"This painting was created during an unconscious burst of creativity during one of my painting meditation sessions. As I painted, I thought about how some of our experiences and adventures act as windows to self-reflection."
- Quána Madison
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Acrylic on Stretched Cotton Canvas
40" x 40"
Quána Madison is an artist, mindfulness teacher, healing arts workshop facilitator, self-leadership coach, model, and artist-philanthropist.
Expressive arts revived her soul after enduring cancer previvor treatments and developing disruptive life-changing chronic illnesses. She believes art nourishes well-being.
In 2015, Quána exhibited early cancer warning symptoms during her Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado Boulder. After becoming severely ill, genetic testing revealed she had the BRCA1, ATM, and NBN genetic mutations. Her prior health history of precancerous growths, suspicious symptoms, and genetic predisposition made her high risk of developing aggressive forms of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
In 2016, she had an emergency hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and double mastectomies. She underwent multiple breast reconstruction procedures and experienced necrosis of her remaining breasts. 3 months after surgical treatments, she barely survived a spontaneous vaginal cuff dehiscence and evisceration. While bleeding out to nearly to death from this rare surgical complication, Quána had an extraordinary out-of-body near-death experience. The experience was transformative and restored her faith in the sacredness of life.
By January 2017, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, chronic pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, endocrine system problems, peripheral neuropathy. depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Doctors informed Quána that her life expectancy was shortened due to her complex health landscape. The compounding impact of her incurable chronic illnesses caused her life to completely fall apart. In April 2017, she discontinued her Ph.D. due to debilitating health reasons. This marked the beginning of her post-traumatic growth journey.
Expressive arts, community arts engagement, healing arts, self-compassion, mindfulness, and self-love practices helped Quána recover and transform. Creative expression combined with inner wellness practices can promote physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Quána strives to inspire, educate, empower and uplift people through her artwork and consulting services. She is passionate about promoting inner peace, social-emotional wellness, mindfulness, body positivity, and personal creative expression.
Quána values being an artist-philanthropist by supporting organizations and causes that promote a better world. She has served as a Board Director for Envision: You (non-profit mental health education and advocacy organization dedicated to supporting the behavioral health needs of the LGBTQ+ community) and is a member of the Community Leadership Council for the National Pain Advocacy Center (a non-profit advocacy organization working to change the mindsets and policies that shape the care people with pain receive).
She collaborates as a teaching artist and consultant for Colorado Artists in Recovery (a non-profit that nurtures the creative spirit of people in recovery from substance misuse and mental health disorders, Catholic Charities and the Denver Botanic Gardens. She serves as a Senior Educator and Community Engagement Specialist with the Clyfford Still Museum. Quána is represented by Wilhelmina Denver for modeling and on-camera acting.
Quána is a life-long learner who enjoys reading, dancing, gardening, visiting New York City, and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Zach and their three cats.
ArtLifting champions artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.