I traveled from Washington to Louisville to participate in the three-day St. James Court Art Show. Things were pretty odd in Washington the past couple of weeks (A mass shooting, a psychotic driver, a human torch on the Mall, and the Republican shutdown of the government), so I wanted to get away to do something fun.
The deluge before the flood
Organizers shut down the St. James Court Art Show an hour early on Saturday and called off today’s final day because of heavy rain and the threat of thundershowers — cutting the popular event short for the first time in 57 years.
“You have to think about safety. Lightning and metal poles don’t mix,” said Bette Kennedy, volunteer coordinator for the show. “It’s just really, really sad.”
The show was one of at least three local events washed out by the rain. Also canceled was the Hosparus Lunar 5K, which had been scheduled to take place Saturday evening starting at the New Albany (Ind.) Riverfront Amphitheater, and the Big Rock Jazz and Blues Fest, which had been scheduled for today in Cherokee Park.
Unbelievable. But it rained all day Sunday. Parts of Louisville were flooded and at least a dozen people had to be rescued from the water. And it was totally soaked around my house, where some of the art show takes place.
And it really sucked for the artists. They came from all over the country because the show draws hundreds of thousands of people during the three-day period. More than 700 booths were set up, and occupied, with all kinds of art: painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, jewelry.
Tile painters, who were set up in front of my house, had driven all the way from New Mexico. Jade sculptors, who were also located in front of my house, were about to break down their tent when a last minute buyer showed up. And hour later, they had sold $5,000 worth of jewelry. Can you imagine how much more they would have made if they had another day to work with?
What a letdown. I wanted to hear the artists’ stories and my door was open to anyone who wanted to come in (and a bunch did). Instead, I was stuck indoors on Sunday, no art show outside.