Minnie Adkins Day
Saturday, July 17, 2020
Acclaimed Ky. folk artist and Lexington poet carve a new spin on “Mommy Goose”
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Among the best-known folk woodcarving artists in Kentucky is Minnie Adkins. She is adept at creating animal carvings and has given generous assistance to her various neighbors to help them in developing art careers of their own. Minnie is known for her red foxes, bears, possums, tigers and roosters. Her figures are smoothly carved and painted and the animal faces are distinctive. Minnie also carves and paints scenes from the Bible, but overall, her favorite subjects are animals.
To many in Kentucky, the twig roosters carved by Minnie Adkins are synonymous with the term “folk art.” She taught herself to carve as a child, and it was not until 1987 that she realized that others might be interested in buying her work. Not only were others interested, but the demand was so high that her then-husband, Garland Linville Adkins, began carving as well. Together the two artists created some of the most sought after folk art in the country.
Although Garland passed away in 1997, Minnie Adkins continued to create a diverse range of art, including pottery. In 1999 she married Herman Peters, and almost immediately inspired him to become an artist as well! Peters made giant iron roosters, among other things. After Herman’s death on June 6,2008, Minnie again continued to create her folk art now assisted by her grandson, Greg Adkins and her son Mike Adkins.
She is featured in a short documentary film and many publications. In the late 1980s, Minnie and Garland founded “A Day in the Country”, a folk art fair that features works by over 50 folk artists from Kentucky and nine other states. Now held at Morehead Kentucky “ A Day in the Country” grows every year. The American Folk Art Museum, The Smithsonian, The National Gallery of Art and many more collect Minnie’s work. Many critics consider her one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Minnie continues to carve her iconic figures and collaborate on children's books. Her home county, Elliott, has designated the 3rd Saturday in July as a day to honor and celebrate it’s own resident Folk Artist.
"Minnie Adkins is the most important female wood carver in America."
Director of the Kentucky
Folk Art Center