Pamela's ArtPrize Eight (2016) Installation

ArtPrize Eight (2016) Artist

Voted Top 25 in Time-Based

Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind

September 21 – October 9 • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can…Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can…
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind during ArtPrize Eight

Bullying is a major concern among youth. No one is immune from hate. The words “Stop bullying” don't cause change. But words like “Be kind” can bring out the best in others. Deliberate small acts of kindness—like encouragement, forgiveness, and love—display strength.

Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind empowers kids to overcome bullying with kindness. By treating everyone like a friend, we color our world in bright colors.

ArtPrize Eight visitors tied 100,000 ribbons on a mesh canvas as a promise to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If we choose to treat others with kindness—even those hard to like or who are different—we are going against the flow of culture. When kindness colors over hate, we can help heal our world with the message of love.

A group of youth tying ribbons on Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind Close-up of acrylic koi fish on Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind

The Inspiration

D'Mario used the F-word and flicked me off a few times; he was the only kid in our sixth grade class I tried to avoid. D'Mario was angry at everyone, but I was his target.

During basketball season, D'Mario and I ended up on the same team. He threatened, “You better quit, or I'll hurt you.” D'Mario used sports to get his anger out; he used sports to control.

One day, D'Mario's old Nike shoes with holes gave me an idea. I made $2.50 a day walking a dog, so I started saving up. After two months, I bought a decent pair of Adidas shoes for 60 bucks. When I gave D'Mario the basketball shoes, his eyes got big.

That moment sparked something: D'Mario realized that I wasn't out to get him. I showed him that I cared.

Once I got the courage to reach out to D'Mario, he realized that we weren't competitors. I felt relieved. He started giving me compliments on the court; I gave him compliments back. By taking a risk and choosing kindness, my actions brought out D'Mario's nice side.

Nathan, Age 12
Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind at the beginning of ArtPrize Eight Ribbons being tied on the Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind installation Another one of the 100,000 ribbons about to be tied on the Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind installation

Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore

During ArtPrize Eight, our hard-working volunteers handed out 100,000 interactive ribbons with additional support provided by the Girl Scouts of Michigan.

Tell us your story. #ColorMeKind

Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind Continues to Travel

Currently, Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind interactive installations travel to schools and community centers with the healing message of coloring our world orange. During Pamela's inspirational presentations, kids pump their fists and chant “Oh yeah” every time she said, “Let's color our world with kindness” or “Treat everyone like a friend.” Kids are also invited to write kindness promises on koi paper fish and tie the fish and orange ribbons onto the work.

It's not always easy to be kind. But if we choose to treat everyone like a friend, then, like the koi fish, we are swimming upstream—we're doing something good and something different from the rest.

Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind traveling to schools Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind traveling to schools
It's amazing how Pamela's presentation made such an impression with even our youngest students. I heard stories from parents about how their children were talking about kindness and how you should be kind especially to your “enemies” or those you don't like. The interactive piece of Pamela's presentation seemed to make the message “stick,” which is just what we wanted as we try to build healthy school relationships.

Deborah Guess, M.S.Ed.
Taylor Elementary School

Viewer Responses

Thank you Pamela Alderman. I am in awe of your artistry. But even more than your artistry, your gift brings to life the simple art of humanity itself. By your works, you let people see the hurt along with the love and need for each of us to help one another to be the best humans we can be. Your art is love. Teresa
Love your work and how you actively engage people on such a deep level with your art! Betsy
Your art has the power to change people's lives for good. Thank you! Lincoln

Donated panel from the Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind installationOrange panels from the original Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind ArtPrize installation have been donated to the following schools and organization to continue the message of empowering students to overcome bullying with kindness:

Special thanks to PlexiCase Incorporated and Bridge Street Electric, metal artisan Steve Umsted, creative project manager Marijo Heemstra, and volunteer coordinator Kathy Pluymert for their valuable contributions to Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind

PlexiCaseBridge Street Electric

Help Continue the Ongoing Work of Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind

Healing in ArtsI know that many of you want to help continue our message of overcoming bullying with kindness. Funds can be donated through the Healing in Arts web site.

About 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.

Pamela has been an ArtPrize artist since 2009