David Norcross

Try to Catch Me with My Art Showin’

Since becoming a full-time working artist, I’ve been applying to a lot of shows and art festivals. I was pretty pumped when I found out that I was accepted to the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival this October. Not only because it will be my first festival, but also because it is held near my hometown and its a festival I’ve been going to for years. I’m psyched to finally get to participate as an artist.

The thing about applying to all these art shows is that you have to submit a booth shot as well as images of the types of works you intend to show. And until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even own a tent. Thankfully, there are some pretty good videos and blog posts out there about how to DIY an art booth. Here’s how I tackled it.

First, I bought an EZ Up 10’x10′ white tent at Sam’s Club. Lucky for me, it was the deluxe edition and it came with a carrying bag and velcro sides that you can attach in case of wind or rain. Then it was time to build my wall panels. My goal was to make six panels, two for each side that would hang from the metal frame of the tent. I wanted the panels to be 4’x5′ so they would still be manageable and fit in the back of our SUV for traveling. I made simple, wood frames out of 1″x2″ poplar. I chose to have some depth to my frames by nailing the sides perpendicular to each other. That way, when I display my work, the sides of the panels will act almost as a frame to the artwork.

For the backs of the panels, I used 2″x4″ 14-gauge fencing. I just used wire snips to trim a section of the fencing to fit the back of my frames and then stapled the fencing to the frame. Finally, I attached two eye hooks to the top of each frame and used some chain to create a loop, which I can use to hang the panels from the metal frame of the tent. Once they were assembled, they looked like this:

IMG_0594 IMG_0597

Here’s a closer look at the back of the panel and how they attach to the frame:


To hang my work, I just use an S hook to secure the picture hanging wire to the fencing. I think the whole tent turned out pretty good for my first attempt. We’ll see how she does at the festival. If you’re around, the Fall Foliage Festival will be October 12-13. Feel free to stop by and see if my tent is still standing.



  1. Pingback: Tent Buster | David Norcross

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