Jaime Bautista




JAIME BAUTISTA was born in Colombia, an ex-student of Civil Engineering and a self-taught artist. Amongst working with conventional art mediums he has also developed a special technique for his models and pictures with a material normally associated with kindergarten use- Plasticine. Not only did he develop this technique in the artistic sense, he went further and at the Foundation Children’s Hospital over a year and a half, he developed and applied a rehabilitation programme for children with learning difficulties, with excellent results. He also developed teaching programmes for able and disabled children and adults, which are still in use.

He has organised a number of conferences and practical art workshops in Colombia and other Countries including the UK, India and Sri-Lanka for teachers, art students, disabled people, psychologists, occupational therapists, experts in special education, corporate and public sector employees.

Work in the UK from 1979

Save The Children: On his arrival, Jaime was invited by Save the Children, to have an exhibition to celebrate the International Year of the Child. Princess Anne (President of Save the Children) attended the show.

British Refugee Council: Following his exhibition with Save the Children Jaime started work with the British Refugee Council in a project for refugees from Vietnam. His responsibility was to help to develop the refugees’ social and cultural integration through events and work opportunities in Youth Clubs.

In 1981 he organised a 2 day cultural festival in Battersea Park for twelve thousand Vietnamese refugees living in the UK.

ILEA: – Inner London Education Authority: In the same year ILEA granted Jaime a permit to teach art for children and adults.
He ran art projects for able and disabled adults, adolescents, children and elderly people. He also led art projects for ethnic minorities Spanish, Bengalis, Moroccans, Chinese and Vietnamese.

SHAPE: An arts organisation working with a variety of socially disadvantaged groups gave him the opportunity to give art workshops.
Jaime facilitated art workshops for physically disabled, learning difficulties, homeless adults/adolescents, ex-prisoners, mental health patient, alcohol/ drug abusers and elderly people.

CENTREPOINT (Shape project): For twenty years Jaime was running art sessions in a hostel located in West London for very vulnerable young people.

He was commissioned by Centrepoint to produce an art piece to be presented to Diana, Princess of Wales at the Annual General Meeting that was held at the Savoy Theatre in London shortly before her death.

One of the residents of the hostel won a commission for Levi Strauss and secured a commercial contract with a Japanese company to produce designs for its fashion business thanks to the encouragement and promotion of his work by Jaime in his Magazine, SMart Magazine.

BBCBlue Peter: In 1980 Jaime was invited to give a demonstration of his work on Blue Peter which at that time had an audience of twenty million viewers.

Central Office of Information: The same year the Central Office of Information produced a film about SHAPE artists and included Jaime’s work. The film was shown in different countries in English and Spanish.

After Gina Levete left Shape and founded Interlink she asked Jaime to join her new organisation. Jaime worked as an Art Consultant to develop and establish art projects abroad and to facilitate training focussed on disabilities. These Countries included Sri Lanka, India, and Colombia. He held numerous workshops and lectures for professionals, students and disabled people in these countries.

Sent by Interlink, Jaime represented England in Abylimpic 85 which is an International skills competition for disabled people, held in Bogota, Colombia. This event originated in Japan. Also during his visit to Colombia on the same occasion, Jaime’s working time was divided between three cities. Participants who took part in the workshops included people with very varying disabilities, (blind, deaf, physical or mental) therapists, psychiatrists and local artists. During the four week stay Jaime worked with a total of 500 people.

THE PRINCE’S TRUST: In 1994 Jaime was invited to attend a five day residential course at Sussex University where he was facilitating art sessions for the young attendants. At the closing of the event Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, paid a visit to the University to admire the work produced.

SMart Magazine
Jaime was Founder and editor of SMart magazine which was launched at the National Gallery by its former Director, Neil McGregor. The magazine helped to change the negative perception of socially marginalised people across Great Britain inspiring and supporting art projects in other agencies. Following its success SMart Network was created.

SMart Network
SMart Network was established in September 2000 to empower socially marginalised people through creative activities, both to engage them in the wider community and to find pathways to social integration. SMart Network was founded and developed by arts facilitator Jaime Bautista who has more than 30 years’ experience working with severely disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad. SMart has been the benchmark for over 10 years, for its rehabilitation of individuals through artistic endeavour, as well as for changing negative perceptions of the public.

The Art of Hope with Jaime Bautista #isharehope Episode 72

Summary: Jaime’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?

Jaime Bautista:

Hope is to be able to rewrite the script of our lives. We can rewrite the script of our lives…

You can choose what to be, you pick a role with the script. If the script doesn’t work, that’s when hope is powerful because you have the power to rewrite the script – even choose a different character until you are satisfied.

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?

Jaime Bautista:

Me. There were people who have helped me, motivated me to keep going and to achieve something, but to be honest the real answer was in myself.

Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?

Jaime Bautista:

It was a time when I was kicked out from the University. I was very popular, very confident, good in sports, good academically, good with the girls and suddenly I knew my confidence was going down. It was terrifying. I was scared. It was the moment that I thought “wow, I need to do something”, then the door opened. I knew that there was a light there…

If my hand was full of feathers and then I trip over, all the feathers go everywhere. If I start chasing them, they go further away. So, it’s better to allow them to come down and then pick up one by one.

That happened to me. I was desperate and then somehow I said “stop”, find something and I found it.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?

Jaime Bautista:

Everything began in Colombia…Playing with a child, I discovered plasticine. I started developing a technique and shared it with children with learning difficulties. I had been doing this since with different kinds of people and different places in the world.

I have found my right character and the right script that’s why I try to encourage people. I love people in general, but I’m always on the side of people who need more. I can light that little candle.

Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?

Jaime Bautista:

(1) Believe in yourself. Believe you have something.
(2) Regain your innocence to see yourself better.
(3) Help others.

Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.