The Burlington Education Foundation funded the artist residency with Bren Bataclan. Bren spent the day at BHS talking to all students, giving an art workshop to a smaller group, exhibiting his artwork in the Cambridge Street Gallery and giving away three paintings by hiding them around the school and in the community.
The students enjoyed the talk, learning about his art and motivation and spreading smiles.
I asked some of my students what they learned and how Bren's fits into our school wide theme: The Power of One.
Here are some of their responses:
Bren Bataclan taught me that spreading kindness is more important than anything else. He gives out his paintings in exchange for a smile when he could be selling them and making money. He is motivated to create his art by his past. When he first moved to the states, he was made fun of which made him want to spread kindness. Bren got the idea for the characters and used colors that were prominent in the Philippines. His artwork emphasizes our school wide question of the Power of One because he is single handedly making people smile which in turn makes them want to make someone else smile and the domino effect creates a kinder world. Maria, Grade 12
What I learned from Bren was that everyone is deserving of kindness. I believe that spreading happiness is his motivation, this relates to our school wide question because it reveals that the power to spread happiness is within everyone. Martello, Grade 12
Seeing him speak made me realize something: maybe the American Dream isn’t entirely dead. Bren was an immigrant who experienced some racism growing up, and yet, he is still successful and is contributing something good to society.
Bren’s art is motivated by something purely simple: making people happy. He leaves his art for others to find in an attempt to spread positivity and joy.
Bren works by himself for the most part when it comes to his artwork. He himself has made all of those works of art, and he is the one who has traveled the world distributing them. He has that much power on his own and still makes a positive impact on the world in the process. -Matt, Grade 10
Christina Chang teaches art and design to students in grades 9-12.