Film festival calls on artistsfor 2006 abbearations’ MILFORD - If you’re creative or an artist who wants to exhibit work locally, submit your sketch for decorating a bear sculpture for the seventh annual Black Bear Film Festival. You don’t have to make the sculpture yet, just devise a wonderful way to adorn it. Right now, the Black Bear Film Festival is seeking artists to create the Painted Bear Sculptures that will grace the streets of Milford for several months before this year’s festival, October 12-15. Sketch application deadline is Monday, May 15, with bears to be completed by July 31. Artists whose concepts are accepted will then transform the creatures into painted sculptures. From whimsy to funny to outrageous to extraordinarily beautiful, the Painted Bears are a highlight of each year’s Festival, and are auctioned at the end of the Festival to the highest bidder in an often hotly competitive bidding that is a prime film festival fundraiser. On August 12 the completed sculptures will be unveiled and placed around the Milford area in front of sponsoring businesses. “The painted bears are an exciting aspect of the Film Festival, and draw loads of visitors to the area,” says Black Bear Executive Director Nancy Pitcher. “As soon as the decorated bears are placed at our sponsor locations visitors come to snap photos of the sculptures. People often stop by the festival office to pick up a painted bear map and do the whole tour!” Concept sketches will be voted on by a design committee in late-May.