By Cesar Ayala – Collegiate Staff
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. ArtPrize artists can be inspired by many of them, but when you hear how unique of a story Pamela Alderman, a local Grand Rapids artist and three time ArtPrize finalist, has is very inspiring. “Hometown Hero” can be found in the Amway.
“The artwork is is about all of our heroes, which lets ArtPrize viewers write down the name of their hero,” Alderman said. “It’s interactive art and so it’s rather living art as people continue to write down the name of their hero.”
The inspiration behind this painting comes from an army specialist Eric T. Burri, 21, from Wyoming, who died serving overseas.
“What sets his story apart is how he always mentioned that he felt bad and would always mention to his parents, John and Joanne Burri, that the children from Iraq never had shoes, which led to a huge shoe drive and sent thousands of shoes to kids in Iraq,” said Alderman. “What I love the most is that there was a story of goodwill in the midst of war. It’s beautiful that the children were blessed in the memory of Eric.”
Alderman has been a participant of ArtPrize seven times and says she loves having an emotional piece of art to connect with the people who come to ArtPrize.
“One of my heroes is my father,” Alderman said. “He inspires me because he was a visionary, although he wasn’t a perfect hero, he was a real hero in my life in the fact that he wanted to better communities and when I was younger he’d always have us plant trees.
“I think a hero is someone that we can admire, someone who goes above and beyond, a part of a hero is doing good for someone else, they’re putting others above themselves, a hero is very sacrificial, and I think a hero is often motivated through love or justice.”
The three-time finalist, Alderman hopes if she wins to pay off her art debts, and give to charities who work with families connected to the military, and improve her craft by continuing her education.