Exhibition support generously provided by The Linda Pace Foundation and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Hare & Hound Press + Artpace: The Art of Collaboration commemorates a seventeen-year partnership between Artpace and the local fine arts press founded by Janet Lennie Flohr and co-run with Gary Nichols. From 1997 to 2014, Hare & Hound Press has produced 58 editions for 33 of Artpace’s residency and exhibiting artists, and the exhibition serves as a retrospective and celebration of Artpace’s twentieth anniversary. It also documents a donation of all the printer’s proofs from Flohr to the Linda Pace Foundation.
The following interview is excerpted from the exhibition catalogue. It was held at the home of Janet Lennie Flohr and Hare & Hound Press studio, in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Amada Cruz, [AC] Executive Director, Artpace, interviewed Janet Lennie Flohr [JLF] and Gary Nichols [GWN] Founders of Hare & Hound Press.
AC: How did you get connected to Artpace?
JLF: Our first Artpace client was in 1997. We made a photogravure print for Kent Rush. He had been one of my teachers, so it was a big honor to do something for him. Arturo Herrera was the first Artpace resident whom we actually made several suites for while he was here in San Antonio, and then we worked with Isaac Julien in that same year of 1999. Then we were off and rolling with Shahzia Sikander, Lordy Rodriguez, Chuck Ramirez, Jesse Amado, and Ordo Amoris Cabinet in 2001.
AC: How did you make that initial connection with Artpace?
JLF: It was organic. I was already involved with Artpace in the sense that, Linda [Pace] started it, and I‘d already known her a long time, since she was a child. She had these wonderful evening gatherings with art people in the city to talk about Artpace—how to do it, what did they think. It was still in the planning stage.
AC: You were part of these talks because you knew Linda, but also because she knew you were an artist?
AC: Do you have a favorite artist you have worked with?
JLF: I think Gary would agree, it’s the one you are working on right now, the one that you are about to throttle, because they’re challenging you. That’s what makes it really rewarding. It makes you want to keep doing it. Because a lot of it is problem-solving. I think we relish the projects that stretch us intellectually and technically. They are the most fun. If somebody comes in, and they’ve already got their plate made, and they just want you to edition it, that’s fine but we welcome the challenges!
AC: I want to talk about your relationship to Artpace. Could you have done what you have done without Artpace here?
GWN: Artpace certainly brought up the level of professionalism in San Antonio. I think there are a lot more artists that we draw from because Artpace is here and has fed this pool of artists. So there is a big plus to having Artpace as this huge professional entity just dragging San Antonio up from this small town to a more cosmopolitan aspect.
JLF: I agree.
AC: I think of you as a very specialized boutique operation. You spend a lot of time with each artist. Is that the way you prefer to work?
JLF: My intent in all of this was to do quality work at a price that artists could afford. My silent partner has made it possible to keep everything at a level that is reasonable for artists to be able to utilize it. That was important to me. It was also important that what goes out is good…and the artist is happy.
AC: All the works in the show at Artpace will be gifted to the Linda Pace Foundation by you, Janet. Can you tell me how you came to that decision?
JLF: Sure. I wanted to honor my friend Linda, Artpace on its twentieth anniversary, and the Linda Pace Foundation in a tangible way. Linda believed in the value of the creative process and collected many works by Artpace artists, and her foundation is continuing to build her collection. The benefit for me is knowing that all the hard work Hare & Hound Press has done for Artpace artists will be archived, cared for, and shown occasionally. Hare & Hound will continue to add to this gift over the coming years.