Flight, Pamela Alderman, Acrylic on wood panel, 35 X 37 inches, 2016
Flight is part of the permanent collection at Warriors Heart—a PTSD and addiction treatment center for veterans and first responders in San Antonio, Texas.
“Your art speaks of healing…” Makoto Fujimura
ArtPrize Seven (2015): Hometown Hero is being privately shown this week, and a select group of veterans will have the opportunity to sign an additional panel that has been added to the work.
During ArtPrize Seven in 2015, the public demonstrated enormous respect for our military by acknowledging the men and women who are willing to lay down their lives for our country. Our guardians of freedom. And now it is a tremendous honor that the original Hometown Hero painting will join the permanent collection at Silver Star—a thriving veteran community that promotes human flourishing.
I would like to thank Developer Marvin Veltkamp and Veterans Program Coordinator Tim Hunnicutt for their vision that includes using art as a healing catalyst for our veterans. While witnessing hundreds of visitors interacting with Hometown Hero, one Blue Star Mom said, “There’s a whole lot of love in that painting.” And because of this love, we are excited that the healing influence of Hometown Hero will continue.
Following ArtPrize 2015, a mini series from my Hometown Hero work has joined the Reflections of Generosity Collection to help bring hope and healing to wounded veterans and active duty service members. This spring Reflections of Generosity traveled to Fort Riley, Kansas and West Point where visitors were invited to write their hero’s name on painting.
To honor fallen soldier Army Spc. Eric Burri, his sacrifice for our country, and his concern for the Iraqi children, his family with the West Michigan community collected 5,000 shoes for the Iraqi children in 2005. This past year Eric’s story and Pamela’s Hometown Hero artwork have inspired other concerned citizens from children as young as eight to older adults to organize additional shoe drives.
Miss Coopersville Scholarship Program showcased Hometown Hero and the legacy of Eric Burri’s life in August; pageant guests donated shoes at the event. After the pageant, Little Miss Coopersville, Chloe Russell, and first runner up, Olivia McDonald, walked door to door collecting shoes with their little red wagon. The two eight-year-old girls donated over eighty pairs of shoes.
This month in response to Hometown Hero, Denise Kohler, president of Kohler Expos, is teaming up with Patty Alexander and the South-Kent Blue Star Mothers to collect shoes during the Kids & Family Expo at DeVos Place. Pamela will be exhibiting a Hometown Hero mini installation at the event. Plus Grand Rapids Harley-Davidson will be showcasing four motorcycles.
ArtPrize Seven’s Hometown Hero is inspiring young community leaders, as well as adults, to honor Eric’s legacy of making a difference—demonstrating the power of a hero’s influence and how art is a catalyst for healing.
Hometown Hero Shoe Drive
Saturday, January 24, 2016
10 am to 5 pm
From January 16-30, drop off your donations at the following locations:
Brann’s Steakhouse • 401 Leonard Street NW, Grand Rapids
Marge’s Donuts • 1751 28th Street SW, Wyoming
Peppino’s Pizza (South) • 1515 Eastport SE, Kentwood
Sponsored by Kohler Expos and the South-Kent Blue Star Mothers
It has been an exciting year—kicking off with an exhibition of The Scarlet Cord during the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl in Phoenix Arizona. Film makers from Colorado Springs flew into Phoenix to capture The Scarlet Cord exhibit and the responses of survivors and visitors.
For ArtPrize Seven, my work called Hometown Hero invited viewers into the artistic process by writing the name of their personal heroes on the 24 x 6-foot canvas; thousands of visitors responded. One New York critic described her ArtPrize experience as having to fight “past the thicket surrounding Hometown Hero” before she could continue to explore other works.
Then the year finished strong with a Courage Ablaze exhibition—which highlights the remarkable courage of the Congolese women and children—at Michigan State University.
Photo: Grand Rapids artist Pamela Alderman (at left) watches as Jim Waring, vice mayor of Phoenix (left) and Mark Brnovich, attorney general of Arizona, cut the ribbon to open The Scarlet Cord. At rear are Miss Arizona 2011, Brittney Brannon Kennan (left), and survivor advocate Rozlind Saumalu (Photo courtesy of Doug Hartzler).
ArtPrize Seven at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Voted Top 20 and 3rd Place in the Time-Based category
Phoenix, Arizona during the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl sponsored by StreetLightUSA
Women’s Expo at DeVos Place
Acton Institute and Prince Broekhuizen Gallery
The Scarlet Cord Film Premiere at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in partnership with Women At Risk International
Van Singel Fine Arts Center
Catholic Information Center at Cathedral Square
Residential College of Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University
Enjoy your family and friends for the holidays.
Curious for what’s ahead in 2016? Stay tuned, I’ll be back in 2016.
ArtPrize Seven’s Hometown Hero celebrates our local heroes from the Grand Rapids Police Department, the Grand Rapids Fire Department, and the Kentwood Police Department. Thank you for your service!
Hometown Hero also celebrates the leadership and support from the Blue Star Mothers: South Kent MI-191 and Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers MI-194, and Johnny Brann of Brann’s Steakhouse and Grill. Thank you for your for commitment to honor our heroes!