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Laughing His Way to the USA: How the Laughing Boy Made it to America

Contemporary artist Hersley Casero all the way from Dumaguete City, the Philippines is hoping to spread a little joy along River Road, Fulton with a head-turning mural of his iconic Laughing Boy image - the first-ever of its kind in the country.

It’s been a whirlwind three weeks for Casero - Resident Artist of Foundation University, Dumaguete - since he arrived in the United States after being accepted onto the Chalk Hill Artist Residency program at the Warnecke Ranch and Vineyard, Healdsburg. Blown away by the California landscape, in his own words; “like night and day” in comparison to his own hometown, Casero was determined to make the absolute most out of his very own American Dream. Thanks to the well-connected and well-respected Chalk Hill Artist Residency and their passion for artistic talent, Casero has managed to turn just a few short weeks in the United States into a once-in-a-lifetime “art-venture”.

The grand finale to his trip was dedicated to giving back to the community that has embraced and inspired him so generously and colorfully. On Tuesday, September 10th, Casero was hosted by Becoming Independent, a community-based service organization which aims to support people with disabilities in living meaningful and productive lives. The artist delivered a “Laughing Boy” workshop, during which the participants created their own versions of Casero’s iconic Laughing Boy image, which serves as his mascot for advocating the freedom of self-expression and celebration of individuality through the arts. Casero has taken this image and its message around the Philippines and now it has made its US debut in the heart of Fulton, California.

Going out with a bang and a bank full of California memories, Casero has also left his creative mark on River Road by collaborating with Fulton Crossing Gallery and creating an impressively monumental and colorful “Laughing Boy” mural on the front of their building. Drive on by 1200 River Road to have your day brightened up by the ever-joyful and ever-colorful Laughing Boy: Fulton edition; first in America.

-Toulla Mavromati​

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