'Art on the Plaza' to draw up fun downtown Saturday

Janie Slaven I CJ

Local artist CeCe Butcher took part in last year's "Art on the Plaza" event in Somerset. This year's "Art on the Plaza" by Watershed Arts Alliance will take place this Saturday, June 15.

Watershed Arts Alliance is drawing up something big this weekend -- and painting it up, building it up, and so much more.

The second-annual "Art on the Plaza" event takes place this Saturday, June 15, at the Judicial Center Plaza in downtown Somerset. Some of the area's finest talent will be on display, giving people an opportunity to browse under the sun, or better yet, take something home for themselves.

And, organizers hope, that sun will be a little bit more artist-friendly this time around.

"I think it was a really good reception (from the public) last year but it was so very hot when we had the event, I think it kept a lot off people from coming and enjoying it," said Watershed director Wynona Padgett. "The artists had a great time and sold quite a bit of their work, but it was just a really hot day, and I think the forecast will be nicer to us this year."

The event will stretch all day at the plaza, from 10 a.m. until about 7 p.m., so people can go to other scheduled events going on around downtown that night -- and there are plenty. Enough that a sort of "art hop," offering opportunities at different locations, is being considered at part of the overall "Art on the Plaza" experience.

"Art on the Plaza" offers a tremendous opportunity for talent in the community to get some exposure in a public setting and make some new fans -- hopefully some who will take pieces of art home with them.

"We hope (the event) means first of all that (artists) will be able to sell some of their work," said Padgett, "and we also hope to be able to introduce them to people who may not know about the talented, amazing artists we have in our community.

"Anybody paying attention to the arts scene here know we're about to explode," she added, "and we are really excited about it. Everyone is trying to work together and get (Pulaski County) more on the map than we already are as far as artists -- visual, music, everything."

There is not yet an official count on the number of artists who will be present because not everything has been finalized, but numerous artists have pledged to come, and still more artists of all types are being accepted. Also being accepted are more vendors and food trucks to help make the experience an overall informative and pleasurable one for those who stop by the free event on the plaza.

The Shine House will be a part of the occasion, painting ceramic mushrooms and holding painting projects at their table. Amber Ross will also do chalk art with children on the ground, weather permitting.

Additionally, a number of musical guests will be performing throughout the day, including:

• David "Big Chill" Napier of Driftwood Gypsy, a funk and soul man making his first appearance in Somerset, at 10:30 a.m.;

• Sammie and Dan Suggitt, Americana song duo, at 11:30 a.m.;

• Pep & Pizzazz Dance Studio students doing dance routines at 12:30 p.m.;

• Steel Appeal steel drum group from Campbellsville University, playing a variety of of musical genres, at 1:15 p.m.;

• Flashback Theater Co., performing selections from their ongoing production of "Pirates of Penzance," at 2:30 p.m.

• Chase Cimala, a senior at Somerset High School and Rat Pack-style crooner, at 3 p.m.;

• Liam's Fancy, a Celtic group from Lexington, also new to Somerset, at 4 p.m.;

• The Tussey-Pena Trio, playing jazz, blues, and favorites at 5:30 p.m.

The art hop will include an exhibit in the Corner Gallery at Flashback Theater Co. on East Mt. Vernon Street from noon to 4 p.m. of Carla VanWinkle's art; a free live photography demonstration and following Q&A session at 2 p.m. at Wandering Elm Photography on East Mt. Vernon Street; the Somerset Art Studio on West Mt. Vernon Street open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. having art opportunities for kids all day; and art exhibits, class sign-up opportunities, and an open mic session with Joe LaMay and Sherri Reese at the Carnegie Community Arts Center, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

That evening, "Pirates of Penzance" is staged at Flashback Theater Co. at 7:30 p.m.; Jarfly Brewing Co. will have Kevin Dalton and the Tuesday Blooms at 8:30 p.m. and a debut act in Somerset, a Little Bit More; and the Lunatic with Tommy Minton will be at the Rocky Hollow Park Joe Ford Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m.

"We will finish everything at the plaza by 7 p.m.," said Padgett. "That way, people can get to (these other events) without any problems. It will be a fun day for people who want to get out and sample a little bit of everything."

Art on the Plaza's Title Sponsor is the Don Franklin Somerset Family of Dealerships, which is a Watershed Arts Alliance Platinum Sponsor.

For more details or to request a booth space, contact Padgett through Facebook Messenger, at 606-383-0367 or by email at watershedartsalliancedirector@gmail.com.

"We encourage everyone to bring a lawnchair," said Padgett. "Bring the kids. The fountain will be on. There will be lots of stuff to do."