Arts & Affairs Features

Flying Horse Editions Selects Mira Lehr for 2021 Visiting Artist Residency Program

The team at Flying Horse Editions working on a new print by Mira Lehr (photo by Alison Lehr Fryd, 2021)

Flying Horse Editions, the nationally acclaimed printmaking studio that invites some of the world’s leading artists for its Visiting Artist Residency Program, has chosen Mira Lehr for their select roster of artists for 2021. The studio is celebrated for cutting-edge technology and inspiring artists to push the boundaries of printmaking, in a kinetic setting among its team of master printmakers. In her new series, Lehr, now at the bold age of 86, is experimenting with explosives, fuses, plexiglass, watercolor and inks — exploring new ways to use nontraditional materials in the art of printmaking.

“Mira Lehr is a force of nature to be reckoned with,” Theo Lotz, the director of Flying Horse Editions, explained. “She is a fearless explorer. Lehr’s body of work spans all media, not bound by one process. Her artistic energy and spirit are boundless. We knew that her bold approach to artmaking would lead to a great collaboration. Lehr thrives in our studio, which relishes the unexpected.”

Lehr’s new works created at this residency are debuting during Miami Art Week/Art Basel Miami Beach 2021, at the INK Satellite Fair at the Dorchester Hotel. This fair is produced by the International Fine Print Dealers Association, and is recognized worldwide as one of the leading presentations of works on paper by internationally renowned artists.

Lehr’s new limited editions will then tour nationwide with Flying Horse throughout 2022 at several art fairs across the U.S. and internationally. Her new work will also be presented at an opening reception at the studio, featuring live demonstrations of her process of igniting gunpowder and fuses to create her artworks. Flying Horse Editions was established in 1990 at the University of Central Florida. The artists invited to participate in the residency has included Diana Al-Hadid, Elia Alba, Chakaia Booker, Will Cotton, Ke Francis, Luis Gispert, Eddie Martinez, Odili Donald Odita and Toyin Ojih Odutola.

Lehr completed the first part of her studio residency in the spring, and is returning to Flying Horse later this year to complete her new editions there. Every piece in Lehr’s new editions will each be an original work of art that was created exclusively during the residency. They were each imagined with trailblazing printmaking techniques in mind, and are each one of a kind. So far, Lehr has created a series of monotypes with watercolor prints created on plexiglass. She has also created a new lithograph with collage pieces that will be burned and ignited using the artist’s signature technique with fuses and gunpowder, for a new varied edition.

“My experience at Flying Horse Editions has been a powerful new adventure in artmaking for me. I am honored to have been invited to their artist residency this year,” said Mira Lehr. “Their passionate commitment to the craft of printmaking is evident, they really put their hearts into the visiting artist’s experience. I was able to experiment with great freedom ‒ they encourage the artists to take risks, while remaining true to your voice. ”

This research space houses professional visiting artists for shortterm residencies with assistance from master printmakers and students. The artists’ drawings are scanned, manipulated digitally, and then put on a copper plate similar to what would have been used during Rembrandt’s time. Lehr’s nature-based imagery includes painting, design, sculpture and video installation. Her processes include innovative usage of resin, gunpowder, fire, Japanese paper, dyes and welded steel. Her paradoxically destructive yet creative fire techniques burn holes and leave imprints in her prints resulting in an even more layered and complicated final artwork.

The Visiting Artist Residency Program at Flying Horse Editions is made possible by the members of the institution, a grant from the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation and with funding by the Judith and David Albertson Endowment in the Arts. The goal of the program is to create a world-class initiative that promotes creative interaction between professional artists and students, while also creating sustainability within the printmaking field — training the next generation of artists and printmakers.

Flying Horse Editions is a collaborative research center in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Central Florida, and a non-profit publisher of limited-edition prints, artist books and art objects by internationally-renowned artists.

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