Monthaven Art and Cultural Center

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center
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More than 900 children and adults passed through the doors of Monthaven Mansion last year to study art. Packed into the MACC’s classrooms, students explored painting, drawing, mixed media and more. The joint, as the late-great jazz pianist Fats Waller might have said, was truly jumping.

Growth in arts education at Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center has continued apace in 2024, a fact that’s not been lost on Tonya Mirtes. As deputy director, Mirtes oversees the MACC’s art department. She’s determined that people in the community know what the MACC’s art department has to offer.

Tonya Mirtes
MACC Deputy Director Tonya Mirtes

“The art department has been growing so quickly,” says Mirtes. “We’ve brought on a new arts education director, Drew Kirk, and we’re offering more classes than ever before. I wanted to find a way to get the word out about all the things we’re doing, and I wanted to do it in a very personalized way.”

So, on March 19, Mirtes rolled out the first edition of Tonya’s Canvas Chronicles: Inside the Art Department. This weekly newsletter will announce new and upcoming classes, introduce new teachers, and offer avenues for readers to submit their own ideas and feedback.

The inaugural newsletter announced weekend workshops devoted to Easter cookie and vintage cake decorating. It also provided links to upcoming children’s classes in drawing, multimedia and mixed media.

Perhaps most importantly, Tonya’s Canvas Chronicles alerted readers that Summer Art Camp registration is now available on the MACC’s website. The MACC’s 2024 Summer Art Camp will offer students ages 5 to 12 an array of 50 different art camps from which to choose. There will be new classes in wood burning and 3D sculpture, along with instruction in such popular favorites as performing arts, mixed media, digital art and art journaling.

For students 13 and older, the MACC will introduce a new Summer Teen Art Immersive at Nōssi College of Art and Design. More about these camps in a forthcoming edition of Tonya’s Canvas Chronicles.

People who subscribe to the MACC’s newsletter will also receive the Canvas Chronicles. Be sure to register at the MACC’s website. For more information about the MACC’s art classes, call Tonya Mirtes at (615) 822-0789.

Student Art Show

Local art students are not just excelling in the MACC’s classrooms. They are about to shine in the MACC’s intimate art galleries.

That’s because some of the region’s most gifted young artists are coming to Monthaven this spring for the 48th Annual James B. Hawkins Sumner County Student Art Show. The exhibition, which runs March 30 to April 19, 2024, will feature nearly 160 works in a variety of media.

MACC Education Director Drew Kirk

“We are thrilled to showcase the works of these amazing student-artists,” says the MACC’s Arts Education Director Drew Kirk. “The interest and participation in our Student Arts Show underscores the importance of arts education in our community.”

The Student Art Show is open to all Sumner County middle and high school art students, and this year more than 150 students will display their best pieces at the MACC. Independent art experts are brought in to evaluate the students’ art, and prizes are awarded. This year’s distinguished panel of judges include Michael McBride, an art instructor at Tennessee State University; Leigh Hendry, curator for Park West Gallery; and David Wright, an internationally renowned Western artist.

Student Art Show prizes include awards for “Winning Art Department,” “Best of Show” and “Director’s Pick,” along with First, Second, and Third Place ribbons and cash prizes for painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, digital art, printmaking, animation and mixed media. Participating middle school and high school art teachers will also receive recognition and cash prizes.

The presenting sponsor for the 48th annual Student Art Show is Nōssi College of Art. VIP sponsors include the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, and Pro Advantage, Inc.

Sunmner County arts students will have nearly 160 works on display.

Nōssi has been the presenting sponsor for the Student Art Show for the past six years. Cyrus Vatandoost, executive vice president of Nōssi College of Art, commended this year’s student artists for their accomplishments.

“As the only private art college in Tennessee for aspiring creative professionals, we’re proud to contribute to the educational pursuits of these students by donating scholarships for the sixth year in a row,” says Vatandoost. “The creativity and imagination of these young students is truly remarkable.”

Nōssi will award a $4,400 scholarship to the student who wins this year’s “Best of Show” prize. The student who wins the “Director’s Pick” award along with all First-Place winners will receives scholarships of $2,200. New this year, Nōssi will also be awarding $2,200 Junior Scholarships in Creativity for Video/Film, Graphic Design, and Illustration Photography.

An opening reception and awards ceremony will take place at the MACC on Sunday, April 14. The reception for middle school students and families will be from 1 to 2 p.m., and for high school students and their families from 3 to 4 p.m.

For more information about the James B. Hawkins Sumner County Student Art Show, please call Drew Kirk at (615) 822-0789.



Kaylin Warden

External Affairs Coordinator

Kaylin Warden joined the Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center staff in 2024 as External Affairs Coordinator. In this post, she organizes special off-site events and manages the organization’s external communications. She also works with the development department by updating the MACC’s customer relations database, and she assists the executive director in setting up exhibitions. Above all else, Kaylin is passionate about the arts. It comes as no surprise, then, that she is now pursuing a master’s degree in art history. When she’s not at the MACC, you can find her reading her favorite books (especially ones dealing with maritime mysteries), cooking, gardening, playing with her cat and two dogs, and cheering for the Nashville Predators.

Ruth Chase

Regional Arts Director
Ruth Chase is the Regional Arts Director of Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center, joining the team in 2023. For Ruth, the job is all about community, bringing people together to uplift and educate artists and art lovers alike. Her role at Monthaven is to strengthen the local artist community and build connections that will enrich Hendersonville and our surrounding communities through art exhibitions, art education, and opportunities for regional artists.
Prior to joining Monthaven, Ruth worked in the arts for over 30 years and is a multimedia artist and graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artistic practice is inquiry-based and engages in community bridge-building. She was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles, curated and juried exhibitions, and has taught at the Crocker Art Museum.
Ruth was awarded an Artist-in-Residence for Artist Activating Communities through a grant from the California Arts Council for three consecutive years. Her film Belonging screened at both the 18th Annual Nevada City Film Festival and Wild & Scenic Film Festival. She has received the Legendary Female Artist of Venice award, and she has exhibited in The Crocker Kingsley, the Museum of Northern California Art, and the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute. Ruth also continues her work as a Curatorial Consultant and Art director for the Californian Indigenous Research Project, where she has worked with the local tribe since 2018.