Boston artist Bren Bataclan feels a responsibility to help people weather the economic recession. His stimulus program involves lifting people's spirits with random acts of art. Giving away his acrylic paintings of cartoon faces is something Bataclan has done for a number of years, but he recently expanded his largess to the streets and subway stations of San Francisco.
Since 2003, the Phillipines-born computer animator says he has given away over 400 free paintings in 20 cities and 20 countries. In return, he asks that the recipients make an effort to smile at strangers more often. He chronicles the response of the new art collectors at his Smile Boston Project website. The Globe profiled his graphic generosity in Boston in 2006.