October 8, 2022
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On October 7, 2022, John Schlimm collaborated with Laughing Owl Press in Kane, PA, to debut the first 3-D version of his installation THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours).

More than 1200 folks of all ages shared and expressed their feelings and emotions on die-cut discs, which were then connected together to build a sculpture installation titled Smiles to the Sky: THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) 3-D.

“It is so empowering and healing when we have the opportunity to express and share our feelings and emotions,” John said. “In addition to the smiles, you also quickly notice faces that are sad, angry, and frustrated, as well as faces with flatlined mouths as if the people creating them are unsure how to feel or are perhaps numb.”

John originally created and launched THE SMILE installation in 2014 as an 18-foot mural, which has been installed across the country. For the installation, John creates the face outlines and then invites participants to add their expressions and other details in colors of their choice. In 2020, John collaborated with Megan Murphy, Founder of The Kindness Rocks Project, to blend their respective work into The Kindness Rocks & Smiles Community Project Art Murals that furthered the impact and reach of THE SMILE.

“As an artist and mental health advocate, to be able to give people the space to creatively share their feelings and emotions is such a humbling honor for me,” John said. “Within these thousands of smiles and other expressions that have now been shared across the country, and indeed the world, we see ourselves and our connections to others reflected, and we are reminded that each one of us has importance, purpose, and is not alone.”

Each SMILE 3-D template also included the self-affirmation “The smile that changed the world is mine!,” which participants were able to take with them. 

The following is a peek at the more than 1200 faces that were created for the inaugural installation of Smiles to the Sky: THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) 3-D . . .




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