Sunday, June 19, 2011

Storm Slams Asheville Art in the Park

It was the worst case situation. A strong line of thunderstorms came in quickly and hard and hit the event with 60+ MPH winds. I was in the back of the B line when I noticed the back of the line of tents was about to fly away with vendors struggling to hold on to their tents to keep them on the ground. I held on to the upwind side of of the B line but the wind pushed so strong I was pushed backwards several feet before regaining my footing. I finally managed to pull the pins out on my side and get the tent to drop down letting the forceful wind to pass overhead instead of slamming into the tent.

When the winds finally calmed down, the square was total chaos. Tops were torn from tents, whole tents with weights were lifted up and smashed to the ground, one with a vendor still holding on and product was blown away or smashed to bits. A few of our potters lost everything that had at the show. Thankfully no one was majorly injured.

The amazing part is what came next. Artists started helping each other pick up the pieces. Seeing the devastation I changed the donation requirement at the show and started collecting for the artists that had seen the most damage. In the devastation I transferred several hundred dollars donated from the artists least affected to the most affected. Many artists gave more then the suggested 10% of sales.

As I helped clean up the huge mess created by the gusting wind, I saw artists that had just lost everything picking up trash in the street and helping other artists. The integrity and passion these artists have continuously blows me away and I am honored to be part of this community.

I hope you will come out to Asheville Art in the Park in Pack Square for our final June event on Saturday the 25th from 10 - 5 and support these great local artists as they recover from this disaster.

Mountain Xpress video coverage ->

If you have stories from the event, please share them on our group page here->