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KFAC exhibit featuring Adkins sculptures opens July 15

Minnie Adkins and Mike NorrisThe sculptures of Eastern Kentucky Folk Artist Minnie Adkins will be on display at the Kentucky Folk Art Center (KFAC) July 15-Sept. 9.

"Minnie Adkins: Story Carvings" is an exhibition celebrating the collaboration between Adkins and Mike Norris, children's book author and Jackson County native. Adkins, a native of Elliott County, carved the small creatures and figures that illustrate Norris' stories, including "Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains," "Sonny the Monkey," and "Ring Around the Moon." 

Adkins started carving at an early age, inspired by watching the men around her whittle.  While living in Fairborn, Ohio, from the 1950s into the 1970s, she continued her carving, giving most of it away to family and friends and occasionally selling her work at flea markets. In 1984, she took some of her carvings to a gallery in Morehead. The following year, she was introduced to the fledgling Folk Art Collection at Morehead State University, which grew into the KFAC. Adkins' work is part of the museum's permanent collection.  

KFAC will host an opening reception for the exhibit Friday, July 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. Hundreds of small sculptures Adkins created to illustrate Norris' books will be on public display for the first time. The exhibit runs through Friday, Sept. 9. 

"Minnie Adkins' artwork is foundational to the Kentucky Folk Art Center permanent collection. Her collaboration with Mike Norris is an example of how storytelling in the Appalachian Mountains can take a number of forms, including visual storytelling, oral storytelling, and musical storytelling," said Dr. Julia Finch, assistant professor of art history and interim director of KFAC. "We are so pleased to be able to share this exhibition, which is a testament to their mutual inspiration and collaboration and to the folk art traditions that are at the root of both artists' work." 

KFAC is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit or call 606-783-2204.