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City of Somerset takes successful art market to Rocky Hollow Park

New outdoor location for #seemyset Art market creates midsummer night’s vibe with instrumental music, tents and green space

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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