Found Art Brings Smiles

From Alaska, to Las Vegas, to the streets of New York City, artist Bren Bataclan leaves his paintings in unexpected places.

CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports that it's finders, keepers for anyone who discovers the artwork. The art's accompanied with a note promising that "everything will be all right."

"I read the note and it said take it! And it's free," says Anafidelia Tavares.

The note used to ask people to smile at strangers. But when the recession hit, the message changed.

Miller asked the artist, "So you hope to turn the entire economy around?"

Bataclan laughed and said "Yeah, why not? Sure. Big goal, but sure."

Bataclan is spreading hope, one painting at a time.

"I thought it was a really nice message and a very nice painting," says Jim Agostine.

Bataclan's been leaving street art for six years. He leaves big paintings when he's flush with cash and smaller ones when his budget is stretched. He's dropped off his paintings in some 32 countries and about half of the states.

He still has to deal with rejection. But more often than not, it's a wholehearted endorsement.

He doesn't give "everything" away. As a full time artist, the prices for his work range from $95 to $3,000.

But Bataclan finds his joy in the smile of someone who just needed a "pick me up."

It doesn't take much to pay forward a little cheer.

And that makes Bataclan's art truly priceless.

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.

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