Sunday, July 6, 2008

Disaster at Evanston Air Fair

You may have seen the news about the disaster at the Evanston Art Fair, June 26, 2008 with tornado-like winds wiping out 20+ artist tents. Mine was among them. Not only that, but I was inside my tent when it was crushed!

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 moments, 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 was bruised and scraped but okay. The artwork, somehow, made it as well. I think it was the fast action picking up everything. I examined everything 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!
Here is a link to a news report.

No comments:

The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library (Video)

My sketchbook is part of the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project, Volume 16. The Sketchbook Project at the Brooklyn Art Library is a cro...