Nine years ago — soon after Lindsey Blaivas Levine moved to Westport — she hired a Brazilian couple to clean her house.
She loves learning about people’s backgrounds. Cleiten did not speak much English, but Angelica was eager to chat.
Her great warmth and wonderful work ethic quickly captured Lindsey.
A few years later, Angelica had her 1st child. Worried, she asked Lindsey questions about his development.
Over the years, Lindsey watched with awe as Angelica navigates the Bridgeport school system (advocating for services her son needs) and healthcare (researching and saving money to see specialists).
Angelica and Cleiten, with their son and baby daughter.
“She is just about the most amazing parent I know,” Lindsey marvels.
“She and Cleiten quietly do whatever they need to to make sure their son gets everything he needs. Their love and passion is evident in everything they do — even cleaning.”
But Lindsey did not email me because of their son. Instead, she wants “06880” readers to know about Cleiten’s art.
He is self-taught — partly from YouTube — and amazing. He paints murals and makes furniture (“Lillian August quality, if you ask me,” Lindsey says).
A chair and table, designed and created by Cleiten.
She had no idea of his talent until Cleiten showed up a few years ago with a hug Doc McStuffins mural for her daughter.
“He didn’t ask what her favorite character was,” she notes. “He just knew — because he pays attention to everything.”
Another example: He and Angelica stock Lindsey’s freezer with her kids’ favorite Brazilian cheese bread (pao de queijo), and leave delicious fudge yummies (brigedieros) for their birthdays.
Recently, Cleiten was asked by a friend to paint the inside of a Bridgeport ice cream store. “His work is impeccable,” she says.
Cleiten’s ice cream store mural.
Now — to help him get jobs — she’s pounding the pavement.
The owners of Splatterbox were impressed with his work, and will recommend him to clients for murals.
“Cleiten does not know I’m showing his work around Westport,” Lindsey says. (She did mention it to Angelica.)
Oh, yeah: He also customizes sneakers.
If you’re as impressed as Lindsey — and everyone else who has seen Cleiten’s art — and would like more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More of Cleiten’s artwork.