Fleta Monaghan is the founder and director of 310 ART. The studios feature a fine art gallery of original work, Spill Gallery, Peabody Gallery and the learning venue River's Edge Studio. Fleta's own working studio is nestled in the center of the gallery.
Fleta grew up on the west coast of Florida, on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. After traveling around the United States and living in San Francisco, Oregon and Virginia, she settled in Asheville, North Carolina in 1981.
“I have always been attracted to beautiful and historic places populated with interesting and artistically inclined people. After visiting Asheville briefly, I decided this was a perfect place to live and work. I love the thriving arts community, and enjoy working and teaching in a poetically timeworn 100 year old warehouse in the River Arts District of Asheville.”
The oldest of seven children, she began painting in oils and pastels at an early age. Her earliest works still in existence are pastel copies of Bottecelli paintings, executed at age twelve.
“I have heard it said that an artist only has to look at the art work they created as a child to see the directions and themes that will resonate in their adult work. That is certainly true with me. I experimented with all kinds of materials as a kid – marbling paper with oil paint, making handmade paper, drawing and painting and creating costumes. I would read about some new technique or see some interesting art, and the next thing you knew I was trying it out. Naturally, most of my experimentation took place outside! Now, I love to paint people I know, experiment with mixed media in my paintings and push the image toward abstraction. I am always seeking an essence of thought and feeling when I combine imagery with materials. There is an unbroken thread that weaves through all my work, no matter what materials I use or which techniques I employ. The Gulf of Mexico strongly influenced my visual, spiritual and philosophical senses as have the Mountains here in North Carolina.”
Enjoying both an urban and rural experience, Fleta works and teaches in her studio at Riverview Station near downtown Asheville. She and her family share a country home near the city with Peanut, the famous gallery dog, two cats, Jax and Vash, a feisty Quaker parrot named Elvira and a yard populated with hummingbirds, rabbits, opossum and deer.