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A Tribute to Roderice Cardell

January 07, 2021 | Features

The Chapman Cultural Center staff and arts and cultural community were heartbroken to have learned of the passing of Roderice "THEMADDDARTIST" Cardell. Many of us had the pleasure of getting to know Roderice over the years as he became a staple of the Spartanburg community.  Within minutes of meeting him, you could immediately sense he had a true passion and love of the arts. As he would often say, the arts changed his life.

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However, Roderice was much more than just an artist. He was an activist, a leader, a performer, a theatre kid, a bright light within our community, and a sincere friend. He was one of Spartanburg's most inspirational and kindhearted residents and someone who could always brighten the day of those around him.  

If you ever had the joy of watching one of Roderice’s performances, his passion, and love for the arts, could be seen and felt by those who watched him. His unique style and charismatic nature were amazing. Whether it was a live paint show or performing his own original music, he placed his heart into his craft. It is our hope to shine a light on his life and inform you of the legacy he has painted throughout our community.

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Roderice was born in Spartanburg, SC on November 18, 1987. He was raised by his grandparents alongside his mother and father who played a role in his creativity. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Winthrop University where he studied Performing Arts with a minor in Sociology. A core principle of his creative practice was to make sure others had a voice and include people throughout the entire process. During his college studies, he spent most of his time developing theatrical performances that would seek to inspire change using taboo and social issues to inform the community and his peers. This creative process was inspired by his participation in Spartanburg’s “Imagine That” while in high school. Imagine That, was an improvisational theater troupe that performed thought-provoking shows. Students performed difficult situations and explored possible solutions by using theatrical improvisation to interact with audiences.

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After college, his creative practice evolved to incorporate more visual art rather than focusing solely on performing. However, he would use his natural talents as a performer to further engage his audiences in his visual creations. Roderice started producing paintings and capturing art with photography in 2013. He was mainly influenced by Michel Basquiat and Ryan King.

Roderice was a Resident Artist at The Artist Collective of Spartanburg where he would create works of art based on the music and feelings he was experiencing at the moment. His style can be best described as abstract subliminal imagery. He said his goal was to tell stories with his art in order to help people get through rough times.

Roderice was also a talented musician, often performing at festivals such as Spring Fling and his own MADDD Art Tour. His goal with his music was to create relevant New Age sounds that stand out above the rest, in order to capture your attention.

His ties to the Spartanburg community are long-lasting as his family, friends, and ancestors are intertwined throughout the community. Roderice was raised mostly on the Westside of Spartanburg, with his great grandmother Marie Davis after years of raising her family in the Highland Neighborhood moved to the Northside. 

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His commitment to the community where he was raised had a major impact on his role as an activist for change. Roderice was outspoken about the issues that existed in Spartanburg and the realities he faced and sought to change. He was an instrumental voice in promoting the voices of Black artists and community members and was always involved in the conversations surrounding equity and access.

Roderice has left behind a legacy through his artwork and connections with our community. Below, are just a few of the projects he participated in throughout his career and existing public artwork we hope you will continue to enjoy:

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TheMadddartist “MaDDD World Tour – 2015
YSWN1 (Young Nostalgic Show) - 2016
No Covers Paint Show West Virginia - 2016
Spartanburg Spring Fling - 2017
GreenArt Show Gallery East - 2017
Union County Annual Food Truck Festival - 2017
YSWN3 (Young Nostalgic Show) - 2017
Filtmore Underground Charlotte Beyoncé Show - 2017
Paint & Play Charlotte NC Music Factory - 2017
HUB-BUB Electric Art Box Project - 2017
Union County Art Tour Summer - 2017
Juneteenth Live Performance – 2017
Fr8yard Mural - 2017
Denny’s Corporate Black History Celebration - 2018
Arts & Brass Pop Up Shop Drayton Mills – 2018
Spartanburg Soaring! “THE MADDD ART SHOW” - 2018
Spartanburg Spring Fling “THE MADDD ART SHOW” - 2018
WMAC AG+ART TOUR HOSTED BY THEMADDDARTIST – 2018
Dream Girls by Center Stage Productions - 2018
CCC Downtown Street Programming - 2018

TEDxGreenville Speaker and Presenter – 2019
Featured artist in Local Takes Mini-Series Documentary - 2020
“R” Black Lives Matter Mural downtown Spartanburg – 2020
Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition – 2020
Tulip Tree Indoor Mural - 2020
WMAC Members Mixer Showcase
Tryon Painters Showcase
South Carolina Teaching Artist Residency Programs

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Roderice impacted so many people throughout his life and we know Spartanburg will miss him dearly. We truly loved working with him and know that Spartanburg's artistic community is better because of the contributions he has made to it.

Thank you, Roderice.

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