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The Crocker Art Museum Has Gone Fishing

etching by Mark Catesby from the Gary Widman Collection

Claim that fishing is a cerebral undertaking in mixed company or casual conversation, and get ready for, at least, a look of abject doubt, and maybe some laughter. But what do you do when you fish? You find your spot, you drop the line, you look around at the terrain, and you think. You can’t really talk, even if you’re with someone, because you don’t want to scare the fish away; you’ve got to maintain awareness of your surroundings so you don’t miss a bite or get surprised by a snake or a bigger boat or something, so you can’t take a nap or read a book. (Well, you can, we suppose, you can do whatever you want. But we wouldn’t.) It’s just you and your thoughts, one on one. And sweat, we forgot to mention sweat. (You will sweat.) There are fairly deep connections between the contemplation inherent in fishing and the same contemplation in art, in fact, and people who’ve tried both can tell you all about it. Note, too, that we’re not necessarily talking only about fly-casting; there’s just as much monastic remove in sitting in a rowboat as there is standing on a riverbank. The Crocker’s examining this nexus with a neat little exhibition, drawn from the Gary Widman collection, called Fishing Lines. Move if you want to see it, though; it only runs through May 13. (FULL ARTICLE: Victoria Dalkey, Sacramento Bee)