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” 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.
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
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
Interactive School Program – Preschool and Elementary
Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind: Treating Everyone Like a Friend
Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind presentation, film, and engaging artwork travels to schools and community centers with the healing message of coloring our world orange. The work helps facilitate a conversation around bullying and the Golden Rule.
During Pamela's inspirational presentations, kids pump their fists and chant “Oh yeah” every time she says, “Let's color our world with kindness” or “Treat everyone like a friend.” Children also are invited to respond by writing kindness promises on paper fish. 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
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
- Grand Rapids Public Museum School of Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Lone Pine Elementary School of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
- Wedgewood Christian Services of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Tell us your story #ColorMeKind
Special thanks to PlexiCase Incorporated and Bridge Street Electric, Steve Umsted, Marijo Heemstra, Kathy Pluymert, and Patty Alexander for their valuable contributions to Color Me Orange—Color Me Kind
Pamela has been an ArtPrize artist since 2009
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!
Pamela has been an ArtPrize artist since 2009