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OUT OF MANY, ONE PEOPLE Opens at 709 Penn

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of Out of Many, One People, an exhibition exploring the vast cultural heritage of Jamaica by artist Tamara Natalie Madden. The show opens with a reception and artist talk at 709 Penn on Thursday, April 23, from 5:30-8 p.m., and it is included in the Trust's Gallery Crawl on April 24. The show is on view through June 21, 2015.

The exhibition-its title the national motto of Jamaica-explores the island's diverse ethnic background that informs its rich and unified culture. This cultural hybridization extends beyond Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America. While Madden says Caribbean people fully celebrate their African heritage, some works in this exhibition seeks to explore "Black" as a singular racial distinction, challenging a monolithic notion that does not account for the many races inherent in the Caribbean bloodline. Additional works from Madden's collection are featured.

"My work has always been about heightening overlooked individuals and highlighting their inherent beauty. I have always found great inspirations in my memories of the everyday people of Jamaica," says Madden. "When I came to America, I found some of the same hard working people, who were often overlooked by others because of their station in life. I want my art to inspire people to transcend their circumstances."

The exhibition includes 30 works in acrylic and mixed media. The artworks feature bright, vibrant colors and figures often wearing collaged fabrics.

Tamara Natalie Madden was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and raised in Manchester, Jamaica, before moving to Milwaukee, WI. She now resides in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. Madden returned to art while undergoing treatment for a rare kidney disease, IGA Nephropathy, and her work was first exhibited in 2001 following a kidney transplant that same years. She participated in her first solo show in 2004. Her work has been featured in international publications and is held in numerous collections, such as Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI; and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, among others worldwide. Madden was a recipient of an individual grant from the Puffin Foundation for her project Never Forgotten, which focused on combating poverty worldwide, and in 2014, The Grio named her a "Top 40 artist to Watch" and a "Best of 2014 Artist." Recent exhibitions include NEWSFEED: Anonymity & Social Media in African Revolutions and Beyond, Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, Brooklyn, NY, 2013; Visions of our 44th President, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI, 2013; and Harlem Fine Arts Show, presented by Avisca Fine Art, Harlem, NY, 2013.

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