The Market Square Art Park is small city-owned park located at 117 ½ South 2nd Street adjacent to JP’s Bar & Grill. It previously was a vacant lot located between two downtown buildings. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the park was held June 20, 2016.
In addition to seating areas and landscaping, the park features metal art panels designed by Char Downs, fiber art banners created by Freda Fairchild, glazed ceramic art tiles by John Hasegawa, and the sculpture, Fluid Progress, by Paducah School of Art & Design sculpture students Michael Copeland and Lu Colby.
Mayor Gayle Kaler initiated the project with the desire to turn a small vacant area into a creative outdoor space. The City of Paducah Planning Department then held a public charrette to gain input for the park. Mayor Kaler says, “Spaces that are tucked away offer a place for reflection, reading, conversation and enjoyment of the surroundings. This ART park is a pocket park which implies a secret garden place that can be used in many ways by our community and visitors. I believe people will be very happy with their newly reborn space on Market Square.”Kaler adds, “In the park’s design, using local artists was a priority for me. The park has been a collaboration of many minds and talents along with community and business support.”
Durwin Ursery developed the park’s initial schematic designs with J. Patrick Kerr, Architects completing the final designs. In June 2015, the City accepted a $44,371 bid from Midstates Construction Company for the park’s construction. Paducah Main Street received a Creative Placemaking grant from the Paducah Board of Realtors to assist with the cost of the art pieces. Also, the El Arbol Garden Club sponsored one of the cast iron benches.