Kentucky Tourism

Adkins, Minnie — Happy Gizzard Holler Folk Art Shop

Isonville, KY


carved sculptures, folk art

One of the best known folk artists in Kentucky, Minnie Adkins became well known along with her late husband Garland Adkins, through their skilled creation of animal carvings. Born in 1934 in Isonville, KY Minnie spend years working in Ohio before returning to her home place which she renamed “Peaceful Valley” in the 1980’s.


As a child, Minnie was taught by her father to carve, but she only took up carving full time after returning to Kentucky. 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 is well known as a generous supporter and mentor for the arts and artists and established an annual event to introduce and sell her works called “A Day in the Country.” Originally held at her farm, it is now held in Morehead and annually brings together folk art collectors and new aspiring folk artists from all over the country.

In 1998 a gallery in the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, KY was named after Minnie and Garland. Her works have been show throughout the country and have been in numerous exhibitions.


Minnie was the 1992 recipient of the inaugural Jane Morton Norton Award given by the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College, for achievement in advancing the arts in KY. She also received the Award of Distinction from the Folk Art Society of America in 1993 and the Appalachian Treasure Award in 1994. In 1998 she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Morehead State University, and in January 1998, Kentucky Governor Paul Patton presented Minnie with the Artist Award of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts.


Works by Minnie Adkins can be found at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, KY; The Kentucky Folk Art Center, Morehead, KY; and at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.