ArtPrize Piece Encourages Healing at Kent County Courthouse

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"Let Go" by Pamela Alderman

You can now see a Top 25 ArtPrize finalist when visiting the Kent County Courthouse.

Pamela Alderman’s piece, “Let Go,” from ArtPrize 2017, has been installed at the courthouse. The work is a beautiful seascape on five large wood panels that includes three Plexiglas figures that transform as you move around the artwork. The creation includes an opportunity to write a note, crinkle it, then throw it “into the sea” – in essence, let go.

During ArtPrize, 70,000 visitors wrote their own “Let Go” notes and added them to the work.

Alderman’s work first came to the attention of Judge Patricia Gardner, who said, “I first met Pamela when she presented her 2014 piece “The Scarlet Cord” to the Manasseh Advisory Group at Wedgwood two years ago. Following that meeting, Pamela allowed her film about human trafficking to be used by probation staff when working with girls who endured sexual exploitation.

“She and I discussed my interest in working with delinquent girls and the formation of Girls Court and girl-specific group counseling experience called Girls Truth Group.”

Later, Gardner took graduates of the Girls Court program to a meet-and-greet with Alderman. The girls each wrote notes of what they wanted to let go – then threw the notes into the work.

“All of the girls were moved by the power of the moment in listening to the artist and letting go of negative behavior and moving on from an intensive counseling experience to successful completion of probation,” Gardner said. “It was honestly one of those moments that I thought would be a good educational experience, but it was far more meaningful than I could have imagined.”

Alderman donated the piece to the courthouse with the hope it will have a continual impact. The work was installed this month on the fifth floor of the Kent County Courthouse.

Judge T.J. Ackert, of the 17th Circuit Court Family Division, said, “Pamela’s work expresses a theme of healing and restoration, and this painting symbolizes the challenging work to restore their lives people engage in every day in this Court.”

Alderman said the work “gives voice to people’s struggles and encourages healing.”

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