The Huntington Museum of Art will host an opening reception for the Minnie Adkins: Story Carvings exhibit on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission to this 4th Tuesday Tour Series event is free.
Minnie Adkins: Story Carvings highlights hundreds of small wood carvings created by renowned folk artist Adkins to illustrate four children’s books written by Mike Norris. This exhibit is on view at HMA now through Nov. 5, 2023.
“We are so pleased to highlight the carvings by folk art legend Minnie Adkins that she has created over three decades for four children’s books with writer Mike Norris,” said John Farley, HMA Senior Curator / Exhibition Designer. “The detail and charm of these small carvings are impressive. We are proud to present the work of Eastern Kentucky natives Adkins and Norris not only because the art is noteworthy but also because it is one of HMA’s goals to foster the work of regional artists.”
Carving since she was a child, Adkins is one of America’s best-known folk artists. Among many honors, she has won the Folk Art Society of America Distinguished Artist Award, the Governor’s Award for the Arts, the Appalachian Treasure Award, and a South Arts Master Artist Fellowship. Her work is part of many permanent collections, including those of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the Huntington Museum of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center. She has illustrated four children’s books: Sonny the Monkey, Bright Blue Rooster, Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains, and Ring Around the Moon: Mommy Goose Rhymes, and lives near her birthplace in Isonville, Kentucky.
In addition to his writing, Norris has recorded one album with the Raggedy Robin String Band and later recorded four albums of original music with the Americana group Billyblues. Along with Adkins, Norris has published four children’s books. Norris received the 2022 Literary Award from Kentucky organization Arts Connect for poems and stories “that can be read again and again to reveal new levels of meaning and literary artistry.” He lives in Lexington with his wife, Carmen.
Minnie Adkins: Story Carvings features hundreds of rarely seen pieces created during a 30-year period to illustrate the books of Mike Norris. This collection of carvings is a seamless blend of wood and words reflecting Appalachian culture and covering an enormous range of subjects – from humor to anger, coal mining to creativity, bullying to the might of words.
“It’s the summer of folk art at the Huntington Museum of Art,” Farley said. “This new exhibit joins an exhibit of folk art from our permanent collection already on view and will be followed by a third folk art exhibit opening soon and featuring hand-carved stones by Earl Gray.”
This exhibit is presented with support from the City of Huntington Mayor’s Council for the Arts.
This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.
This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
For more information on exhibits or events at the Huntington Museum of Art, visit hmoa.org or call (304) 529-2701. HMA is fully accessible.
West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. Registration does not imply endorsement.