Saluting Our Hometown Heroes
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
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.
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.
Director, Outreach and Education
Defense Suicide Prevention Office
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 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:
- Fort Riley; Fort Riley, Kansas, 2016
- Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2016
- West Point; West Point, New York, 2016
- Pentagon; Washington, DC, 2016
- Aronoff Center; Cincinnati, Ohio, 2016
- More exhibits scheduled for 2017…
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
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.
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.
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