This last month was literally such a whirlwind of events I’m still spinning. It’s been a rough year for us with weather. Starting with the torrential rains at the Belleville Illinois show we traveled on to Des Moines, hoping for better days. Its one of our favorite shows, we love the town, the organizers are the best, and this year we had a great hosts with a beautiful art-filled home to stay with.
We set up our booth Friday morn, went home and showered and were ready to open it up at 2 pm when the show opened. We had a great first day on Friday & went home happy to our hosts who had beer and snacks ready for us. We like being hosted.
In the middle of the night our cell phone rang and Stephen King the director told us our booth had flipped and though his staff was working to help out we probably should come down and see what we could do. What we found was a scrambled mess. A freak wind-rain storm snuck into Des Moines and wrecked havoc with the show. Four booths (one being ours) were flipped and the interiors twirled and tossed. The show staff had saved as much art and supplies as they could and moved them to a safe place. Fortunately for us our jewelry was with us and we didn’t have to worry about lost art. But the rest was lost. Our canopy has been torn, torqued, tossed and totaled. Much of our display is broken (all our glass), wet and ruined, scattered, or soaked.
The next day we unpacked all the things we had jammed in the van in the hurry of the night before and sorted through things, dried out what we could, threw away a bunch of things. And so it goes. This is a double hit for us as we have display and canopy to replace and we lost 2 days of income as we lost 2 days of sales. Sigh. We bid Des Moines a sad farewell and headed home to redo, replace, repair, remake our booth.
I must comment on the Des Moines Art Festival staff. They were there when the storm hit and were able to mitigate a lot of damage and ruin through their quick response to the storm. Without their actions things would have been so much worse. They stayed up all night helping out artists and were still up the next day, restoring tents, returning saved artwork to artists, checking weather reports. They also rented tents for all artists who lost theirs should they want to continue with the show. Kudos to DMAF! They were the best.
With the help of friends and fellow artists once home we pieced piecing back together as we have a full show schedule from now until September. And this has been the golden lining in all our troubles. We are surrounded with some of the best people in the world. It sounds hack-eyed, but knowing they are out there worrying, caring, cheering for us has made the recover so much easier. We made it to the Salem, Oregon with our “new” booth and display materials. At Bellevue, WA we were inside a parking garage out of the weather. Never has a parking garage looked so lovely. We are back up and running, still slightly twirled by events, but well on the road to full recovery.