Grade 4 Art Project- Bren Bataclan Paintings


  Last year, the 4th graders at Duval studied the paintings of current artist, Bren Bataclan.  Bataclan is a painter who shares his artwork in a unique way.  He leaves his paintings of cute, silly characters for people to take for free, as long as they promise to smile at random people more often.  He started the project six years ago in hopes that it would make Boston a friendlier place.  He has now left his paintings in over 30 countries and more than half of the states.  To learn more about Bren Bataclan, please visit his website at


The 4th graders enjoyed looking at Bataclan's paintings and they were amazed by what he does.  They found it fascinating to learn about what artists are doing right now.  They created their own character paintings from sketches.  These paintings were seen in the communities of both Whitman and Hanson.  Our friends from Mrs. Maher's art class at the high school placed the paintings all over the two towns and we received many responses from recipients.  Attached to the paintings was a note like this:





Below is a collection of some responses: 


 5/9/10:  Student paintings have been placed throughout the community this past week and there are more to come!  If you take one, please email us to let us know.  We would love to hear from you.  So far we have one response.  Thank you!



 "What a wonderful project!  It definitely made me smile…" - Michelle




5/12/10:  We were on TV today!  Hope you were able to check out the Whitman cable channel to view our clip about this project.  It was a hit!



On another note, there were some emails today from painting recipients!



"I found this when we went to the beach in Hull.  It is awesome!  Maybe someday we will see these flying to the airport!" - Tommy





"I found this painting at the ball field.  It is sooo cute!  I left it in the playground for a little kid to find it.  Thanks for making me smile." -Ryan





"What a great painting!  I am going to bring it to my nieces when I babysit.  They will love this.  Thanks for making my day Whitman Hanson."






5/21/10:  We've received a few more responses.  One of them is from a Duval student!  Some of our paintings are being placed in the Duval School, so be on the lookout students and staff!



After finding a painting in the Duval library, he said, “I was like can I use this? What’s it for? I was like YES. Josh said “I’m still smiling!” ” - Griffin



 "We found this bright and colorful painting on our swing set in our backyard and boy did it put a smile on me and my children's faces!  What a fun project enjoyed by all!  We will "pay it forward" and bring it somewhere other people will enjoy it - put a smile on their face." - Jennifer, Hull, MA




 "I have received the most enjoyable piece of artwork from KH.  My painting has a purple background with an upside down hot pink triangle object showing the largest smile and crossed eyes.  The little pink and green flipper hat is adorable.  It brings me great joy to have the painting sitting here in my living room upon my desk so that I get to enjoy it every day as I do paperwork.  KH great work ... I love it.  THANKS!!! " -DH from Weymouth 




"I received a painting from a friend. It was a very friendly, happy alien done by Jordan Showchuck (unsure of spelling of last name). It reminded me of a doodle I used to do when I was young of a "spaceman". Ironically, the day after I received it, I went to a Red Sox game. I went over to autograph alley, & guess what?......Bill "spaceman" Lee was there! He was a great pitcher for the Red Sox when I was young. If you don't know him, Jordan.....look him up! This picture will always remind me of that. Thanks!" -Peg from Weymouth (but I grew up in Whitman.)




 5/22/10:  We've received more emails!  Our paintings have made it out of Massachusetts!  The recipients who have responded are planning to pay it forward by sending the paintings to more people.  Below are the responses.  Read on! They are pretty amazing.



"I received this picture in Chandler Arizona, I heard about the program and what you are doing and thought it was a great idea. I will be happy to send it along to a friend of mine in Oregon and hopefully it will continue to travel. Good luck." -Jim Chandler AZ








"Hi Whitman-Hanson Artists
..and a special greeting to the painter of the cheery purple/grey monkey with the orange ears and big smile and bright eyes painted with a blue outline on a fuschia background. He brightened a rainy miserable day when I opened an envelope sent by a friend on Cape Cod and found him there along with the info about your project.
I live at Okemo Mountain, a ski resort in Vermont. At this time of the year, after the skiing ends and all the skiers go home, it's very quiet and a little dreary because up north here the flowers and trees don't bloom as soon as they do down in MA.So I took the painting up to the base lodge on the mountain and put it where the people who are closing  up after the season could enjoy it while they worked. A couple of days later, it appeared in the coffee shop near the post office where
everyone in town drops by each morning to gossip. It gave them something new to talk about. One of the ladies brings her big St, Bernard dog to visit folks in a nursing home each week and she took the painting with her yesterday to show the patients.
One lady really liked it and asked if she could send it to her sister for her birthday, So it will be on it's way to Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Sorry I don't have some pictures to send you. My camera quit on me this winter and during mud season there's usually  not much to bother photographing.  (I hope from the description above you can guess the artist.)
Best wishes from Vermont!"
                                                      -Marilyn McMillan





 5/28/10:  Two more emails have arrived in our inbox.  One of them is from the Duval School!


 I found a lovely painting in the breakroom of our building.  I think it is called Smile? I will send a photo back as soon as I can.  It's purple and blue and reminds me of a giraffe.  This great picture is currently hanging up in the office of Hospice of the South Shore in Braintree, MA.
 Kelly Marcinkowski"


"It was a beautiful sunny day and the 2nd graders were just about to begin their independent reading, when student, Kiley Concannon, came over just as excited as she could be. She had just found a terrific painting of a smiling creature near our book case!  We put it on display in the classroom for all to see and enjoy. Well, the smile on that painting was contagious. It made Kiley smile, all her classmates smile, which of course, then made me smile!  She couldn’t wait to take the painting home to show her family. I’m sure they’ll all be smiling tonight as well.  Imagine that --  a painting that can make so many people happy!

At 3 o’clock Kiley accidently left the painting on her desk when her bus was called. But she asked to bus driver to hold the bus as she ran all the way back to the classroom to get it!  She just couldn’t leave without her new found treasure!" -Mrs. Hobart



6/9/10:  I've placed a number of paintings throughout the Duval School.  Students have found them in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and fourth grade!  The reaction is the same with all; a smile!

We also received an email from a fifth grade classroom in Pembroke, Ma.  Here is what they said:


We received a yellow and blue frog painting and my students left the following comments for the artist:

-very creative and artistic

- I like the colors surrounding the frog and I think you might get well known if you want to.

-I like the colors and how the frog looks! Great Job!

-Nice cartoon frog!  You should be a cartoon artist!

-I like the detail you put into the frog's position in the picture.

-I loved how you used warm and cool colors.  I like how you outlined the frog in black because it stands out more.

-My favorite colors are blue and yellow. Great job!

Thanks for sharing your artwork with us!



Mrs. Balasco's Fifth Grade Class

Bryantville Elementary School







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