MYSTIC — The 62nd annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival returns Aug. 10 and 11, with 230 artists lining the streets with original artwork in many different media. This year’s theme, "Environmental Sustainability," and has attracted many new artists whose work embraces recycled materials or promotes a green message, to join our many longtime participants.

Art Festival host, the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce hopes to highlight the importance of preserving our environmental assets for the enjoyment, utilization, and artistic inspiration of future generations, said the chamber's event manager Kearney Worthington in a statement.

New this year, said Worthington, will be the awarding of the "Green Award," which will be given for "the best example of sustainable work ... to the artist whose work best embodies the theme of the show through either the materials used or the message the work conveys."

The Festival Children’s Art Park will be hosting activities by organizations such as Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic Aquarium, that will be both "fun and educational," Worthington said, and will highlight "the importance of environmental sustainability."

"We hope that this year’s show reminds our guests of the importance of caring for our planet," she said, "and helps to continue efforts in reducing the negative effects we leave on our planet."

The Emerging Student Artists exhibit, which gives budding artists the opportunity to display their work "at a prestigious art festival as well as gain experience as exhibiting artists," will be located near the Mystic Museum of Art.

"We have invited students from around the area to participate in the show once again," Worthington said, noting that the museum "will offer a new feature with a waterfront view" this year, an Art Bar featuring light bites by Gourmet Galley Catering. Beverages such as wine, mimosas, and beer will be available for purchase as well.

For more information, call 860-572-9578 or send email to kearney@mysticchamber.org.

—  Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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