“My big comment was, ‘I don’t feel like I’m in Somerset. “I was like, ‘That’s kind of the point.'”
Somerset City Tourism Director Leslie Ikerd, noting what she heard from people on Saturday, has helped plan many major events for the streets of the city center. But pull out Ky. 80 and host a showcase for local talent in a rustic bar decorated with lights and a country life atmosphere while celebrating the best of what Somerset has to offer – it’s the best of both. worlds in Pulaski County.
The #seemyset art market took place on Saturday at Suits-Us Farm in west Pulaski, and represented the first major event of the year for the city of Somerset, continuing a mission that flourished in 2019 but derailed last year due to COVID restrictions.
“I came here for an event last fall,” said Ikerd. “… I can imagine all we had to do in Somerset coming here. Really, how do we take what’s going on downtown and broadcast it to the county, to the region, to the whole state?
“At this time of year, we were thinking, how could we do it safely? she added. “With the spring weather we will probably still have rain. So we decided to have it here at the barn and be able to leave the doors open, still in the open air. There is a lot of air circulation. and it’s a safe place to have (Also) it’s beautiful. “
Ikerd said they wanted to continue what the city had done in terms of revitalization and promotion of the arts goals, but wanted to put it under “one roof” and provide a way for people to see artists at work. They also exhibited the bourbon barrel lids painted by local artists at last fall’s Moonlight Festival – many with designs celebrating Somerset’s own Bourbon Horse Soldier, or the downtown landscape itself – with the aim of auctioning them off, with all the money going to a new # Semyset Art Fund to support future art projects in Somerset.
Around 3 p.m., about 300 people had passed by, since the barn doors were opened to the public at 11 a.m.
Jacob Wilson from Somerset ran the Doomsayer Designs booth, with a large assortment of designs ranging from weird comic book creatures and fantastic dreams to Mike Tyson. Wilson was happy to showcase his art to so many people.
“It’s really cool,” he said of the event. “It’s also a really great place. Anything that has art in the community that brings everyone together is cool.”
Local artist Tyler Sanchez recently launched Frankenbunni, his own brand as a commissioned artist in his vibrant and colorful style, while being playful and avant-garde. She sold stickers and prints of watercolors and digital artwork.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve been invited to something like this. It’s welcoming, like a home in the community.”
The Lake Cumberland Artists Association had about eight of its members in attendance, all ranging from painters to artists to artisans. Chairman Marty Wiles noted that this was still a bit unusual for the group, which started late last year but were happy with the turnout.
“This is our first event,” Wiles said. “Just to see how many people showed up, it’s crazy for me.… It’s exciting, going from an idea a few months ago to now, it’s really exciting to see it all start to come together. place we have worked hard for. “
The city of Somerset led by Mayor Alan Keck has made promoting the arts a priority for the community, not only with events like Saturdays, but also public murals, concerts and more. Ikerd explained that a focus on the arts is not only an intellectual endeavor, but it’s also good for business.
“Art brings happiness, it brings emotion, and it’s a tangible thing that you can’t just go out and buy in the store,” Ikerd said. “Being able to see it or smell it or touch it creates for you an experience which is, in the language of tourism, an unforgettable memory, which makes you want to come back, which makes things familiar.”
In addition to the visual arts, stage performances were on stage throughout the day – not just musicians, but artist monologues with Flashback Theater Co. and poetry by Emily Crockett. Artists had set up booths to view their pieces, whether they were unique prints or physical treasures to wear, use and enjoy. The Get Ur Smoke On food truck, Baxter’s Coffee and Somerset Sweeterie also offered a taste of what Somerset has to offer.
“We’re open for business again,” Ikerd said of the city and its plans for community events. “We’re going to start doing things, we’re going to start living again, we’re doing it in a safe way, while also giving the economy a boost we need and spotlighting local artists.”