City of Somerset takes successful art market to Rocky Hollow Park

SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Continuing its focus on events that support the arts and promote community destinations, the City of Somerset will host a second #seemyset Art Market Saturday, Aug. 14 — this time, in a new outdoor location downtown.

“Our first market was an incredible success,” said Leslie Ikerd, City of Somerset tourism director. “Our goal with that event was to take downtown Somerset out into Pulaski County by hosting the market at Suits-Us Farm, promote tourism at home and show residents and visitors the incredible arts and entertainment environment that has been created downtown. We had a great crowd and a wonderful day celebrating our local and regional artists.”

The second art market – the city will plan to host two annually going forward – will be downtown, Ikerd said, highlighting one of the city’s newly updated parks, Rocky Hollow. Participating artists and art houses will set up in tents along the walking trail through the park from 2-8 p.m., with food and drink vendors dotting the path and sounds of instrumental music on the Joe Ford Amphitheater stage filling the air.

“After all of the updates to Rocky Hollow Park were complete, I knew I wanted to create something here that had the same feel as the Woodland Art Fair in Lexington,” Ikerd said. “Rocky Hollow is the perfect space to highlight our local and regional artists while also showcasing one of Somerset’s beautiful outdoor gems in the heart of downtown.”

Those updates, completed in 2020, include a repaved walking trail, new and structurally sound bridges that cross the stream flowing through the park, updated signage and disc golf equipment, and cleared hillsides for improved safety. A new playground for the park is being planned, as well as a Readers to Leaders Storybook Trail — a project of the 2020 Leadership Lake Cumberland class.

The first #seemyset Art Market featured an auction of bourbon barrel lids painted by artists at the 2020 Moonlight Festival. The second event will continue this tradition — artwork created for the 2021 Foodstock and Juneteenth festivals will be auctioned this time. Proceeds from every art market auction benefit the city’s #seemyset Art Fund, which provides financial support for future art projects within the city.

The online-only auction will soon be available on the Ford Brothers Inc. Auctioneers website, and bidders will be able to view the artwork in person at the market before bidding online if they so choose, Ikerd said. Ford Brothers is the official sponsor of the #seemyset Art Market auction.

“We were able to raise more than $2,000 for the art fund with our first auction of bourbon barrel lids,” Ikerd said. “I love this new tradition. Being able to share these magnificent pieces with the community while raising money for future arts-centric events is a win-win.”

Several art houses will participate in the Aug. 14 market, including Somerset Art Studio, Sheltowee Artisans, Watershed Arts Alliance, Cooper Community Arts Center and Flashback Theater. The event will also feature several individual artists and business vendors.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase at this free community event from Get Ur Smoke On, The Cellar, We B Poppin, A1 Ice Cream and Koffee Pig. Jarfly Brewing will also sell a local brew and cider.

Instrumental music will begin at 2 p.m. with violinist Lucy McArthur, followed by drum soloist Bradley Shane Gilmore at 3:55 p.m. and the Somerset Big Band at 5 p.m. Flashback Theater will provide a short performance at 3:15 p.m.

Mayor Alan Keck said he hopes residents will take the opportunity to enjoy downtown Somerset for the entire day on Saturday, Aug. 14. “Come buy your fresh produce and meat at the Lake Cumberland Farmers Market Saturday morning, have lunch at one of our downtown eateries, check out a few stops on our mural trail and then head over to Rocky Hollow Park for an afternoon filled with art and live music,” Keck said. “We’ve worked tirelessly to revive downtown Somerset and light it up with art, music and business. Our downtown is vibrant and there’s so much to be proud of and celebrate.”

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