Portrait photo courtesy Tom Betterton

Terry Adkins

Terry Adkins describes himself as a “sculptor, musician, and latter-day practitioner of the long-standing African American tradition of ennobling worthless things.” He came to art from music and has created “recitals” in which he combines sculptures with live music. His found-object assemblages are often inspired by important African American historical figures, although his work is always abstract and lyrical. He has more recently produced videos. An inspiration to other artists of color for his uncompromising stance, he is also a dedicated teacher at the University of Pennsylvania.

Black Beethoven, 2004–2007, mixed media Recital in honor of Quinton Brown, Jr.; photo courtesy Terry Adkins and Pageant Soloveev, Philadelphia