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'Art under the Elms'

Lewiston, ID.

'Gone with the wind'

Booth price: $350 for a 10 x 10

Dates: 19 - 21st. April, 2024

Ahh Lewiston. I do like this show. It's a square configuration on a grass area of the Lewis-Clark Collage. It's about 75 vendors (total guess btw). This is my third year, and sales are never stellar. But people are just great. So friendly, I love them. Sales-wise, Friday was light, Saturdays were always a banger, and Sundays were unpredictable.

To load in, park on the street (which is cordoned off for us) and then haul your cart over a grass field 50 ft or so.

I dry-camped my RV in a designated car park a 5-minute walk away. That was nice.

But Let's talk about Sunday morning, shall we?

I was woken at 2am by flashing lights and a siren and a megaphone saying: "Attention. If you are a vendor, please go to your booth immediately. Many booths have blown over due to high winds."

I scrambled over there, high winds indeed. It was like a mini tornado. There was only myself and two security guards (who left after 15 minutes...thanks, guys), and then one of the organizers turned up, and a lovely student stayed to help who also raised the alarm (thanks, Fatima.), and one other vendor who stuck around and helped (sorry, I misplaced her name)

We were running from one booth to another, trying to hold them down at all four corners like a hot air balloon. I was being lifted off the ground. Then we would run to another, as that was going airborne, and then to another and another. I took one artist's watercolors that were now tent-less and totally exposed, and I traveled all over the park. (she was a first-time vendor there; I felt so sorry for her), and I put all her things in my tent because my tent was fine. She eventually came and must have been devastated, thinking all her work had gone until I told her they were all safe.

Tents were tipping over sideways and impaling themselves into other tents 30 feet away. I had to rip the canvas off one to stop it taking off. This went on till 4 am

There was so much to do and so little time. We would run from one to another. But we had to just take a lot of people's art, such as glass art, and just lay it flat on the ground. The tents had gone, but there was nowhere to store it. My tent was full, and we had no helpers. I spent a lot of time re-zipping tents and strapping them back down.

But here is what I learned from all this, and I hope you will also value this going forward - respect the minimum 40lb per leg weight rule. also, make sure that you don't only zip the tent up but also TIE THE TENTTO THE LEGS OF THE FRAME. This was imperative. It saved a lot of booths. There were many that were trashed even though they looked fine on the outside, simply because wind found a way inside and created a vortex.

One tent was wrecked because they used cinder blocks but didn't tie them effectively. The wind got in the tent. It blew a heavy wooden set of panels over. They, in turn, hit the side of the tent. The tent sagged. The wind then blew it away.

The next morning, there were many empty spaces where vendors once were. (pottery, glass, etc.)

Anyway, that's all from your roving reporter on the ground. This has been a Conspiracy of Artists exclusive. Back to the studio.

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