Not everything or everyone requires a trillion-dollar federal government bailout. Boston-based Filipino artist Bren Bataclan is committed to his personal quest of spreading happiness and hope all over the world with his inspiring paintings, one painting at a time.
As a spin-off from his original “Smile Boston” project, for the past six years Bataclan has been turning many cold faces, symbolically pockmarked by the ravages of our economy, happy and beaming by stealthily leaving his cheery acrylic critters in parks, benches, libraries, trains stations, and street corners.
Now, his “Smile Project” has spread like wildfire- in fact, his paintings are found in half the states – including on the Bellagio grounds in Las Vegas and the Strip – and in 32 countries, as well.
Betaclan simply leaves his colorful smiling paintings all over with attached no-string notes: “Take it, it’s free.” and “Everything will be OK.”
He sees his cheerful artworks as an extension of his Philippine culture, which is proud of its people who can still muster a smile even at dire times.
“Life here can be very challenging, it’s a survival,” Betaclan said, “But people still find something to smile about.”
Although not all of his art is for free – individual works sell from $10 to $3,000 and he has been commissioned to do murals in schools, parks, hospitals, and showrooms, while being featured in newspapers, magazines, on television and radio – still, Betaclan is a strong believer that giving is as important as receiving, even in the worst of times.
Don’t underestimate the determination and power of a single individual.