I met Pamela over six years ago at a Calvin College writer's conference. She met me with her portfolio, and when she showed me some of her work, I immediately saw talent — still yet raw, but nevertheless worthy of attention. Beyond the technical development, though, I saw that her art spoke of healing, an intangible quality I still cannot fully articulate.
Artist, Writer, Cultural Shaper
Founder, International Arts Movement
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
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.
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
Pamela Alderman's installation, The Scarlet Cord, helped thousands of visitors to ArtPrize 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan experience the anguish of the human trafficking of children. But like all good art, it also did more. Experiencing The Scarlet Cord was not just about the communication of horrific facts; it also was the invitation of communion between co-sufferers. People were invited into a space where they could feel not only the pain of others, but their own hurts and trauma. Now a short documentary about that experience has been made. Combining music, dance, fine art, and interviews with those experiencing the installation, this documentary is a moving testimony to the power of art to touch lives—even to heal. Highly recommended.
Robert K. Johnston
Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
Author of Reel Spirituality (Baker) and God's Wider Presence (Baker)
The Scarlet Cord is an important film that gives voice and compassion to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. These issues become more complex and more prevalent in our communities with each passing generation as new waves of technology increase access to pornography. This should be mandatory viewing for all citizens concerned about the welfare of children.
Judge Patricia Gardner
Kent County Circuit Court, Family Division
Thank you so much for serving on our panel and sharing your Scarlet Cord film! The film was truly inspiring and, in itself, a work of art. I am sure you have heard this repeatedly, but you have a very unique gift for connecting deeply with people through your artwork. There is something in your work that is deeply magnetic and brings out the vulnerability in all of us. It has been our privilege to partner with you in your efforts to help women find healing and companionship. Thanks again.
Randall L Zylstra, LMSW
CEO/President, Wedgewood Christian Services
The Scarlet Cord really moves you as it delves into the issue. While most people don't like to think about under-aged girls being sexually exploited, this horrific injustice is happening in our own backyard. I am proud to share The Scarlet Cord with others in the Valley.
President and CEO of StreetLightUSA
Even before I met Pamela in person, I knew I would like her and all that she represents! Pamela is one powerful and insightful woman! I'm thankful that Pamela shared her vision and talents and The Scarlet Cord with our college community.
Cameron Brunet-Koch, Ph.D.
President, North Central Michigan College
It was a pleasure to have Pamela Alderman do two interest-raising presentations at Calvin College: one for the Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning (C.A.L.L.) Noontime Series in which she showed highlights from her eight-year ArtPrize journey and a short video filmed in Phoenix during the 2015 Super Bowl at her sex trafficking art installation. At the CALL luncheon she gave an overview of her ArtPrize work and created a finger-painting work of art on the spot. An appreciative audience found that Alderman's artistic vision invites transformation and inspires hope.
Writer and Professor of English Emeritus, Calvin College
Pamela Alderman's installation, “Courage Ablaze: The Women and Children of Congo,” brought to the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities' LookOut! Art Gallery at Michigan State University an exceptional opportunity to learn about and connect with the struggles and strength of the Congolese people. Through both gentle portraits and the tacit violence of children's rape dresses and a charred tree, the wars of half-a-world away are made as immediate as the Congo minerals that power the cell phones in our pockets and that fuel these wars. By raising awareness, starting conversations, and building partnerships, Pamela's artworks aim to foster social change
Dr. Carolyn Loeb
Associate Professor, Art and Architectural History
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Michigan State University
Pamela Alderman paints Congolese refugee women who have experienced rape, war, and death. Yet surprisingly, her watercolors are beautiful. They inspire us to appreciate the women's strength and dignity. They make us more human. They connect us. They give us hope.
Author, Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon
Over the years I've had the privilege of experiencing Pamela's work though ArtPrize. I'm impressed how she captures and conveys personal topics with truthful integrity. Her artistic style connects sometimes difficult subject matter with audiences through raw relational emotion in a voice of hope, triumph, and inspiration.
Executive Corporate Director of Marketing
Amway Hotel Corporation
Pamela Alderman has an exceptional ability to engage with her audience. Through her art, passion, and stories of how she came to paint the Courage Ablaze collection—depicting African women and children refugees, Pamela was able to connect with the audience on a very personal level. I would highly recommend her for future speaking engagements.
Kristin W. Barrington
Special Events Coordinator
Grand Rapids Public Museum
I was struck by Pamela's incredible talent and honesty with her work with the Congolese women. A consummate professional artist she is light-years ahead in humanitarian efforts to bring the plight of families in war torn countries to the general public. Pamela exudes contagious vitality, integrity, and professionalism.
Linda Arnold Schuhardt
Community Relations Manager
Barnes & Noble
I have had the opportunity to work with Pamela twice. In 2010, she displayed a copy of her ArtPrize entry portraying a heart disease survivor at Macy's in collaboration with our Go Red For Women partnership. Pamela was kind enough to share her 2011 ArtPrize entry of a cancer survivor. I commend Pamela on using her gift to advance awareness of woman's health issues and generously reaching out to the community to share her work.
Macy's in Grandville, Michigan
While Pamela's work is disturbing, it is beautiful. She touches your heart and soul and tells a story that needs to be told. I teared as I admired Pamela's work Courage Ablaze. We are always honored to have some of her display incorporated into our annual Women's Expo. Her continuous work of passion for the voiceless is a must see.
Kohler Expos, Inc.