Pamela's ArtPrize 2009 Premier Exhibit
ArtPrize 2009: Companions
Displayed at Open Concepts Gallery • Grand Rapids
Twenty-five years earlier in Japan while on a bus waiting at a red light, I spied a girl at a corner fruit stand. I reached for my camera. But I couldn't find it.
Traveling like a typical American with an overstuffed bag, I flung aside my water bottle, a Japanese-American dictionary, and a few neatly wrapped souvenirs. Finally, I located it.
In the nick of time—as the girl peered back—I snapped her picture. Seconds later the light turned green, and the bus lurched forward.
In my painting entitled, Companions, I endeavored to capture the beauty and simplicity of Japanese life. After developing the photo, I realized the girl had a blue-eyed Caucasian doll strapped to her chest.
Companions mirrors my experience as a Caucasian, living among a shiny black-haired people. My Japanese friends not only hosted me for dinner, but they welcomed me into their lives, erasing the boundaries. An unknown writer said, “I love forms beyond my own and rue the borders between us.” Living abroad taught me this.
2009 Was the Premier of ArtPrize
Since 2009, ArtPrize is the world's largest open art competition. This 19-day event in Grand Rapids, Michigan draws more than 500,000 visitors with around 1500 participating artists. This unique event involves local and international artists, art, and active community participation. Veteran ArtPrize artist and facilitator Pamela Alderman is known for creating a new kind of artist/viewer work that invites audience collaboration. Her work lets others speak and respond. In 2015, her work, Hometown Hero, was voted into the Top 20 and finished 3rd Place for Time-Based exhibits.
Companions works donated to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital of Denver