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Artists at 36th Brookside Art Annual recover from Friday's storm damage

Broken glass at 36th Brookside Art Annual
Tent damaged at 36th Brookside Art Annual
Posted at 10:24 PM, Apr 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-01 08:39:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — KSHB 41 news crews spoke with organizers Friday at the 36th Brookside Art Annual about storm preparations for the Friday night storms.

Although artists did prepare, the weather prevailed and caused damage to a few booths.

“About 10 o’clock last night, we had the rain storms come in with that second line, that brought the heavy winds. Unfortunately we had about half a dozen tents that were damaged,” said Sean Ackerson, executive director of the Brookside Business Association.

Ackerson says phone calls went out to artists late that evening about damage they noticed early on.

“We had some artists that were on site and were able to go assess the damage initially, before security got here and started the phone call, and started letting each other know, we’re here, what can we do to help? And here’s what you’re dealing with,” Ackerson said.

For artists like Kristen Gereau, the damage was something she says she couldn’t wrap her head around.

“I got the phone call, and I knew immediately what it was,” Gereau of KGereauTextiles said. “I didn’t know what I was going to walk into.”

Thankfully, Gereau wrapped up her scarfs for sale and took them back to her hotel the night before, but says she was worried about her tent.

“The tent was all the way parallel to the ground. These legs were up in the air, these weights were just hanging vicariously, and I wasn’t sure how to walk into the situation and because I didn’t want to get hurt, I didn’t want to move something and have everything collapse,” Gereau said.

Showcasing her artwork for over a decade, Gereau says she never experienced weather and damage of this nature.

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I’ve never once packed up my whole booth in the middle of a show and taken it with me like that night,” she said.

Jon Lee, another artist, also packed his jewelry the night before. He returned to find his glass casings and tent destroyed.

“When we came here, the tent was completely damaged, the structure was all broken,” Lee said. ”Everything was on the floor. The glasses, there are only two pieces standing.”

After assessing the damage, it was the art of artists helping other artists that Sean Ackerson says couldn’t take away from the big picture.

“Seeing the artists come back out at 5-6 a.m. ahead of not needing to make their own clean up, but to share in other people's clean up, was really impressive. It’s a community that takes care of each other,” Ackerson said.