Pamela's ArtPrize 2009 Premier Exhibit

ArtPrize 2009Companions

ArtPrize 2009: Companions
Displayed at Open Concepts Gallery • Grand Rapids

The Inspiration

Companions at ArtPrize 2009

Companions, Watercolor on paper, 18x24 inches

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 dark-eyed 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 ArtPrize Premier

Since 2009, ArtPrize, the world's largest open art competition, draws more than 500,000 visitors to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Veteran ArtPrize artist Pamela Alderman has become known for creating a new kind of artist/viewer work that invites audience collaboration. The work invites individuals into the healing process through participatory art. As visitors engage in the art making, small steps toward healing result. Over ten years of ArtPrize, Alderman's interactive installations, including The Scarlet Cord and Hometown Hero, have touched thousands—one person at a time. This healing art involves you—because you matter!

Companions works donated to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital of Denver