T-minus 1 Day and Counting

Let the cluster-fuck begin!

TheMan dropped me a couple blocks away from work today which gave me enough time to realize that my original time table was a tad off. Last night the parking meters got jacketed and they closed off the streets either late last night or early this morning. Essentially the city is now shut down even though the art doesn’t come in (completely) until late tonight and in some cases early tomorrow. I’ve seen THAT happen. Heh, nothing like an artist in full blown panic trying to erect a booth and get the wares all displayed like before 8 a.m., which incidentally is the time when they have to move their cars to wherever they park them. I also saw the spray markings for booth boundaries today but they may have been there yesterday and I just missed them. Normally there are huge hashes and numbers on the street itself designating booth boundaries and booth numbers. This year, at least on S. U. there were small curb side hash marks and numbers. Then again, they just finished resurfacing the street Friday or Saturday so it could be a this year only thing. Hate to mar the fresh asphalt. Hate to be an artist on fresh asphalt. Phew!

I walked to the dojo last night and saw a couple of interesting things. First of all, I forgot to mention the other part of Art Fair which isn’t art at all but sales. Sale sale sale! The art booths are all in the streets which leaves the sidewalks open for the merchants to put out sidewalk tables and tents so they too can take advantage of the multitudes of endless pocket book people. I saw several merchants dragging out the ol’ canopy that gets dusted off once a year and others with their tables all ready and waiting to spring out tomorrow. Come Wednesday, you wont be able to walk from one side of this town to the other without hitting some art, a sale, or some clueless browser.

The second thing was the little cul-de-sac of artists on Liberty. They were almost completely set up when I was meandering to kid’s class yesterday afternoon. There is a vacant lot that becomes a small community of about 20 artists or so in an off shoot of the Liberty Street Fair. They may even be their own sub category of Fair, I don’t know but there is usually different stuff in the art-de-sac than on the main street. Some of it is better, some of it is just bigger, all of it is mostly in as I write. That was pretty odd, they were the firsts artists I saw. Then again, other than their giant SUV/trailer monstrosities parked anywhere they could manage, they don’t upset the flow of the city that much. Heh, I think it’s the best four or five days that crummy vacant lot has all year round. I don’t think it is even a parking lot when it isn’t home to the off shoot art community.

This morning, the street barricades are all up and the artists are starting to arrive en mass. I walked by one of the SUV/trailer beasties that was already parked in the street and paced it out for funs and because the damn thing took up so much space I had to know abouts how long it was. Keep in mind, every artist of the 1185 that will be here has some sort of beastie like this filled to the gills with goods. This one measured in it at 14 paces. If we assume I walk about 2.5 feet per pace, then we are talking about 35 feet of storage. That’s 41475 feet of art storage and mobility for everyone or just shy of eight miles of SUV/trailer combos. How the heck do they pilot 35 feet of vehicle plus through this city? Where do they all park?

I also saw some of the artists lurking about on the way in. They have arrived! Two ladies on a deserted part of S.U. were doing some sort of something or other to the road that involved pouring water on markings and then trying to scuff the marks off with their feet. Illegally expanding the booth markings maybe? I also saw a handful of gents unpacking a bunch of hideously pink slats and discussing amongst themselves where they were going to go. The slats, not the guys. Pink. Yeah. Maybe they are color blind. About a block from the Law School, I saw a dude with a flat bed and crane assembly loaded with gigantic metal sculptures. He was unloading some humongous (we are talking 8-10 foot) suited something and had a huge bear, bison and sauhaugin up on the flat bed awaiting their turn. Yup. Sauhaugin. You come up with a better term for “cranky fish guy sculpture” and I’ll use it but until then, he had a sauhaugin.

The last sight before I had to duck into the Quad was the Union and let me say things is rockin over there. I did not get a good look-see at what exactly was going on but I did notice that 20% of the food court is up and several assembled tent tops are waiting to go up as soon as the bases are finished. I guess that’s what’s going on right now. There are also a ton of trailer beasties parked up and down State Street but from the distance I couldn’t tell if they were the food guys’ vehicles or if the State Street artists got up earlier than the S.U. artists. The booths and food court meld together at the Union end of the Fair so it’s hard to say until everyone is set up, then it’s pretty much moot. I’ll know more later when I go out for lunch. Stay tuned for the liftoff of Art Fair 2003!

2 Responses to “T-minus 1 Day and Counting”

  1. dirge Says:

    While there are many good opportunities for elbowing in the crowds, I still don’t think it is worth it. I’m staying clear of downtown AA for the duration of Art Fair. It’s all yours!

  2. boo Says:

    I braved the crowds today at lunch and I just gotta say strollers=bad. Why? Just…why? Get a sitter! Gees, like the kid is going to get any of the art stuff (other than the wooden toys and the Crayola Brights ceramic stuff) anyway. That’s gotta be one heck of a time for the parents to be rolling a small child around a tight, hot, noisy environment. Again…why?

    Ah well. Other than the usual pokey drifting lost dazed people and the booths and booths of art nothing else is really going on. I did get a kick out of watching the out of towners get all glassy eyed. Hee. I’ll tell you what, I’ll take pictures of the cool things and then you can see them without the crowds.