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Fishing lures provide hook to student-curated art exhibit

by UofL Today last modified May 24, 2013 01:58 PM

Art can be discovered in unexpected places — like the end of a fishing line.

Fishing lures provide hook to student-curated art exhibit

A folk-art lure sits in front of the type of box repurposed to make it.

Graduate student Taylor Crush has put together an exhibit of more than 70 folk art, handmade and manufactured fishing lures called, “A Lure Can Never Be Thrown in the Same River Twice: Recognizing Identity and Value in Handmade Fishing Lures.”

The exhibit is drawn from the collection of Allan Weiss, a Louisville mediator and arbitrator, and will open with a 5:30 p.m. reception May 29 outside Chao Auditorium, in the lower level of Ekstrom Library. The lures will be displayed through July 25 in display cases near the library’s circulation desk on the main level. Admission is free and open to the public.

Weiss, a UofL alumnus, hunts and fishes and started collecting lures in the late 1970s at decoy, lure and sporting collectibles shows. As a self-taught folk art historian, he likened the lures to other artistic pieces such as duck decoys that were crafted to be functional rather than decorative and often made before power tools were generally available for home use.

Forty of the lures on display are examples of folk art, 22 are modern handmade models and nine are manufactured. Most of the brightly colored and intricately carved lures are believed to have been made from 1920 to 1940. Materials include wood, plastic and aluminum with natural elements such as feathers, fur and shells and recycled pieces such as spoons and coins.

Crush’s project featuring Weiss’ lures is part of a curatorial methods class, under the direction of fine arts professors Peter Morrin and John Begley.

Summer hours for the library’s west wing, where the exhibit is located, are 7:30 a.m.‒2 a.m. Monday‒Thursday; 7:30 a.m.‒2 a.m. Friday; 9 a.m.‒2 a.m. Saturday; and noon‒2 a.m. Sunday.

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