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Introducing #seemyset Art Market: An art fair that builds tourism at home

First event of the year will highlight artists, downtown eateries and boutiques at Pulaski County farm

In their first event of 2021, the City of Som­er­set and the Som­er­set Tourist & Con­ven­tion Com­mis­sion are tak­ing down­town out into Pulas­ki Coun­ty.

The event, an open-air mar­ket from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat­ur­day, March 27 at Suits-Us Farm, is an effort to build tourism at home by show­cas­ing all down­town has to offer to local res­i­dents.

“We’ve always known our best ambas­sadors are our res­i­dents,” said Leslie Ikerd, City of Som­er­set tourism direc­tor. “But what we have learned in the past year dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic is how impor­tant it is to sup­port busi­ness­es, artists and musi­cians right here at home that fuel our local econ­o­my. With this event we’re unique­ly focused on tak­ing down­town out­side of the city lim­its and pro­mot­ing all we have to offer so that our res­i­dents will not only vis­it down­town but encour­age oth­ers out­side the coun­ty to do so as well.”

The #see­my­set Art Mar­ket will fea­ture a vari­ety of ven­dors — includ­ing local and region­al artists who will sell their work, plus sev­er­al down­town bou­tiques and eater­ies. Food trucks will be avail­able on site and local musi­cians will per­form acoustic sets through­out the day.

The high­light will be an auc­tion to ben­e­fit art ini­tia­tives with­in the city. Bour­bon bar­rel lids paint­ed by local artists dur­ing the city’s Moon­light Fes­ti­val in Octo­ber will be auc­tioned dur­ing the event, with all mon­ey raised going to a new #see­my­set Art Fund. That fund will be avail­able to sup­port future art projects with­in the city, Ikerd said.

The Som­er­set Tourism and Healthy Som­er­set will also unveil a down­town Mur­al Walk dur­ing the mar­ket. Res­i­dents and vis­i­tors will be able to vis­it Som­er­set Tourism’s web­site, seesomerset.com, to view an inter­ac­tive map direct­ing them to each of the murals down­town spon­sored by the city and learn more about the artists who cre­at­ed them — an ini­tia­tive that not only pro­motes the city’s grow­ing arts pres­ence, Ikerd said, but encour­ages healthy behav­ior.

The mar­ket is pre­sent­ed by Applied Behav­ioral Advance­ments. Own­er Chris George, who also serves as the pres­i­dent of the Down­town Som­er­set Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, said the mar­ket will offer a unique set­ting to build excite­ment about what’s hap­pen­ing in down­town Som­er­set and show­case the community’s tal­ent­ed artists.

“We have so many incred­i­bly tal­ent­ed artists in Som­er­set,” George said. “Cer­tain­ly we can see the murals around, cer­tain­ly we all know a lot of them. But it’s not very often we get an oppor­tu­ni­ty to come to one loca­tion and see all of the diver­si­ty of their art­work.”

Ikerd par­tic­i­pates annu­al­ly in trav­el shows in metro areas like Cincin­nati, Louisville and Lex­ing­ton to spread the word about what peo­ple can expe­ri­ence when they vis­it Som­er­set. Because these shows were can­celed in 2021 due to the pan­dem­ic, she said she embraced the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate some­thing that focus­es on grow­ing tourism at home while con­tin­u­ing to pro­mote the arts.

The #see­my­set Art Mar­ket will be the same week­end as the No Boat Show Boat Show, an ini­tia­tive of Lake Cum­ber­land Tourism to show­case boat deal­ers, mari­nas and out­door adven­ture busi­ness­es.

“We are always focused on ways to bring peo­ple down­town, but we also want to take oppor­tu­ni­ties to bring down­town to oth­er parts of the coun­ty and pro­mote the things peo­ple can find when they vis­it,” Ikerd said. “We are excit­ed to part­ner with Lake Cum­ber­land Tourism to do an event the same week­end as the No Boat Show Boat Show, as a way to pro­mote our entire coun­ty.”

Suits-Us Farm is locat­ed at 4291 Ky. 80 in Som­er­set. Admis­sion is free. To learn more and see a com­plete list of ven­dors and artists par­tic­i­pat­ing in the #see­my­set Art Mar­ket, vis­it See Som­er­set on Face­book or our events cal­en­dar.

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