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 first debuted in September, 2015, at ArtPrize Seven in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This interactive exploration invited individuals to write the name of their hero on the 24 x 6 foot canvas. Thousands of visitors experienced healing as they connected with the work physically, intellectually, and emotionally. By saluting hometown heroes–ordinary people who display extraordinary commitment, love, and selflessness—we hold out truth for the next generation and pass on the healing torch.

A young girl writing her hero message on Hometown Hero during ArtPrize Seven

Hometown Hero at ArtPrize Seven (click to enlarge):

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

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

Hometown Hero II Travels to Pentagon in Washington D.C.

A new series called Hometown Hero II has joined Reflections of Generosity—a traveling exhibit founded by veteran sergeant and artist Ron Kelsey to promote healing at military installations. The art exhibit gives military families a safe place to heal. In 2016, Hometown Hero II was hosted at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness for PTSD and suicide prevention.

Hometown Hero II at US Pentagon

Because of the generous support from Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers MI-194, Marne American Legion, PlexiCase Inc, Steve Umstead, and Sobie Meats, Hometown Hero II exhibited at the Pentagon in Washington DC in September of 2016 to raise awareness of suicide prevention

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

Healing Wings

Healing Wings supports Reflections of Generosity's suicide prevention program which is bringing hope and healing to active duty and veteran service members (Click for full image)

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, State of Michigan Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and Warriors Heart of San Antonio, Texas.

See Reflections of Generosity featured on FOX21 News…

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. This 2015 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