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Working the press

Flying Horse Editions runs its own way

Photo: Jason Greene, License: N/A, Created: 2010:11:10 05:14:27

Jason Greene

Manual labor: Theo Lotz and crew in Flying Horse Editions’ downtown production studio

Lotz, 44, took over as director of Flying Horse approximately two years ago and still teaches art classes at UCF. Previously, he was the curator of the UCF Gallery and worked for the Florida Art in State Buildings program. He also has served as curator for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. His father, Steve Lotz, was the chairman of the art department at UCF years ago.

On a recent visit to Flying Horse, Lotz is leaning over a Vandercook letterpress, working on a project for artist Kristopher Benedict based upon his interpretation of French writer Jean de la Fontaine’s fable about a rat. The casual attitude of Lotz and his skeleton crew – three staffers, eight interns and several master printers who are used on a contract basis – defies the weight they carry on their shoulders to achieve the quality their collectors demand.

Lotz has a passion for architecture as well, and he helped design Flying Horse Editions’ spacious, minimalist production studio, which houses odd-looking 19th-century presses and typesetters – some of them antiques and some of them modern.

Part of the room is used for production, and another area serves as exhibition space for the artists. It feels like an industrial warehouse with exposed ceilings and bright white walls that look like they glow under the natural light that pours through the windows, strategically placed to catch the sun. From the hallway outside the studio, there’s a bank of windows that allow those passing by to watch what’s going on without interrupting the technicians at work – kind of like watching fish swimming in an aquarium.

“I always wanted it to feel like a gallery and wanted to be sure the fine art looked good, [but] it always had to be a production space too,” Lotz says. “Because I think of this as a research space, I always like to push the boundaries.”

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