Originally published in The Darien Times on July 30, 2019
Darien native Peter Saverine will be the featured artist at Bistro du Soleil at 615 Riverside Avenue in Westport through Labor Day. The Mediterranean/French bistro has a tradition of highlighting over 200 local and international artists on their sunflower gold walls as a complement to the sensory experience that combines delectable dishes with a sense of place in the community. An opening reception to meet the artist, preview and purchase paintings and celebrate over wine and tasty treats with the restaurant owners and local friends will be held on Sunday, Aug. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.
Truly, a family affair, parents Soledad and Bernardo who came to the U.S. in the 1980’s from their roots in Chile work alongside their daughter Maria Munoz del Castillo. Soleil is a bouillabaisse of fine tastes. While Saverine is proud of the invitation to hang his artwork in the restaurant, he is happy to continue his history of supporting local nonprofits by donating 20% of his sales to Project Return in Westport. He says, “Painting has become a rewarding and relaxing hobby that has also created opportunities for me to share with my neighbors to make a small impact on the community. I believe artwork should be affordable and will be showing a range of original work, large and small, from $20 to $450.”
When Soledad stated she preferred a charity that supports women and girls, it did not take long for Saverine to identify Project Return as the worthy recipient of his donation after two quick emails to his friends. Project Return, a fully integrated program of Homes with Hope, serves homeless young women, 18-24 years old, in a safe, nurturing, and structured environment where they are empowered to rebuild their lives one day at a time. By providing individualized case management as well as employment and educational resources, these young women learn the life skills necessary to secure sustainable housing and live independent lives. Lindsay Fabrizio, recently appointed program director of Project Return appreciates that, “The funding from the artwork sales will help underwrite the home-cooked meals that are provided at the house five days a week as well as for essential toiletries, clothing, and basic necessities to aid the young women who face homelessness, domestic violence, eviction or other situations that put them at risk.”
Saverine was born and raised in Darien and currently resides in Fairfield with his wife, Holly. They are proud of their eight grandchildren aged seven years to one week– all of whom live locally. A graduate of Amherst College with a BA in Political Science, he is the Director of Philanthropy at STAR, Inc., a non-profit organization serving our neighbors of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Peter is a self-taught artist whose bright seascapes capture familiar scenes along Long Island Sound and favorite spots in Nantucket and Cape Cod. “I am drawn to lighthouses, sailboats and coastal scenes that bring a sense of serenity on the water. My ride to work allows me to enjoy beautiful views in Southport and along Compo Beach which are the inspiration for many of the sailboats and Wednesday evening regattas included in my paintings.” Saverine also authored and self-published a children’s book about a mermaid at the Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket, entitled Jenny’s Pennies—A Nantucket Tradition, that has sold over 10,000 copies and is in its fifth printing. Signed copies will be available at the show.
For more information about Bistro du Soleil, visit dusoleilwestport.com or call 203-557-6314.