We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Madaras and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Diana, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from Toms River, NJ, and grew up in an apartment attached to my dad’s veterinary hospital. I started caring for animals from a very young age, including wildlife that people brought to the hospital. Caring for animals has been a consistent theme throughout my life. I founded a a non-profit foundation for animals in conjunction with the Gallery when it first opened more than 20 years ago, and we have raised more then $200,000 for animal causes in Arizona. I have also led the effort to raise enough money to enable the Tucson Wildlife Center to hire a full-time veterinary staff. I had 2 horses, but both are gone now, and have 2 great dogs.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am not classically trained, but rather studied with artists I admired worldwide. Because I didn’t know the rules, I just broke them. That resulted in a unique painting style and a unique brand. I think one of life’s biggest challenges is unearthing one’s true passion, and when I discovered mine was art, the world seemed to open up for me. A definite factor in my success has been a background in business prior to my art career.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would spend half the week at White Stallion Ranch. the rest of the week I would dine at Vivace, tour the Desert Museum, and hike Sabino Canyon.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Professor Chuck Albanese convinced me to go with him on a university painting trip to Greece for a month in 1993. It changed my life. When I returned from the trip, I put things into place to sell my sports marketing company and become a full-time artist (which took 3 years). Six years later, I opened Madaras Gallery. No regrets– not for one minute.

Website: www.madaras.com
Facebook: Madaras Gallery

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