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Arts-centered event in a public space

Event Production, Project Briefs | December 1, 2012 | By:

Après Party and Tent Rental pulls off a sophisticated arts-centered event amid larger-than-life sculptures.

For tent and event rental companies, public spaces are bound to mean one thing—a tight timeline. The annual Walker Art Center Fundraiser takes place every September in such a space—the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis, Minn., which most people recognize as the park with the iconic and whimsical Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.

The annual fundraiser was designed and produced by Todd Pinzuti from Bugalow Six Design, and Après Party and Tent Rental, Minneapolis, Minn., made sure that tents and decor for the event appeared on schedule, without disrupting the sculpture garden just outside the art center.

Tight timeline

Après started installation the Wednesday before the Saturday event—setting up a 40-by-100-foot gable-end Navi-Trac® for the silent auction, food and bars, and a 15-by-15-meter Hoecker clearspan for the VIP and food station. Teardown began at midnight Saturday night and the crew worked through the night to be sure they were off the property by 6 a.m. Monday. Staking was not allowed on the site so Après used concrete ballasts, covered with white spandex. The company also brought plywood to drive its fork lift on so it would not damage the property.

Modern and evocative

The overriding color scheme for the event was classic black and white, with kelly green and mustard yellow accents, which provided a vibrant and sophisticated backdrop for the arts-centered event. The contemporary lounge furniture, appropriate for an event hosted by an art gallery known for its evocative art shows, was donated by Blu Dot, Minneapolis. Après installed level flooring for both tents using their 4-by-4-foot signature staging and connected the two structures with a raised open-air platform, covered with a 3M™ material in a custom black-and-white chevron pattern, installed by Nameless Signs, also of Minneapolis. Both tents included a kelly green custom carpet.

At the last minute, organizers decided to augment the fund-raising efforts with a putting green to kick off a plan to build a miniature golf course in the park. Après installed an additional platform with a carpeted putting green for the guests.

Lesson learned

As a part of the black-and-white color scheme, the client requested an 8-inch black-and-white striped liner on both tents, as well as open gables on each end of the 15-meter clearspan. Though the event was a success, high winds on the day of the event posed challenges for the clearspan’s ceiling liner due to the structure’s open gables—the wind caused the liner to become unsecure. Before the event Saturday morning, several crew members were up on lifts reinforcing the connection of the liner to the structure. “Note to self—never use a liner without gables on the tent,” says Andréa Bach, event specialist for Après. “Next time I’d use clear gables on the structure instead. You would get the same effect but would eliminate the issues caused by the wind.”

And there will be a “next time.” This was the second year Après did the event for the Walker, and the company is already planning for next year, the sculpture garden’s 25th anniversary.

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