Johnny Adkins of Fayetteville has heard many times that he should have an art show. “And for various reasons, the time has arrived,” he said.
Walking up to his house on Mt. Sequoyah, it’s clear a wood worker lives there. The piles of raw material lay under a bright blue tarp at the end of the driveway, and half-finished pieces of stumps and twisted branches lay beside them on the ground. It’s not until you enter Adkins’ home, and see the finished and polished pieces that fill every crevice and corner, that you understand what all the fuss is about. It’s hard to ignore the beautifully finished and naturally textured and colored wood in the form of fish, book-shaped tablets, eyes and many unique chairs and tables.
Getting ready for the show consisted of him gathering these pieces, which he has collected throughout his over 20 years of woodworking.
“Most of my woodwork is still with me and before I send it off to wherever it lands and make room for more, an art show had to be planned,” Adkins explained.
He’s given the show the name Alien Reef because so many of his pieces resemble sea creatures, and the texture of wood gives the same feeling as wild waves on an open ocean.
Adkin’s daughter, Katy Adkins, will display her paintings that have similar characteristics to her father’s work — bright, lively and full of inspiration from nature. His son, Michael Adkins, will play drums with other local musicians.
While Adkins has spent much of his life as a busy family practitioner, holding this collaborative art show is one of his greatest honors and privileges, he said.
His hobby began by designing fast, experimental sailboats, but due to cost and patent limitations, he moved to small hobby word working. There’s never a shortage of salvageable wood in Northwest Arkansas, and most of his pieces come from the area — large, old-growth trees from the Confederate Cemetery, fallen limbs from his own backyard made of old-growth trees.
“I’ve nearly always stuck to the use of salvaged wood otherwise destined for the fire pit. I’m not too concerned about rotten wood or the size of a structure other than for the need of sheltering a piece from the elements to display or work on it,” Adkins said.
The wood is finished with several coats of tongue oil and mineral spirits at various concentrations, which is easy to care for and very protective when finished, he explained.
Adkins said he is excited to get these piles of finished wood together before again splitting them up into different directions, this time for good.
What: Alien Reef Art Exhibit — Wood work and various art by John Adkins and family
When: Jan. 19 – 27, weekdays 4 – 8 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. 1 – 6 p.m.
Where: Nelms Adventure Subaru showroom at 2781 N. College Ave.