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ART

Minnie Adkins: Story Carvings

Minnie Adkins: Story Carvings features hundreds of rarely seen pieces created during 30 years to illustrate the books of Mike Norris. Never seen in its entirety before, 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.

START | July 15, 2023

END | November 5,2023

Shown are carvings by Minnie Adkins (American, b. 1934) for the children’s book with Mike Norris titled “Ring Around the Moon: Mommy Goose Rhymes.” Photo courtesy of Minnie Adkins and Mike Norris.

EXHIBITION DETAILS

Carving since she was a child, Minnie 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 Mountain and Ring Around the Moon: Mommy Goose Rhymes, and lives near her birthplace in Isonville, Kentucky.

A native of Eastern Kentucky, Mike Norris writes and 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 Minnie Adkins, Norris has published four children’s books. Norris received the 2022 Literary Award from the 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 30 years to illustrate the books of Mike Norris. Never seen in its entirety before, 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.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This exhibit is presented with support from the City of Huntington Mayor’s Council for the Arts.

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.
Header: Emil Carlsen (American, b. Denmark, 1853-1932), Detail of The Heavens Are Telling, ca. 1918. Oil on canvas. Gift of Ruth Woods Dayton, 1967.1.47. Photo by John Spurlock. This artwork is featured in The Daywood Collection: Paintings & Sculptures exhibit through February, 11, 2024.