Pamela's ArtPrize Eight (2016) Installation
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…
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” empower us to bring out the best in others. Deliberate small acts of kindness—like encouragement, forgiveness, and love—display strength.
Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind invites visitors to tie an orange ribbon on a mesh canvas representing our commitment 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 swimming upstream. When kindness colors over hate, we can impact our culture with the message of love and healing.
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
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.
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
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
Orange 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:
- Kentwood Public Schools of Kentwood, Michigan
- Westwood Middle School of Grand Rapids, Michigan
- William C. Abney Academy of Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Saranac Community Schools of Saranac, Michigan
- Southwest Community Campus of Grand Rapids, Michigan
- West Michigan Academy of Spring Lake, Michigan
- Wedgewood Christian Services of Grand Rapids, Michigan
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
Help Support the Ongoing Work of Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind
I know that many of you want to help fund my healing art and workshops to continue our message of overcoming bullying with kindness. Funds can be donated through the Healing in Arts web site.
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