Pamela's ArtPrize 2013 Series
Top 50 Finalist
Wing and a Prayer
Celebrating the children within Hope Network
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel • Grand Rapids
The wings of hope carry us, soaring high above the driving winds of life.
Wings of Hope
Wings of Love
Wing and a Prayer: The Inspiration
Young Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia after the 1945 atom bomb destroyed Hiroshima. Although Sadako loved to run, she was soon too weak. An ancient Japanese legend states that by folding a thousand paper cranes one's wish for health would be granted. So Sadako began folding cranes.
Sadako didn't finish folding all the birds before she died. But because of Sadako's tenacity for life, her classmates completed the cranes, and her father placed the thousand paper cranes in her casket. Since then, Sadako's hope has inspired other children around the world to soar above adversity.
Over twenty-thousand ArtPrize visitors responded to Wing and a Prayer by hanging a wish or a prayer note on the wall for a child. Like the draft under a bird's wing, each prayer uplifts a child in need. As these notes rise up the wall, they transformed into thousands of paper birds—giving healing wings.
Wing and a Prayer exhibit at ArtPrize 2013 • Photo by Paul Willis
Excerpts From Tyler's Story
I have autism! So it's hard for me to use words or express my feelings. When I was younger, I used colors to describe how I felt. I would tell my mom my “head was turning green” whenever I felt angry or totally overwhelmed. So my mother would hug or rock me until I calmed down and felt the color blue.
I'm also afraid that others will look at me differently. But if they could see what is in my heart, they would see a real human being. Not an outcast or a kid to dislike.
One of my teachers said that I would never learn how to read or do math, but she didn't understand my determination. As a high school junior, I now play varsity hockey, get good grades in Algebra 2, and achieve pretty well socially too.
I can't get my autism to go away no matter how hard I try. But I'm living proof that people can't tell me how far I can go. That is up to me!
You weave struggle into such beauty! You have a definite gift for looking within and showing the world.
When I walked in here, my heart got big.
I wish I could stay in this room a very long time or return to it regularly. It gave me peace.
Good job using your art for “caring about people.” SB
I love your art. It makes me want to live here. Paige
A Special Thank You…
- To the models who posed for the artwork
- To the families who shared stories of children within Hope Network
- And to the thirty volunteers who spent 630 hours assembling almost 4,000 paper birds
Pamela has been an ArtPrize artist since 2009
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.
Wing and a Prayer works donated to Hope Network Autism Center of Grand Rapids, Michigan; D.A. Blodgett - St John's Home of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Asian Family Support Services of Austin, Texas