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AFS Review: In Memoriam

Raymond Hicks ​(1937-2012)

Friday, June 15, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate

Kentucky lost a living treasure with the passing of master boat-builder Raymond Hicks. He lived in Carrollton, Kentucky, along the Ohio River and carried on the occupational tradition of boat-building, as he learned from his Irish grandfather. Raymond clearly remembered being five years old, when his grandfather would pick him up and place him in a boat he was working on and say, "Pay attention, this is important for you to learn." Raymond learned, adding in his own innovations along the way. As he mastered the craft, his boats were sought-after by commercial fishermen in the area. His clients appreciated the durability and maneuverability of his johnboats and skiffs. He was always willing to share his culture, techniques, and stories with anyone at festivals and programs, such as the National Folk Festival in Chattanooga and the Kentucky Folklife Festival. Raymond received two Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants to teach family and community members. The Kentucky Historical Society purchased one of Raymond's skiffs for its special-use collections. This boat will be on display at a few select locations that are hosting the Kentucky Historical Society's traveling exhibition "The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Arts Apprenticeships." 

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