Here’s what the “Artists at Grove Street Plaza” event was like:
Original article, Saturday, 1 p.m.:
Until 6 p.m., you can do something different for a Saturday afternoon in Darien: Visit the “Artists at Grove Street Plaza” where local artists with paintings and photos of Darien scenes are available along with crepes, fondue and soup at the outdoor event.
On one side of the plaza, The Melting Pot has free fondue samples (milk chocolate and dark chocolate), on the other, NEAT coffeehouse has an outdoor table with free samples of a pumpkin soup that needs to be tasted to be believed.
In between, there’s music and enough artwork to stock several exhibits (and many of these artists are between exhibits — one has one going on now at Darien Library).
Entry is free. Money raised by the sale of coffee mugs or other items helps the Darien Arts Center.
Here’s a sampling of what it looks like and what some of the artists say. To sample the food and music — well, you really should go there yourself.
The event is free, but if you go, you'll be asked to register your name and contact information. For that you get the official print of the event (by Nobu). From left, Patou Martin and Caroline Menchero, who were recruited by Nobu. They're from France, and that's where they got the caps.
Billi Kid, who's business card calls him an "Artist at Large" is a Darien resident who won a National Basketball Association bid on the annual decoration of the All Star game court in 2011. He was also hired to contract out decorations of about three dozen backboards with work from graffiti artists. And he designed this image of LeBron James that has appeared on Sprite soda cans.
Fritsch was starting to repair a dock after Storm Sandy and noticed how beautiful the wood was, so now the pieces are a series of picture frames for his paintings of shoreline scenes. Talk about locally grown.
Nanci Natale with another beautiful shoreline scene from Darien. "It's a beautiful venue," she said of Grove Street Plaza. The art fair/food fair, the first of what organizers want to be an annual event "let's people know that we're not just a Wall Street bedroom community," Natale said. "We're also an arts community."
Aimee Ableman of Rowayton buys a painting from Peter Saverine, an artist and former Darien resident. Saverine's late wife was skeptical when he would look at art for sale and say, "I could do that," so one day he bought some supplies, set up in the back yard and started painting. He's been proving he could do it ever since.
Not all of Saverine's artwork is of Darien scenes. He's painted on Nantucket, too, where he came up with the idea for "Jenny's Pennies," a children's book about a mermaid who takes the pennies children throw near a lighthouse on the island. He's sold about 8,000 copies of the self-published book since 2009.
Chef Brian Reilly of NEAT coffeehouse was giving out free samples of pumpkin soup and cider. Try the pumpkin soup. NEAT is opening up Can Tiin, a "modern French Vietnamese Bistro at Bijou Square in Bridgeport (near the Bijou Theatre). If Reilly offers you the pumpkin soup, you need to take it. If you're lucky, there will be some left when you get there.
At the back entrance to the plaza, let Suzanne Forbes (left) and Jeanne Holmes register you and give you your Nobu print of the Grove Street Artists event. There's a rumor that a crepes truck was going to be stopping by. It's probably there now ...