The Scarlet Cord

ArtPrize 2014 Artist

Voted Top 25 Installation at ArtPrize 2014

Awareness and Healing for Sex Trafficking and Sexual Abuse

Book The Scarlet Cord for Your Next Event

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, and forgotten by everybody…that is a much greater hunger.” Mother Theresa

The Scarlet Cord presentation—comprised of a film, gallery collection, and interactive exhibit—is designed to raise awareness and inspire healing for sexual abuse survivors or those negatively impacted by the commercial sex industry. The Scarlet Cord popup exhibit contains an abstract painting series portraying the victims' voices that have been interpreted from audio sound waves to 2D paintings.

This series is part of a twenty-five piece gallery collection. In addition, 3D optional responsive pieces, Life Words or The Scarlet Web, invite an interactive collaboration between artist and visitors. These engaging works let others speak and respond. The multi-dimensional modular components, or a special custom work created especially for your event, fit into open or closed spaces. Pamela also has coached high school and college students in creating their own unique projects.

The Scarlet Cord successfully partnered with Women at Risk International during ArtPrize 2014 and StreetLightUSA in Phoenix during Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 2015, and with Miss Michigan in 2018.

Contact Pamela to schedule her presentation, film, gallery exhibit, or an interactive work for your next event

Night Cries

The Scarlet Cord – Gallery Collection

Night Cries

Night Cries, is Pamela's creative reaction to the history of pain and devastation experienced by so many who visited my installations. Voice actors recorded actual sentences from the victims I encountered. Then my videographer turned the recordings into audio sound waves. This collection of abstract paintings have been interpreted from audio sound waves to 2D paintings.


The Scarlet Cord – Gallery Collection


Gender biases can blind us in the predominant sex-trafficking narrative when we imagine only female victims and male perpetrators. But boys comprise about 50 percent of sexually exploited children, according to a 2008 study done by John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Girls, however, typically receive most of the press and aftercare.

To create Blinded, Pamela Alderman literally wore a blindfold while throwing and splattering paint onto the canvases. Only after uncovering her eyes did she discover a new visual language that revealed pain and loss. Similarly, our cultural blinders make it difficult for vulnerable male victims to reveal their souls to expose nefarious activity. Blinded seeks to uncover the truth and help heal both female—and male—survivors.

Life Words

The Scarlet Cord – Interactive Work

Life Words

Words matter. For many children trapped in sex trafficking, word wounds like “You're worthless,” “Your life is in ruins,” “Nobody wants you”—from those who are supposed to love and protect them—play over and over in their heads like a vinyl record. Many, as a result, turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the hurt. Life Words from I invites individuals to write healing affirmation words on note cards and tie them on the panels for sex-trafficking survivors. Words like “You're valuable,” “You are beautiful,” “I love you,” help heal the soul.

The Scarlet Web

The Scarlet Cord – Interactive Work

The Scarlet Web

The Scarlet Web, a five-sided structure resembling a 3D abstract spider web, is made up of a collage of empty frames and six photographic images connected with zip-ties to portray bondage. The work is designed to raise awareness and to provide a safe space for the victims of sex crimes to heal. Alderman and her team create a new kind of artist/citizen work that invites audience collaboration through relational aesthetics. The work lets others speak and respond.

We Can Make a Difference

Pamela at Acton Institute (left) and at Miss Michigan (right)

In light of the widespread human trafficking across America, find out how you can create positive change.

The Scarlet Cord Endorsements

Pamela Alderman is a very talented artist, but she is much more than that. She is a woman concerned about a greater artistic endeavor—the protection, welfare, freedom, dignity and worth of all women. Her exhibit “The Scarlet Cord,” masterfully opens the eyes of the public to the sad and destructive world of human trafficking. She exposes the dark side, but is always ready to show the path to redemption and healing.

Michael Cook
Manager of Programs, Acton Institute

Pamela put together a powerful program at GVSU. Her exhibit was evocative and emotional, and the event she coordinated brought home the reality of sex trafficking with people who have experienced first-hand the terrible frequency of it in West Michigan. Overall, though, the message was one of hope—the hope that those trafficked can heal, the hope that our actions can mitigate this scourge, and the hope that humanity can triumph over evil.

Dr. Jeff Chamberlain
Director, Frederik Meijer Honors College
Grand Valley State University

Visitor's Responses

I'm not usually into art but this one touched me.
I've been there.
Incredible. Beautiful. Haunting. Thank you. Lynda G
Very powerful. Makes me want to make a difference.
Thank you for putting yourself out there for the voiceless in a very tasteful way.
Pamela and The Scarlet Cord with Miss Michigan

At a 2018 Miss Michigan event, The Scarlet Cord collaborated with Lakeshore Human Trafficking Task Force to promote healing and to help raise awareness for sex-trafficking

The Scarlet Cord gallery with Miss Michigan

The Scarlet Cord gallery at the Miss Michigan event

It is rare that one comes across artistic talent that addresses difficult social realities in such a powerful and engaging manner, but this is what Pamela was able to do when she presented her interactive healing art at this Miss Michigan Pageant. She touched the hearts and minds of the audience, as evidence by their engagement and emotional reactions to her pieces. Her message is strong, hopeful, and empowering for everyone.

Lakeshore Human Trafficking Task Force

The Scarlet Cord Videos

Judge Patricia Gardner utilizes The Scarlet Cord Film in the Kent County Courthouse of Grand Rapids, Michigan as an educational tool for juveniles to learn about sex trafficking and its personal impact.

The Scarlet Cord film creative collaborators: Producer Rochelle Raimão, Director Simon Scionka, and Artist Pamela Alderman

A quick 22 second time-lapse presentation of the making of The Scarlet Cord

The Evils of Human Trafficking was featured as part of the Acton Lecture Series in May of 2015

Pamela and her team actively participate in continuing education

2019: Civilian First Responder Training, Women At Risk International; Grand Rapids, Michigan
2018: Human Trafficking Awareness and Response Seminar, Restoration Place; Kalamazoo, Michigan

To schedule The Scarlet Cord exhibition, email Pamela Alderman or use the form on our Contact page.

To help continue the healing message, please make your donation on the Healing in Arts web site. Thank you for continuing this journey with us.