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.
Some of our soldiers and their families are broken by war and prolonged separations and often face psychological and physically debilitating changes after service. The art exhibit gives military families a safe place to heal. Otherwise, soldiers, like myself, never leave their battlefield experiences behind and move on.
This past spring Reflections of Generosity traveled to Fort Riley, Kansas and West Point where wounded warriors and cadets signed the work. In September, Hometown Hero II paintings will be unveiled at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
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.
Don’t miss Hometown Hero II: Guardian of Freedom artwork unveiling and fundraiser for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Suicide Awareness. A special thanks to the Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers for their generous support.
Marne American Legion
1469 Arthur Street, Marne, Michigan
Friday, August 19, 2016
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Hometown Hero II custom frame/easel designed and manufactured by metal artisan, Steve Umstead, of MI Toy and Trinket Company.
Hometown Hero II
The Pentagon, Washington, DC
September 5-17, 2016
Sergeant Ron Kelsey, founder of Reflections of Generosity, a traveling art exhibition which helps provide soul healing for our military community, invited me to give a presentation, lead a workshop, and exhibit my artwork at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. in September. I answered, “Yes!”
My talk will raise awareness of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and soldier suicide through my new art series called Hometown Hero II that focuses on hope and inner healing for our military community. Some of our soldiers are struggling with a cascade of emotions after returning from war. While in Iraq on an American base, Sergeant Ron Kelsey heard police sirens whiz by. Suicide had claimed another young soldier’s life. Ron writes, “Fellow soldiers walked around like lifeless zombies.”
According to the VA, approximately 11-20% of our current veterans are experiencing PTSD. And 18 to 22 veterans commit suicide daily. This means that approximately 8,000 veterans a year take their own lives. According to NBC News in 2012, more soldiers took their own lives than died in combat.
Hometown Hero II paintings are being created for soldiers like Sergeant Ron Kelsey and their families to sign the names of their heroes on the artwork. These paintings will be unveiled at the Pentagon and then will travel to military bases with the Reflections of Generosity Collection. Sergeant Ron Kelsey says, “Art can help heal the battlefield trauma entrenched in the soldier’s heart. Thankfully, in the art world, their feelings and voices can be freely expressed.”
Join us for a pig roast on Friday, August 19, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Marne American Legion on 1469 Arthur Street, Marne, Michigan. The Hometown Hero II painting will be available for viewers to sign. This event is sponsored by Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers MI #194.
Many of you will want to help raise the funds needed for the artwork and travel expenses. The paintings will be donated to Reflections of Generosity. Tax deductible funds can be donated through New Horizons Foundation.
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.