Monday, February 20, 2012


 Uptown Art Expo at Cranes Roost Park - Altamonte Springs, Fl
February 18-19, 2012

The top photo is my pretty display probably about 30 minutes before I gave into the elements.  The forecast had been for thunderstorms most of the day Sunday.   Luckily, we did not get rain at all.  What we did get was wind - a lot of wind.  The wind was steadily blowing, but then we had gusts anywhere between 45 - 50 mph (according to NOAA).  I'm saying it blew even harder than that at times!  A few artists began breaking down their displays around noon.  I held on with the hope that things would get better; instead they got worse.  Around 2:30 I had had enough.   Although weighted down, tied down, and clamped down, the tent and displays were sliding around and things were just becoming more and more unstable.  If you look closely in the top photo, you can see that the tent is actually even tied to the palm tree next to it, which helped a little until the wind changed directions.  

People didn't hesitate to help, even while their own booths were in jeopardy.  Brandy, Jeff and Kirt, and 2 other neighbors and I managed to get the panels dismantled and get the tent down without much damage and more importantly, without anyone getting hurt.  We had to work really quick to keep the tent from blowing away - thus the ginormous mess.  I could never have done it without their help.  

While Brandy was busy helping me, her tent slid around to the point she too decided to break it down.  Jeff was not as fortunate.  While he was still helping me, Kirt had gone back down to watch the booth.  To his horror, a gust of wind came in and picked up the tent threw it backward and twisted it, with all of Jeff's phenomenal original pencil drawings inside.  It was tragic and his tent will need repair, but luckily it appears most of his work is o.k. and no one was hurt.   In his 14 years on the circuit, nothing like this had ever happened.   I understand that many artists suffered damage and loss. 

As a newbie, I kept asking the veterans if this was typical or not - I was assured by them all that it was not!  Thank Goodness!!!!  

Was it a good sales weekend?  Not at all.  Did I make memories and spend time with great people?  I sure did!  These times show the true spirit of the artist:  tenacity and valiance.

Funny thing is - I'm going to do it all over again next weekend. . . and the next!  Wish me luck!