About Maddie

Maddie Stansell is an artist, entrepreneur, and the Executive Director of the REAL Academy of Art Colorado— a classical atelier and non-profit focused on documenting, preserving, and teaching 19th century art techniques for contemporary artists.

Maddie’s work is evolving as she works with the Academy and with Living Master Ali Ghassan, but one thing that remains consistent is her passion for storytelling and her pursuit to capture the magic of the human experience—the good and the bad. She does this in a few ways, but usually by juxtaposing two things: tackling a dark theme with childlike wonder; honoring every-day, 21st century objects that are otherwise boring, but become full of life and reverence on the canvas; and being strategic about how she composes her work to give the viewer a feeling of relief that light is finally breaking through darkness. She loves to combine the methods of 19th century masters with today’s stories and materials.

Maddie, what makes you want to be an artist? What makes you want to paint?

As a teenager, I went through a few years with back-to-back-to-back traumatic events. I had completely shut down. It wasn’t until I found an incredible therapist in college who helped me work through those events through the lens of Greek Mythology. I wasn’t just some kid, I was Persephone herself. And the pain and the sadness I felt wasn’t new, I was and am—at a soul level—connected to my fellow human through the ages. This revelation colors my own work and pushes me to paint beautiful, deep stories that make the viewer feel seen, or lighter in some way– even if they don’t realize how or why. My art captures the magic of the human experience through painted allegory.

What is important to you as an artist? And what else are you up to these days?

If I had to boil it down, I’d say the two things that excite me most (not just as an artist, but as a person) are 1) the lifelong and emphatic pursuit of knowledge and 2) helping others when they need it most. These two things have really guided my entire career. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is why I became an artist and why I continue to study all facets of art. Helping others is why I pursued a tandem career with nonprofits. And I combined both those things to make an art game called Art unBlocks to help artists get out of their own way and learn through play.

Maddie Stansell

CV

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

// 2022, Blue Tile Gallery

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

// 2020, DAB Art Gallery “Art in the Time of Corona” Global Exhibition (Work shown: “Rinse and Repeat and Repeat”) Exhibition Here
// 2021, Core New Art Space “Beyond the Surface”  (Work shown: “Komorebi”)
// 2022, Schoolhouse Gallery “What I Love” (Work shown: “Midnight Gown for Evening Snacks”)
// 2022, SPACE Annex “RISE” (Work shown: “Alive But Changed”)

PUBLICATIONS

// 2020, From Whispers to Roars, Best in Category – (Art Published: “Pale Horse”) Volume 3, Issue 1: 2020
// 2021, Create! Magazine, Art Queens Member Feature Here
// 2022, Voyage Denver, Inspiring People

CURATOR

// Plein Air Exhibit, Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, 2017

EDUCATION

// Northern Arizona University – Studio Art – 2009
// Pushing Colored Dirt – 2021
// REAL Academy of Art Colorado – 2022

MEMBERSHIPS

// Board of Directors, Women’s Caucus for the Arts Colorado – 2021-2023
// Member, Parker Arts Guild
// Member, Boulder Arts Association