smile-project.jpg In 2003 artist Bren Bataclan launched a “found art” movement called the Smile Boston Project. He started leaving his cartoon inspired paintings for people to find and take for “free” all over Boston (in parks, trains, schools, hospitals, and on park benches. Attached to each canvas is a note saying, “This painting is yours if you promise to smile at random people more often.”

Since the recession started, he has changed his notes to a more uplifing message, “Everything will be alright.” 

The Smile Project has left its mark around the globe as Bataclan has left his paintings in dozens of countries. The story is now being published as a book, at, that features his brightly-colored characters, as well as photographs of the project and notes from people who have found paintings.

Watch the video below from CBS News, or see it here.




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