Tonight I’m going to look back on a wonderful time in my life showing
in the Florence Biennale. That show was up for 10 days and the artists who
were at the show sat the show all day almost every day.
I met my wonderful friend Miranda Brouwers there. And she and I started
The Happy People group, going around and visiting artists who were at the
show, and asking them to put their arms in the air for two minutes to lower
their Cortisol levels. I’m sharing a quote from the blog I wrote when the article
appeared in December 2015 when Miranda was featured in the Dutch newspaper
The Carillon talking about our experience. Enjoy.
"Miranda Brouwers, a friend I met in Italy,
was the woman who started the Happy People Project
with me at the Florence Biennale in October. We
encouraged friends we met at the Biennale to put
their hands in the air for 2 minutes to improve
their mood and make them happy. And it worked.
Since her return from the Biennale, Miranda has
attracted a lot of attention in The Netherlands for the
beautiful landscapes she paints of the area where
she lives in Lage Zwaluwe (which means Low
Swallows). This December (that was 2015) she was
part of the Serious Request Project, a fundraiser
broadcast all day and night in the Netherlands
from December 18 - 23 by top Dutch radio and TV personalities.
Her painting, Aankondiging van de lente (Spring is in
the air) was auctioned off by the Red Cross to raise money
for the Syrian refugees, and was in a special show at the
Royal Talens Experience Center.
Newspaper, the Carillon. Miranda spoke about her experience at
the Biennale, how wonderful it was to be with other artists
trying to make the world a more beautiful place. She
was delighted that she now would have opportunities
to show her work anywhere in the world, China, New York,
and other spots in Europe.
when asked about the best thing she experienced at
the Florence Biennale, the wonderful artists she met --
and she told me over the phone, "You (meaning me) and
the Happy People Project." She loved the fact that
we helped each other to be happy, and we've continued
to do that now that we are thousands of miles apart.
It was ironic that we were so busy taking photographs
of Biennale artists putting their hands in the air in the
Amy Cuddy, winning and cortisol lowering position -- that
we didn't have a shot of the two of us raising our
So here is the photo that will go in the paper,
Have a making-joyous-friendships day."
Note: Miranda and I talk on the phone almost every
Thursday, and we showed together again at the Carousel
du Louvre exhibition in the Louvre in Paris in 2016.