Outdoor Show Tips

Tips for Show Day and Setting up Tents

Mountain Brook Art AssociationTents need not be expensive if you are not going to do a lot of shows. Academy
Sports has a large selection. The EasyUp brand is quick to set up and they have
them for around $125. Look for ones that have the straight legs so it is easy to attach your screens to it. Only buy white. Black will be too dark for your work and will make the tent too hot. Blue or green tents will discolor your artwork.
Hint: Put up the tent at home to test it. Some tents have the fabric unattached so you might have to do that yourself. They simply attach with Velcro, but don’t assume and wait for show day.
Click HERE for a good description of an easy to make extremely lightweight
screens. The current price is probably around $30 per section . Each screen is 3 feet by 7 feet.
Do not use the sawtooth hooks to hang your paintings. The wind will eventually
work them out of the canvas back. Use wire attached to eye hooks or d-rings.
The wind coming through the valley can get very strong. Weights are critical to
keeping the tent down. Also, attaching all the screens to each other and to the
tent helps add weight.
The easiest weights to use are 2-gallon jugs of water with a spout.
The two gallon has a handle that you can use to tie to the tent corners. Look for the plain drinking water to save money. Buy well ahead of the show as the artists will buy out the supply. Tie at least one jug at each corner of the tent by using thin rope attached to the top corners of the tent. Tying them to the bottom of the leg doesn’t work as well. A strange dynamic, but true.
Do NOT use bungy cords to tie anything down. They stretch too much. We had a
member have one snap back directly on his eye. Tie all the screens together with zip-ties that can be purchased in the electrical section of Home Depot or Lowes.
The grass on the field is very thick and this time of year we will have so much
dew many artists complain that the watering system went on during the night. Not so. The tent top will drip water down the sides. Be prepared with paper towel or sponges to wipe down. Wear shoes that can take the wet conditions. Have covered plastic containers to hold small items.
Try to remember to put on sunscreen when you start out the day. We have
way too many artists get burned every year. Feet get burned, too!
You must collect sales tax of 9%. ( Multiply the price by .09) Add it on at
the sale. Do not include in the price of the painting.
The club runs credit machine for those artists who do not have a machine. If your customer wants to charge, send him to the Hospitality Tent with the completely filled-out 3 part sales slip. Remember to have your name on the slip! We run it through. The customer returns with the paid sale-slip. THEN give him the artwork. You get paid a couple weeks later, less the 4% bank fee on the entire amount including tax. Sorry, but this is how charge companies work.

  • Checkbook (must have to pay for taxes and lunch)
  • Cash for the ice cream man
  • Fully-charged cell phone
  • Zip-ties, drapery hooks, tape to hang booth sign
  • Stool if you are short
  • One or two folding chairs, the lawn type that won’t sink into the grass
  • 3-part sales book, pen, calculator
  • Business cards, brochures, guest book
  • Sunscreen, water, small cooler
  • Footwear that can be worn in very wet grass, heavy dew in the morning
  • Paper towel to dry any drips from dew
  • Plastic containers to hold paperwork and checks, pens
  • Plastic tarp to cover work in case of rain