Art enthusiasts will have an opportunity to experience something new this summer in downtown New Milford.

Gallery 25 and Creative Art Studio on Church Street, the New Milford Commission on the Arts and local merchants will team up Aug. 2 from noon to 6 p.m. for the inaugural ArtWalk.

The event will be followed by a concert at the bandstand, part of the Commission on the Arts' annual Edwin Kinkade concert series.

"It's an art day," said Linda McMillan, one of the organizers. "Go watch artists work while visiting stores."

The ArtWalk will be a juried fine arts show of local artists, who will be paired with participating merchants in downtown New Milford.

ArtWalk organizers have issued a call for artists to submit work to be considered for the show, as well as for merchants interested in participating.

The goal of the family event is to showcase art and to draw attention to the New Milford village center and all it offers: beautiful scenery, shopping, dining and more.

Organizers hope the event will "get foot traffic downtown," McMillan said.

"There's been enthusiasm, especially from the downtown merchants," said Diane Dubreuil, of the Commission on the Arts and Gallery 25, about feedback from businesses to date.

"I think it's a great idea," said Vanessa Gronbach, of the Bank Street Book Nook. "Anything that draws people to downtown is a great idea."

"And we like to support local businesses and people," she said.

Businesses will showcase artists' work inside their establishments during the hours of the walk so the public may view the exhibit.

Artists will be asked to demonstrate their art form, so merchants are encouraged to provide an area for the artist to sit, create and talk with guests.

McMillan said a variety of mediums will be featured, including original designs in watercolor, fine jewelry, oil, hand quilting, fiberworks, woodwork and more.

Organizers said they are striving to pair artists and merchants as a good match.

For example, a landscape/plein art artist might be paired with a Realtor, while an artist who specializes in food might be paired with a restaurant or a business related to dining.

Dubreuil said live art may also be matched with a dance company.

"It'll be a total visual arts day," she said.

Dubreuil cited the Village Green as the perfect location for such an event.

"We do have the most beautiful green in the whole state," she said.

Information and maps will be distributed to ArtWalk participants so that they will know where to go to view the exhibits.

Merchants who participate will receive a window sign to alert patrons their businesses are participating.

The deadline for artists and merchants to inquire will be June 20. There is a minimal fee for merchants.

Interested artists should email nmvillageartwalk@aol.com and include a cover letter describing one's art and an exhibition proposal; 10 to 20 digital images, each at 300 dpi, or a link to a website where images are posted; and an artist resume and/or biography with educational background and exhibition record.

For more information, to submit art or to be a merchant-sponsor, email nmvillageartwalk@aol.com.