Tamara Natalie Madden: “Out of Many, One People”

Tamara Natalie Madden, (1975 –2017), unknown title and date of painting

Though Tamara Natalie Madden was born in Kingston, Jamaica, she spent her teenage years in Madison, Wisconsin. Born with dark skin to a mother with light skin, Ms. Madden observed endemic racist behavior from people of color, both in Jamaica and in the United States – based solely on the degree of darkness of skin; thus began Ms. Madden’s desire to show other black children that they are beautiful through her art. Ms. Madden explained,

“In order to fully represent the intrinsic beauty of many of these individuals, I decided to emphasize society’s fascination with materialism and splendor by using bright colors, golden washes, silk fabrics, and bold patterns. I found that the most powerful images of our time were those that demanded attention and admiration, and I wanted these individuals to have their moment to shine, thus many of my paintings feature singular portraits.” 


Pittsburgh Exhibition: “Out of Many, One People”

In 2015, Tamara Natalie Madden said in an interview with Daniel Solomon, “At home, we never thought of color. We are a mixed-race people, and very proud of our African heritage and whatever else.” Her portraits were displayed that same year in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania exhibition entitled “Out of Many, One People.”

“True to her show title,

the artist pushes against distinctions

on the basis of skin tone.”

Daniel Solomon


Tamara Natalie Madden (1975 –2017) was a Jamaican-born mother, mixed-media artist, and professor of art and visual culture at Spelman College in Atlanta. On November 4, 2017, she died at her home in Snellville, Georgia, only two weeks after being diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.  She was 42.

See Also

Tamara Natalie Madden: An Artist Remembered

Image Credit

Images © to the artist or owner, all rights reserved by owner or artist. I was unable to find proper title and date, despite a lengthy search. If you can help, please comment.


Daniel Solomon, ”Artist’s portraits give insights to life in Jamaica”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 13, 2015, http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/art-architecture/2015/06/14/Tamara-Natalie-Madden-portraits-give-insights-to-life-in-Jamaica/stories/201506100017 (accessed 2 Oct 2018)nce

Kurt Shaw, Art Review: Gianna Paniagua and Tamara Natalie Madden at Penn Galleries,The Tribune-Review, April 29, 2015,https://triblive.com/aande/museums/8256881-74/madden-says-paniagua#axzz3dI7qMWDw, (accessed 2 Oct 2018).

Tamara Natalie Madden Foundation, Tamara Natalie Madden, Her Legacy, Her Impact, http://tamaranataliemadden.org/  (accessed 2 Oct 2018).

Wikipedia contributors, “Tamara Natalie Madden,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tamara_Natalie_Madden&oldid=849135169 (accessed October 2, 2018).

Thanks for Reading! 🙂


10 Comments Add yours

  1. WOW! Her work is BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank You and Cheers!!! Welcome back! 🤗❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, forresting. Her artwork mesmerizes me, as does her personal story. So glad you are back, too. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My absolute pleasure! And Thank You! 💖

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for showcasing Tamara Natalie Madden’s work. Her portraits radiate with beauty and grace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree! Thanks for visiting, Rosaliene. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. simplywendi says:

    just beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely stunning! There just aren’t the right words. So sad that she’s dead. Thank you, Sunnyside, for bringing her existence and beauty into my life!!!❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is sad that she died so young, but both her life and her art are inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Susan! ❤️🙂


      1. You are welcome, Sunnyside! Hope that the rest of your day is awesomeness!💗💕🌸

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And yours, also, Susan! ❤️🙏😎

        Liked by 1 person

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