Sixty rained-on people stand in a square, forming the walls of a makeshift art gallery. The art hangs around their necks. We squeeze unceremoniously between two of them. "I'm so glad you're not hurt!" Jed Dunkerley yells, rushing toward us. "You came right through that wall!" He points to the "door," an opening in one corner, which we hadn't noticed. Greg Lund­gren, fingering a white envelope fat with a stack of cash ($500, all in fives), welcomes us dryly: "Some people aren't used to this kind of gallery."

Before the night was out, Dunkerley would spin a four-foot white arrow mounted on a lazy Susan in the center of the square. It would point to a fellow named Benny Phanichkul, wearing gray galoshes and a thrift-store paint-by-numbers of two cowboys (one black, one white) in an idyll, and he would get the money—he would win the Arbitrary Art Grant in Art Dealing. Would he spend it on any of the art being dealt right here in this Capitol Hill gravel parking lot? "No, I'm gonna spend it on my own art," he said. "I'm a percussionist, but I work as a software tester, which I hate. The only thing I have to live for is my creative outlets." Benny, that sounds terrible! "It is terrible," he said.

This is exactly why Lundgren gives out Arbitrary Art Grants: to get art made without the usual judgment that only "good" art deserves funding. All summer, he has been handing out similar randomly earned cash prizes in dance, writing, graphic design, and sculpture. Past entries from all such contests will be exhibited in a giant mass at Bumbershoot, with winners selected on the spot in three new categories: photography, fashion, and architecture.

The walls were thick with dealers in the parking lot. It was not immediately clear whether the arrow pointed to Phanichkul or to the freckled man squeezed up next to him, who wore a driftwood boa, short shorts, and a framed, gray-toned grid drawing. His name was Michael William. "I'm AWOL, so I dropped my last name," he said with cheer. "I actually made this around the time I went AWOL. It's my take on the American flag."

Four-year-old twins each sported a drawing of a monster. Recognized artists like Ben Beres and Toshi Asai let cupcake crumbs and raindrops fall on their paintings. Recent art-school grads rubbed literal elbows with a busker, a guy working on his Globetrotter spin, a latch-hooker with a Pomeranian, and an entire family strapping on paintings from the Official Bad Art Museum of Art. At least one sale was made, by Jenny Zwick, of a print from the series What Might Go Wrong, for $10. It read, "Forget how to breathe." recommended