Hometown Hero

ArtPrize Seven (2015) Artist

Saluting Our Hometown Heroes

Pamela Alderman

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
Joseph Campbell

Hometown Hero II: Guardian of Freedom speaks of the bravery and commitment of our American soldiers—soldiers who have experienced the hardship of combat. But these soldiers continue to persevere through the mission and carry our flag forward into the light. After watching hundreds of visitors sign a hero's name, one Blue Star Mother said, “There's a whole lot of love in that painting.” Because of that love, we are so excited for the opportunity to continue the work and showcase Hometown Hero II at the Pentagon—leaving a legacy of liberty and hope.

Hometown Hero II

Hometown Hero II: Guardian of Freedom, Pamela Alderman, Acrylic on wood panel, 90 x 72 inches, 2016

Hometown Hero II at US Pentagon

Hometown Hero II honors fallen soldiers and those still with us and raises awareness for suicide prevention at the Pentagon in Washington DC

The Department was thrilled to be able to host the Reflections of Generosity [and Hometown Hero II] exhibit for Suicide Prevention Month 2016. This exhibit brings awareness that art may help increase the ability to cope and help decrease stress through artistic expression and also identifies a social support service available to Service members, their families and DoD Civilians. It also focuses on how the arts may be a way to elevate spirits, inspiration, and healing. We know that having social support and feeling connected to something and inspiration are protective factors, we wish to increase. The exhibit was an overwhelming success, we're hopeful to host this talented group each year.

Wendy Lakso
Director, Outreach and Education
Defense Suicide Prevention Office

Hometown Hero II being painted by Pamela Alderman Blue Star Mother signs Hometown Hero II at the unveiling Hometown Hero II unveiling

Because of the generous support from the Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers MI-194, Hometown Hero II exhibited at the Pentagon in Washington DC in September of 2016.

Hometown Hero II mockup was donated to the State of Michigan Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Hometown Hero first debuted in September 2015 at ArtPrize Seven in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thousands of visitors responded to the work. Hometown Hero was voted a Top 20 Finalist and finished Third Place in the Time-Based category.

Hometown Hero filling up after only about 72 hours since ArtPrize Seven opened

Hometown Hero is touchable art. The work invites involvement. By adding a name, date, or tiny doodles to the red and white field of stripes, visitors have an opportunity to commemorate the life of their hero.

Sometimes a small act of kindness seems to go unnoticed. This interactive exploration invites individuals to honor their heroes—even those who have done seemingly small things. Let's salute our hometown heroes—ordinary people who display extraordinary commitment, love, and selflessness.

The original ArtPrize Seven Hometown Hero painting has joined the permanent collection at Silver Star Apartments, a flourishing veteran community in Battle Creek, Michigan

Additional “Hometown Hero II” works have been donated to Reflections of Generosity, which is bringing hope and healing to active duty and veteran service members.

Reflections of Generosity Exhibition Schedule:

Visitor Responds to Hometown Hero

I could not hold back my tears. Thank you so much for creating a work of art that we could all be a part of and leave our mark on… Pedro
During the first days of ArtPrize Seven in late September 2015, the Hometown Hero Canvas immediately filled up quickly with hero messages A young woman writes her hero message as the Hometown Hero canvas is getting very full during ArtPrize Seven An elderly visitor honors his hero on the very full and layered Hometown Hero canvas toward the end of ArtPrize Seven in October 2015 Children, both with their parents, and with school groups, are given art appreciation through ArtPrize each year
Healing Wings Flight

Above: Hometown Hero at ArtPrize Seven (four images), Healing Wings, and Flight (click to enlarge)

Flight, Pamela Alderman, Acrylic on wood panel, 35 X 37 inches, 2016

The eagle's flight through the fierce storm portrays courage. Recently, a conversation with a soldier about PTSD alerted me to how much personal freedom a soldier sacrifices while protecting our country. This realization painted in my mind an image of an eagle. A few weeks later the mental image became a physical reality. The purpose in painting this work, called Flight, is to pay tribute to the men and women who gave so much and to honor their service. May those who served experience healing as they journey through the psychological storms to regain peace.

See Reflections of Generosity featured on FOX21 News…

Help Support the Ongoing Work of Hometown Hero II

I know that many of you want to help fund my healing art and workshops with Reflections of Generosity. Funds can be donated through the Healing in Arts web site.

About ArtPrize

ArtPrize is the world's largest open art competition and debuted in 2009. For almost 3 weeks, the Grand Rapids downtown area changes into an art venue while public-based voting decides the winner. This unique event involves local and international artists, art, and the active participation of the community. ArtPrize Seven in 2015 showcased over 1500 artists and drew more than 400,000 visitors during the 19 day event.

Pamela has been an ArtPrize artist since 2009