An exhibit featuring the western couture of iconic fashion designer Manuel Cuevas drew hundreds to the Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) on Saturday. 

Known simply as Manuel, the 86-year-old designer who has outfitted artists and musicians from Salvador Dali to Johnny Cash and Elvis was on hand himself for the opening reception of “Go West Young Man: Frontier Couture of Manuel.” 

“The crowd was amazing and one of the most eclectic we’ve had at an opening,” said MACC Board Member Jennifer Perry. 

“Manuel is such a unique part of the music industry and Tennessee history and the clothing is instantly recognizable,” Perry added. “Together with the colorful prints from Hobley and the intricately beaded skulls from D’Souza, they make an exciting and stimulating exhibit that’s a must-see for any art or music lover.”

After moving to Nashville from Los Angeles in the 1990’s, Manuel designed and created a jacket for every state in the U.S. His entire “50 State Jacket Collection” debuted at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville in 2005.  Thirteen of those jackets representing the various states of the westward expansion are currently on display at Monthaven. 

Sponsored by U.S. Pest Protection, the exhibit also features the vintage, Western art of Mark Hobley and the beaded animal skull art sculptures of Maria D’Souza.

Some of Manuel’s other “Cowboy Couture” is also on display, along with unique Western movie posters from the Booth Western Art Museum. 

 “The MACC is the perfect place to stage a Western art exhibit, since America’s westward expansion got its start right here in Tennessee,” says Cheryl Strichik, executive director of the Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center. “There’s no better way to showcase this Western theme than with the fashion of Manuel, whose designs have come to symbolize the look of the West.”

The free exhibit runs through Jan. 5. The museum, located at 1017 Antebellum Circle in Hendersonville, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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