Pamela's ArtPrize Nine (2017) Installation

Let Go

September 20 – October 8 • Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

…there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go…
Ann Landers

Detail of Let GoArtist Statement

Life's ebb and flow eventually may bring us to a healing place. At times, we feel like we're drowning in the sea of despair, defeat, or disappointment. But transformation can occur if we are willing to accept change. Once we muster the courage to let go of whatever is dragging us under, a tiny lifeline of hope reaches back through the breakers to keep us afloat.

Write a couple of words on the vellum paper to identify your struggle—the thing that is weighing you down—like control, fear, unforgiveness, etc. Just writing the words activates the healing process.

Next, crumple this paper. As you release the crumpled paper, it symbolically becomes one with the painting—mixing with the waves and being carried out to sea. Experience a new level of peace and soul healing as you begin to release the past or the present. So crumple the paper—and let go.

The Inspiration

Let Go is painted with acrylic, transparent fabric, and paper. One hundred twenty-six participants wrote “Let Go” letters and sentences to be collaged onto the work. Here's a sample of one of the submissions:

You said that I shouldn't be affected by your decision to divorce my dad. What you didn't realize was that you not only closed yourself off from Dad, but from me as well. When you would shut yourself away in your room and tell me not to bother you, I learned that I no longer had a mother to depend on; I had to fend for myself.
When I left for work one day, you changed the locks to prevent my dad from coming in. But you didn't realize this: you shut me out too. Over and over, you chose your “freedom” and your “own” path, in exchange for me. Your choices cut a deep wound in my heart.
Then one day, I realized that you would probably never apologize, so I needed to forgive you or my bitterness would end up consuming me. I had to accept you for being you, instead of wishing you were some other mom.
Mom, I'm letting go of my expectations of what our relationship should look like. I forgive you for the pain you caused, and I release you from any responsibility to heal me.
Your daughter
Let Go in progress

Let Go in progress

Tell us your story #LetGo

Be an art patron! Purchase one of Pamela's unique paintings to help fund her ArtPrize 2017 interactive healing installation.

Special thanks to PlexiCase Incorporated, Moonlight Graphics, creative project manager Marijo Heemstra, Calvin College intern Melissa Burgess, and volunteer coordinator Jan VanderWal for their valuable contributions to Let Go.

PlexiCase Moonlight Graphics -

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