Songs of Hearth and Valor



The Warehouse Gallery

April 15 – June 7, 2008


THE WAREHOUSE GALLERY in collaboration with the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) announces the opening of Songs of Hearth and Valor, Recital in 8 Dominions, After Bessie Smith by New York artist Terry Adkins.

Gallery Statement
Terry Adkins is an artist, activist and revolutionary. He is a creative rebel, pushing the conventional boundaries of art and blurring the lines of production by combining unique aural and visual forms of expression. In Songs of Hearth and Valor, he continues his ongoing quest of reinserting historically transformative figures to their rightful place in the landscape of regional and world history.

Inspired by narrative gleaned from Bessie Smith’s vast repertoire, Adkins weaves a variety of media into a phenomenal totality, ministering realms of grandeur, illicitness, love and violence – replete with allusions to ancestry, vernacular, folklore, and artifact.

Songs of Hearth and Valor creates an environment that challenges us to engage Bessie Smith beyond her status as legendary blues artist and performer. Terry Adkins has resurrected her as a creative deity whose stage has now become a temple and whose viewers are transformed into devotees as they enter the space.

Opening and Closing Performances

Arthur Flowers
Lone Wolf Recital Corps will perform with Arthur Flowers on April 24, 2008 during the opening reception which runs from 5-8 p.m. Performance begins at 6 p.m.

Arthur Flowers is a Vietnam veteran, blues singer, and co-founder of the New Renaissance Writer’s Guild. Flowers considers himself a contemporary griot, referring to the storytellers of ancient African societies who passed on the history of their people to future generations through the oral tradition. Flowers, a professor in the English Department at Syracuse University, is a self-proclaimed “literary hoodoo man.” Using spellbinding “performance poetry”, Flowers accompanies his presentations with African instruments.

Visit our Facebook and Flickr accounts for photos of the reception/performance night! Performance available on YouTube.
Bill Cole
Lone Wolf Recital Corps presented a closing performance on May 30 at 6 p.m. with special guest acclaimed musician, composer, and educator Bill Cole.

Bill Cole is an American jazz musician, composer, and educator. Cole specializes in non-Western wind instruments, including the Ghanaian atenteben, Chinese suona, Korean hojok and piri, South Indian nagaswaram, North Indian shehnai, Tibetan trumpet, and Australian didjeridu. Cole is the founder and leader of the Untempered Ensemble and has performed with Ornette Coleman, Jayne Cortez, Julius Hemphill, Sam Rivers, James Blood Ulmer, and Fred Ho. He records for the Boxholder label. He served as professor of music at Amherst College from 1972 until 1974 and Dartmouth College from 1974 until his retirement in the 1990s. He currently teaches in the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University.

Lone Wolf Recital Corps is a musically based performance collaborative with revolving membership. Terry Adkins is the founder and only full-time member.

Gallery Guide Essay
In an essay that accompanies the exhibition Dr. Kheli R. Willetts, academic director of CFAC and assistant professor in the department of African American Studies at Syracuse University writes, “Adkins’ work creates an environment which challenges us to engage with Smith beyond her status as a legendary musical performer. He has resurrected her as a creative deity whose stage has now become a temple and the viewers are transformed into her devotees as they enter the space.”