In times of distress, many of us turn to art for comfort. Music, films, books, paintings—these are just some of the art forms that inspire us when we need them the most.
As an artist himself, Jake Garcia understands the magic that art can bring. And during these difficult times, he’s found a means to make people smile in his own unique way.
To make strangers’ days, he leaves his oil paintings out on the streets for art lovers to enjoy and take home at no cost.
“I just thought it would be really nice if you’re walking down the street and you see this scene you really like and you look down and there was an oil painting of it, that would be really cool right?” he said.
This Dorchester-based artist is also a nursing student who attends the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services. Amazingly, he only took up painting as a hobby over the last five months, painting during his spare time.
So far, Garcia has left his beautiful artworks in South Boston. He often tells people where to find his art on Instagram and Twitter, allowing his followers to quickly get moving to pick it up.
If he sees a view or location that he likes, he will set up and do a painting of it. Then, he’ll do his best to leave it somewhere in the vicinity.
Garcia likes painting “en plein air” or outdoors. The idea of leaving his art behind first came up when he realized how annoying taking home wet paintings can be. So, he thought of a way to get around it.
Then I thought, ‘Oh, don’t carry it. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if someone was enjoying a view of a certain area and looked down and saw an original oil painting of that view as if it was painted for them? How magical would that be?’” he told CaughtInSouthie.com.
“Anyone can buy art, but not anyone can be in the right place at the right time looking at the right view and look down and find art,” he added. “The universe must present these moments, they’re beautiful.”
This initiative was also his way of putting a smile on the face of anyone who scoops up his oil paintings.
“My hope is that I can make someone’s day without saying a word,” he said. “I am curious to see who ends up with what. This is half the fun of this entire experience because without someone to enjoy it, is art really worth anything?”
Since the pandemic, people have all been stuck inside their homes. Going outside and enjoying the sounds, sights, and smells and painting what you see is a good way to take a breather. He also hopes to inspire others to pick up a brush and start this hobby.
For now, Garcia is sticking to South Boston because it’s easier for him to access. So far, he has left four of his works in the location. He hopes to someday leave his gorgeous oil paintings all across the city.
“I just want to try to be an efficient human being that makes people happy. I want to help people,” Garcia said. “And if it brings them some joy, I think that’s really sweet.”
We’re really excited to see where this will all go! If you’re a Bostonian interested in snagging one of Jake Garcia’s creations, you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram to receive updates on his next projects.
Don’t forget to share this story with your art-loving family and friends!