Seriously. I was robbed. As a result, my art show season ended with some big surprises last fall in Albuquerque, NM.
And really, I’m okay with that.
I was in town doing The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival, which runs the same time as the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta is one of the largest international balloon events in the world.
On day three of the two weekend event I returned to the hotel found a big surprise: my trailer had been stolen.
The police were called in and the papers filed. I was told at that time “good luck” getting it back and that it was probably long gone in Mexico.
In the hope of getting some relief, I talked to the front desk at the Days Inn and asked to talk to a manager. The manager was not in but I was assured there was surveillance video of the parking lot. The next day I returned to talk to the desk because I still had not heard from the manager. I was told she had been ill and would call me later. Did I mention it was the Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd?
I heart those boots.
My good friends, David and Judy who were also at the art show, let the show directors know of my plight. The show directors called a local news station and I made the evening news.
This was good because it brought people to my booth that might not otherwise have stopped.
My second surprise came when I realized the Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd doesn’t give a care about me or my trailer. I never heard from the manager. I never received a phone call. They even refused to hand over the surveillance tape to the police. I even went so far as to call the chain to see if I could file a complaint and never heard back from them either.
We stayed at that Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd ELEVEN days and nothing EVER happened.
Then my third surprise came!
I got a call on the Friday of the second week of the show and the police had spotted my trailer in downtown Albuquerque. According to the police I was one of the lucky 1 in 20 to get theirs back!
Great news, I was ecstatic!
During this time I was thankful I had insurance to cover my trailer. I was lucky that most of my art and booth were at the show. I lost three bins full of prints, display items, packaging materials, lighting equipment and a small original.
However, when I tallied up the number on exactly what it was that I lost it was still at around $2,000. I thought this was still worth putting in a claim. This is where surprise number four came in.
After putting in my claim I was told it was not going to go through. They said it was because my art business is, “only covered up to 500 feet of my office.”
I am a fine art painter! My agent knew the nature of my business when I signed up for the policy. I stated that I need the insurance because I travel and do outdoor juried art shows. I needed protection from weather, theft and car accidents. I needed to have the trailer and its contents insured!
According to the agent, after the fact, none of this was covered. The reality stung.
I felt as if I had been robbed. Again. Twice.
Once by a couple of yahoos in a hotel parking lot and a second time by a licensed insurance professional.
Then I began to thank my lucky stars.
You see, I had been in an outdoor show last spring where a small twister took out 10 booths in a different part of the show. Had I been one of those artists, I would have lost everything. So I am in pursuit of a new agent and insurance because April 6, 7 & 8 I’ll be at the Deep Ellum Arts Show outside of Dallas in Deep Ellum, Texas to kick off my art show season (I’m in Booth 20!)
Lesson learned ……I will make sure all my bases are covered properly. After all, this is a business and not a hobby.
Just to be clear – did I mention it was Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd?