By Erica Ando
Bill Savarese has completed Reflections at Port Everglades, the first mural of Broward County’s VisualEYES project.
South Floridians might know the Pompano Beach artist’s work without realizing it. For his blue-tinged, Oakland Park mural of legendary musician Jaco Pastorius, Sun Sentinel’s City Link named him Best Muralist of South Florida 2010.
A New Jersey native, Savarese earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Denver in Colorado. He spent his senior year in Copenhagen, Denmark, and fell in love with the place. Denmark became his home for the next 16 years. He married a Danish woman and his two daughters, now college-aged, were both born there.
In 1989, while working on animated films in Copenhagen, Savarese entered and won a competition to paint a large mural inside a wholesale vegetable warehouse. Smitten by the experience of working on a large scale project seen by many people, he has painted murals and participated in mural art events ever since. For example, he spearheaded the group Wall Street Art, sponsored by the European Union in 1996 when Copenhagen was designated European Capital of Culture.
Savarese moved to south Florida in 1997 to join his best high school buddy. Despite his many years abroad, he feels at home in the area. “I love the ocean,” he says, and talks about seeing lobsters and tarpons while snorkeling at Pompano Beach.
Savarese is excited to see the other murals in the VisualEYES project. He says, “I’ve wanted to be a part of this project for a long time. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”