Whether you have a fine eye for fine art or just want to take a summer stroll where there's plenty of activity and lots to look at, downtown is the place to be this weekend.
Parker Harding Plaza and Gorham Island will be the scene of open-air galleries and studios on Saturday and Sunday for the annual Fine Arts Festival sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association.
The merchants group said about 135 artists from across the nation will exhibit a wide variety of media -- painting, watercolor, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, and photography, plus the first-time categories of glass, ceramics, fiber, jewelry, wood and digital art.
Art will be for sale, and some of the artists will demonstrate their techniques during the two-day fest. A jury of local artists will award prizes.
From modest beginnings in 1973, the festival has grown in size and reputation, and thousands of people from across New England and New York are expected to attend.
The merchants association is billing the event as a family destination, too, with music, street performers and children's activities.
Artists enlisted for the fest include nearly 100 returning from previous Westport shows and 39 first-time exhibitors, the merchants association said.
Show organizers have tried to make the mix of art accessible to all visitors, the sponsors said, with work for sale at every price point. Large-scale oils, sculpture, and photographs will be displayed next to works in watercolor, pen and ink, and prints.
In addition to traditional art, jewelry featuring gems, semi-precious stones and more economical material will be for sale.
Most artists will be available during the show to answer questions and discuss their work, the merchants association said.