me that a storm was coming. I was lucky enough to have gone to the main office to use the restroom, and I overheard some of the fair employees talking- when I came back outside I saw the cloud and quickly had my boyfriend and father seal up my tent. We hung on for ten minutes while everything was shaking around us! It was really crazy. Oh, and by the way, this was my first fair! What an experience to remember! (I’m seriously not looking forward to my next fair this weekend….)

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