Monthaven Art and Cultural Center

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center
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Mark Kostabi is unquestionably one of the most recognizable icons to emerge from New York’s legendary 1980s East Village art scene. A contemporary of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kostabi invented a wholly unique art style that has resonated with audiences around the globe.

His universal, faceless figures inhabit surreal worlds of colors and contrasts. Worlds where his subjects interact with themes of love, isolation, technology, and modern anxieties.

Driven by his lifelong passion for art, Kostabi studied his craft at California State University. At the age of 19, he began selling his designs to galleries in Los Angeles and quickly attracted celebrity collectors.

In 1982, he moved to New York, arguably the center of the art world at the time. Kostabi thrived in the city’s fertile art community, but his career skyrocketed after he was inspired by one of his artistic heroes, Andy Warhol. Warhol was famous for founding “The Factory,” the notorious art studio where Warhol would work with artists and artisans to mass-produce his famous designs.

Kostabi, in turn, took that model to the next level. In the tradition of Warhol’s Factory or Picasso’s work with the ceramic artisans in Vallauris, Kostabi created “Kostabi World,” a studio in New York where he would work with teams of artists to create artwork in his trademark “Kostabi-style.”

“Kostabi World” became such an art world sensation that Kostabi was profiled in People Magazine, CNN, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and thousands of other media outlets.

During this publicity frenzy, Kostabi took great pleasure in antagonizing the media. He would provoke reporters with claims that others created his art or draw them into debates about art authorship. Meanwhile, the artist enjoyed endless free publicity for his mischievous jabs at the press.

However, despite his playful comments, Kostabi always remained the true “author” of his artwork, a fact that is bolstered by the impressive awards and honors he has received throughout his career.

One particular highlight occurred during the height of the Cold War when Kostabi collaborated with a team of artists to create original Kostabi paintings in Russia. This led to Kostabi being featured at his own sold-out show at the Hermitage, making him the only contemporary Western artist ever to have a modern art show in Russia before the fall of the Soviet Union.

Today, Kostabi splits his time between New York and Rome, now painting more than ever before, and continues the work of “Kostabi World” as he brings his exceptional, enigmatic art to collectors worldwide.

Emotional Rescue, 2021

Oil on canvas

39 1/2  x 50 3/4 in.

Collateral Event, 2021

Oil on canvas

39 1/2  x 50 3/4 in.

Beyond the Infinite, 2022,
Oil on canvas

23 3/4 x 17 7/8 in.

A Blossoming Romance, 2020

Pencil and collage on paper

13 7/8 x 13 1/4 in.

We Are the Dream that is Dreaming Now, 2022
Oil on canvas

19 1/2 x 23 ½­­ in.

Go With the Flow, 2021          

Oil on canvas

51 1/4 x 78 1/4 in.

Venetian Nocturne


Oil on canvas

12″ x 10″


HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 31, 2023) – Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center rings in the holidays with some of renowned Tennessee artist Ralph J. McDonald’s paintings of Jolly Old St. Nicholas. The exhibition, titled Magic of Santa: Paintings by Ralph J. McDonald, will run Nov. 18 2023 to Jan. 7, 2024 and feature more than 35 of McDonald’s Yuletide paintings. The arrival of his work heralds a season of celebration that will include music performances and the ceremonial lighting of the MACC’s 25-foot outdoor Christmas tree.

“I am simply overjoyed to showcase the paintings of Ralph J. McDonald at Monthaven,” says Cheryl Strichik, the MACC’s executive director. His paintings capture Santa’s inherent sense of joy and generosity, and they are guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.”

McDonald was already a renowned wildlife artist before he created his first Santa Clause painting. That work, titled “A Christmas Party,” was inspired by a trip through Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains on a snowy winter day. It was painted in the tradition of the Santa painters that McDonald most admired, such as Haddon Sundblom, Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth.

Not surprisingly, McDonald’s love of nature finds its way into many of his Santa paintings. The details of each scene all work together to emit kindness, joy, laughter, peace and serenity.

As a wildlife artist, McDonald’s career is second to none. He was commissioned by the governor of Tennessee to paint the official state bird, the mockingbird, and by the governor of South Carolina to paint the state animal and fish, the whitetail deer and striped bass. McDonald has twice been Featured Artist in several of the most prestigious wildlife art shows in America, among them the Southeastern Wildlife Expo and World Wildlife Expo.

