Weathering an Outdoor Exhibit

We had everything set up and ready to go for the children to walk through the exhibit. Our first offering with it all put together and set up. Excitement was bubbling out of the educators. Excitement was…until we walked back outside to find many of our easels and stands blown over by the wind. Our frames were punctured and broken. Some of the children’s artwork blew down the sidewalk. We felt gutted. We had worked so hard on this project and we forgot to account for the weather. It was defeating. 

The children were set to arrive any moment for their first experience with this exhibit. We got creative for the time being and placed the panels on the ground in front of the easels. The artwork we pinned down even more. We tied a fishing line to connect the panels to the easels so that they wouldn’t blow over. Kaitlin carried wheelbarrow loads of rocks to weigh our stands down. This seemed to work, for now. The panels being at the children’s eye level actually helped them to get a closer look and really engage with some of the letters, photographs, and art work. Though some of our solutions only lasted short term, and when the stands blew down even with rocks holding them you could hear audible gasps from the educators, and concerned squeals from the children.

This offering to the children was important. It was their voices that we were capturing, and their stories that we were helping to tell.

We needed to rethink how we are offering this exhibit, and quickly, as our ‘grand opening’ is fast approaching.