Flying Low 2012/III Wrap Up
Well, it’s done! Yesterday’s Flying Low was pretty much a repeat of June’s.
The first big challenge was selecting the date we had picked and committing to it. Locally, we’re at a time in summer when many dates are taken by public holidays and much higher ranking art festivals and events that pose as considerable competition for our fledgling grassroots initiative. These obstacles will continue for quite some time. We’re warm to the idea of skipping August and holding the fourth and final Flying Low of 2012 on September 22 but anything could happen, so we’re being cautiously optimistic.
The second huge hurdle, being that Flying Low events are always held outdoors, is the weather. Since spring, we had lost two portable gazebos to violent downbursts. Even the cheapest portable shelters aren’t all that cheap when Mother Nature forces you to replace them that frequently.
Sure enough; after committing to and advertising Flying Low 2012/III as scheduled for July 28, we used our third portable shelter for a college send-off barbecue for one of my little brothers just last Sunday. The big hard sun was chased away by a big hard storm and the gazebo was ripped asunder by another downburst. With only 6 days away from the scheduled event, we had to buy another gazebo.
Further more, all week, there was the constant threat of rain for the event day. We planned on Sunday the 29th as being the rain date but of course, who wants to reschedule any kind of event on the count of inconvenient weather. By last Friday night, the forecast for our area had dwindled to only a 20 per cent chance of rain during Saturday’s early morning. It was still a real threat but with considerably improved odds at pulling off another dry one. The wind then became the greater concern. We forged ahead.
Much of the sale was spent under a dull grey overcast but conditions fortunately remained dry right until the end. The sun did fight to come out, and we had a couple good hours of a bright sky which is always good for attracting visitors. The wind started out mild but did increase to strong gusts by 9AM that threatened to blow away my art. Fortunately it never got as serious as the June event which had nearly devastating winds.
Despite being comfortably cool, the humidity was quite high for the first hour of the event.
My constant concern about weather conditions aren’t just about having adequate conditions for holding the sale; they’re also about ensuring that all art on display will not be adversely affected. Relative humidity, extreme dryness, high UV index, wind and rain can utterly and quickly destroy expensive works of art.
At a 2011 outdoor art sale by the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology that we participated in, one of my favourite local artists hung prints bare to the elements. His price range was pretty high for a gig of that kind; works priced between $100.00 and $1200.00. It became hot and humid as the day progressed and I could see a good chunk of his work, even at the higher end, severely warp and tarnish. I believe he had no sales that day. I felt so badly for him. Ensuring that I use a shelter is just one of a number of protections I take when participating in or holding an outdoor event, and none of it even ensures zero risk. You just can’t trust Mother Nature.
Fortunately, potentially problematic heavy heat didn’t creep up until the very end of our sale. Detrimental humidity came back shortly after too.
As with all events so far this year, Kim and I had to keep advising visitors to not park on the properties of our neighbours.
As with June, we had approximately 50 visitors; still not as good as the May sale, but we nearly doubled the money we made.
So, please wish us good luck and keep watching for further developments with Flying Low.