The opening of Magic of Santa, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, coincides with this year’s Christmas Tree Elegance. Five stylish, seven-foot Christmas Trees, donated by Vickman Company, are gorgeously decorated by noted designers. Each tree is uniquely appointed to match a particular theme. Trees are also embellished with gifts and sold through a silent auction. All proceeds support the MACC’s arts education and outreach activities.

A Christmas Portrait (Oil on Board)

Christmas in the Forest (Oil on Board)

Christmas is Coming ( Oil on Canvas )

Deck the Halls (Oil on Board)

Santa Bearing Gifts (Oil on Board)

The List (Oil on Board)

Santas Big Night (Oil on Board)

Master in Clay Part 2 - A Pablo Picasso Exhibit


HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2023) – A collection of highly stylized ceramics,
designed by Spanish master Pablo Picasso—the 20th century’s most lauded artist—will be on view at Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center. The exhibition, titled Master in Clay Part II, opens Sept. 17, 2023 and continues through Nov. 12, 2023.

A trove drawn from Picasso’s unusual Edition Ceramics, all created from 1947 to 1971, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death (1881-1973). The acclaimed maestro of multiple mediums was 91 when he passed away at his home on the French Riviera.

The MACC exhibition will showcase 60 of Picasso’s Edition Ceramics—-from plates to platters to pitchers to non-functional sculptural pieces. With 633 different designs, Picasso’s effort to reach a worldwide, mass market at a far more accessible price point, was extremely successful. Additionally, it was said that he relished the idea that people could dine on his simple, earthenware plates.

Cheryl Strichik, Executive Director of the MACC, said she is delighted to offer this unique, free opportunity to museum goers. More than 10,000 people from across the country visited Monthaven in 2019 when other objects, drawn from this same collection, were exhibited.

Albert & Mitsie Scaglione, avid art collectors from Southfield, Michigan, are the founders of the Park West Museum, the Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation. They are widely known for their philanthropic generosity, according to Strichik. 

Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery’s senior gallery director, will be at Monthaven to give a special presentation of Picasso’s ceramics at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 18, 2023. Space is limited, and registration for the event is available at the MACC’s website (

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is a jewel-box art museum and education facility housed in one of Tennessee’s most spectacular antebellum mansions. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the MACC has staged exhibitions featuring everything from the ceramic art of Pablo Picasso to the evening gowns of Princess Diana. The artwork of local artists and military veterans are also on frequent display. As an art school, the MACC offers classes to more
than 600 children and adults each year. The MACC also provides free arts outreach and healing arts to underserved children, families and military veterans. For more information, visit or call (615) 822-0789.

Bearded Man’s Wife (Femme du Barbu)
1953, A.R. 193
White earthernware clay turned pitcher, painted in colors and partially glazed. Inscribed ‘Edition Picasso’ and stamped ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ and ‘Edition Picasso’ on the base. From the edition of 500 examples.
15 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ x 10″

Woman’s Face (Visage de Femme)
1953, A.R. 220
White earthenware ceramic plate, partially engraved, painted in colors and glazed. Stamped ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ and ‘Edition Picasso’ and inscribed ‘Edition Picasso’ on the verso. From the edition of 400 examples.
15 3/8″ x 12 3/8″

Bullfight Scene (Scene de Tauromachie)
1957, A.R. 393
Red earthenware clay plate, painted and partially engraved. Inscribed ‘Edition Picasso’, ‘Madoura’ and numbered on the verso. With the ‘Edition Picasso’ and ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ pottery stamps. From the Arabic numbered edition of 500 examples.

Dance (La Danse)
1957, A.R. 400
White earthenware clay rectangular dish, partially glazed, engraved and painted. Inscribed ‘Edition Picasso’ and ‘Madoura’ and stamped ‘Edition Picasso’ and ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ on the verso. From the edition of 400 examples.
12 1/2″ x 15 3/8″

Yan Face (Yan Visage)
1963, A.R. 512
Red earthenware clay pitcher, unglazed and painted. Stamped with the ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ and ‘Edition Picasso’ pottery stamps, and incised ‘Edition Picasso,’ ‘Madoura,’ and numbered on the base. From the Arabic numbered edition of 300 examples. 10 1/4″ x 4 5/8″ x 6 1/4″

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.