ArtPrize butterflies symbolize effect of kindness

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids artist who has never missed an ArtPrize competition decided this was the year to tackle school violence and promote change.

“It's so timely,” said Pamela Alderman, the artist behind Broken Wings, which is displayed outside the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “Our nation is struggling. Our nation is grieving.”

Alderman doesn’t feature any guns, children or references to a school in her entry. Instead, visitors will find vibrantly colored butterflies. The piece centers around the butterfly effect concept, trying to show that even the smallest actions can have lifechanging effects.

“One positive choice can impact another positive choice, and then, hopefully, better our families, our neighborhoods and our nation,” Alderman said.

The artist said she vividly remembers her emotions after several mass shootings, particularly the on at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

“It was 6- and 7-year-olds. I remember hearing it on the news and I just dropped to my knees in my kitchen and I started crying,” she told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday.

"My artwork may not stop every single bullet, but certainly, it's starting a conversation and challenging people to live a life of kindness where kindness is a powerful force,” she continued.

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