You never know what you might find wandering around Somerset.
Maybe, just maybe, you might stumble upon a one-of-a-kind locally created piece of art.
In the social media age, one trend is for artists to draw attention to their work by creating and hiding a work somewhere in their community. It's not exclusive to Somerset -- artists in numerous towns and cities (and even around the world) have gotten in on the act -- but now, the art of dropping art has reached Somerset, and people are having fun with the surprise finds.
Courtney Ribeiro, a local photographer but someone with all sorts of artistic talents, is one of those people who involved in the art drop on both sides -- she's shown interest in finding a piece, and is preparing her own work to participate.
"I have a concept that I want to do," she said. "I was asking people to give me some inspiration and if I use their inspiration for the piece that I create, I said I was going to give them my first clue 30 minutes before anyone else."
Local artists who participate will "drop" their art off at a notable place where people might be expected to find it, but not too easily, and then "drop" clues on social media pages as to where to find it. Maybe a bit of wordplay in the description, or a photo showing a small but informational section of the area where the art has been dropped.
And it's not just paintings and drawings -- whatever a person can create through skill and inspiration makes for a worthy art drop. Local woman Alexandra Roberts, for instance, "dropped" doughnuts one day.
"No one will ever be denied for any kind of drop," said Ribeiro. "We want everyone to feel included."
Ribeiro noted that local artist Nate Corder had done something similar in the past, but the most recent Art Drop phenomenon in Somerset found its origins earlier this summer, with artists Jeremy Scrimager and alexander Sexton sitting out on a stoop one day chatting about a piece of Scrimager's work.
"He said, 'I don't have anybody that wants it or commissioned it,' so he decided to run over to the library and drop it off in the (children's) garden," said Ribeiro. "He would give people the clues and see where it went."
Or as Scrimager put it, "Alex and I randomly dropped a painting of mine in early June. Then Alex dropped a photo a couple of days later. The idea blossomed from there."
He added, "We wanted to keep them organic because I'm a firm believer in artists being their own best promoters."
For a time, there was an active Facebook page acting as a central hub to direct clues for the art drops, but ultimately, many local artists decided it would be most beneficial to have fans of the art drop follow their own pages to keep up with their work and keep an eye out for drop opportunities.
"The idea is to get to know the people in the art community and do the legwork," said Ribeiro. "The artists are doing so much work to create pieces for free. It's kind of a give-and-take. I think it's only fair the community puts forth a little time and effort into getting to know the artists in the community."
The thrill of the hunt is getting people in the community jazzed, and drawing more attention to a part of Pulaski County that isn't always visible -- its artistic side.
"A lot of people are getting excited about local art; I hope it continues," she said. "People like myself are coming out to paint again who haven't painted for a while now. It seems like a true appreciation in the community that makes you feel like you want to get back in there and show people that side of you."