Bren Bataclan has been interviewed on CBS Evening News, among many other publications; he is a world traveling street artist. Bataclan has traveled around the world leaving small and large pieces of his artwork waiting for the first person to find and keep. He attaches a note to each piece of artwork he leaves; at one time Bataclan requested that the person who takes the work please just smile at one stranger that day. Now however, Bataclan attaches the note, “Everything will be OK”, in connection to the state of the economy.
Bataclan is an inspirational artist, focusing on uplifting the spirits of as many people as he can. In his words, Bataclan explains his main goal is to “see more smiles around the globe”. The message of giving, and the thought of how a small act of kindness can have a gigantic impact on someone is quite empowering.
With Bataclan’s concept in mind I initiated PROJECT SMILE inside the schools I teach. First graders created characters of their very own inspired by Bren. After the paintings were completed, I arrived to each school long before sun up to post the paintings throughout the hallways. Attached to each painting was a note that read:
This painting is yours to take for free; all I hope is that it makes you smile.
Inspired by Street Artist: Bren Bataclan
Created by: Elementary 1st Graders
I sent an email to the school staff explaining the project and asked everyone to PLEASE take and keep a painting of their choice; school visitors and of course students were also encouraged to take a piece of artwork as well. I explained the students were looking forward to seeing someone find their artwork, keep the piece they like most, and help someone smile.
My students really understood that it does not have to cost a thing to make a person's day. They saw that the 'small, simple things in life' are appreciated, and the impact they do have.
PROJECT SMILE brought a energetic, uplifting spirit inside each school and it was easy to see the pride the first graders felt.