THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
I know what is expected
in an artistís statement: to tell you
that I received my degree in art from the
California Berkeley, to list the famous and not
so famous artists with whom I have studied and whose
work has influenced me. And yes, I'm expected to
include details of my early work as a sculptor and
my more recent exploration of photography, and to
flesh it out with details of my being a teacher at
an actor, a mom. But who I am hardly matters.
The Spontaneous Smiley
Project is more about who each person can
choose to be. Itís all about taking a pause from the
chaos of life to remember that every day, we are
surrounded by such incredible wonder. And every day
we ignore this wonder as we live in our heads
instead of in the moment that is passing us by. This
show is not about me but about a philosophy.
Spontaneous Smiley Project is a mindset that is
not so much about being open to finding the Smileys
24/7 as is it is about being open to finding the Joy
It is an invitation to pay attention to the life you
It is an outlet for optimism.
Slow down and see the
Smileys is just another way of saying
stop and smell the roses.
It is also, quite honestly, a love affair with the
technologies of the digital camera and of social
networking. The low cost digital camera has removed
the limitations that cost used to put on
photography. Now anyone can play around shooting 80
pictures of a potato to capture just the right image
of Potato Smiley. And anyone can use their computer
to crop the image, enhance the contrast, etc. The
Spontaneous Smiley Project invites you, everyone, to
be an artist.
The Spontaneous Smiley Project and our ever
group thousands of people in dozens of countries
have come together to share the Spontaneous Smileys
they have found and photographed. Never before has
there been a way for people to exhibit their art for
viewing and comment. Previously that arena was
limited to the very select few who could call
themselves successful artists. Wow, isnít that just
about the coolest thing?!
With their Smiley photographs, people have shared
stories about how the project has changed their
outlook on life. Isnít that the goal of art? I have
been touched by all of the comments. I often feel
like I'm kind of a goof, in my own sappy little
world. Then I hear from participants in the project
about how much fun and happiness this project has
given them and I feel like Iím on the right track.
For myself, I have used this platform to share my
own photography. I strive to have my Smileys not
merely catch a smile, but for each one to be
visually pleasing as a work of art.
Oh, and my name is Ruth Kaiser.
Maybe the more grateful you are for all you
have,the more Smileys you get from the Universe.
-From a Smile Captain
Email Ruth Kaiser
Spontaneous Smiley Project
November 22, 2009 to January 2, 2010
Saturday, November 21st 6 to 8pm
Here's what it's all about: Be porous not Teflon.
If you go through life with
a Teflon coating, you miss
out. Donít be oblivious to the beauty that surrounds
you. Beyond the clichťs, notice the rainbows and
smell the flowers, donít miss the beauty of rust,
peeling paint, schmutz on the surface of water . . .
Instead be porous; soak it all up. Let your eyes and
ears and fingertips suck all the pleasure out of
every moment. Eat your french fries slowly to get
every greasy, salty bit of enjoyment out of those
calories. Search for the beauty and joy in the
objects and in the activities of your life. It's
Be porous! Or moments, hours, days, even your whole
lifetime can slip by un noticed. Decide to notice.
Eyes, ears and nostrils open! And bring your
camera. Smileys are everywhere.
All photographs in this show are the work of Ruth
Kaiser. To see thousands of other Spontaneous
Smileys from Thousands of Smile Captains (a.k.a.
project contributors) in dozens of countries, go to
Ruth Kaiserís Spontaneous Smiley Book
Take one home:
Ruth's Smiley photos available for purchase
Join the Spontaneous
Smiley Facebook group
A fun Smiley YouTube video from Earthdance Festival
Smileyís Operation Smile web page. Recently
we've partnered with OPERATION SMILE, a network of
volunteers working worldwide to repair childhood
facial deformities. Smiley uploads earn donations
for Operation Smile.
Spontaneous Smiley on Twitter
The Spontaneous Smiley
Project has been featured in many publications:
Contra Costa Times
Chicago Daily Herald
Chicago Red Eye
Post Standard, Central NY
Hawaii Star Bulletin
Twin Cities Pioneer Press
St. Louis Fox News,
New York Newsday,
Milwaukee Fox News the
...and many more.
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