Linda Pace 1945-2007

As of late I have realized some good does come out of bad things, and that everything does happen for a reason. Little did I know what a small decision would do to the SA art scene as we know it today

OK on 7.2.1992, Linda Pace, the then chairman of the board at the San Antonio Art Institute, helped with a decision to drop the BFA program from the school, putting 80+ students out of money and a school. I actually lost my job (as I worked in admissions at the time), my room mate b/c Sally ended up going to Memphis College of Art, and the program I was part of. I liked SA, and I didn't want to move. Of course at the time there were a great many UPSET students to say the least...HOWEVER because of the demise of the program, (and the closing of the doors in 1993)....a foundation was formed in 1995 that transformed the SA art scene, big time.

Dan Goodard wrote this piece last night. I am reposting it from mysanantonio.com......... I personally think it's a bit coincidently syncronized that she passed on on the 15 year anniversary of the BFA program being dropped....

Artpace founder invited the world to San Antonio

Dan R. GoddardExpress-News

Artpace founder Linda Pace, who helped introduce San Antonio artists to the world and brought the world of contemporary art to San Antonio, died Monday.

Arguably the most most generous art patron in the city's history and a respected artist in her own right, Pace died from complications of breast cancer. She was 62.

An heir to the Pace Foods company founded by her late father, David Pace, she had been treated for cancer at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Last week, she returned to San Antonio and was under hospice care at her apartment on Camp Street.

Pace founded Artpace in 1995 in an old Hudson car dealership downtown on Main Avenue. It is now known as perhaps the country's premier international artist residency program. National, international and local artists are selected by well-known curators to create projects at Artpace three times a year.
Because of Artpace, acclaimed artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Isaac Julien and Christian Marclay have made new works in San Antonio, and local artists such as Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Jesse Amado and Dario Robleto, to name a few, have gained wider recognition.

Well-known Australian artist Tracey Moffatt, who was among the first residents at Artpace, called it the world's best contemporary artist residency program. "Linda Pace invited the world in, and we all came and are still coming," Moffatt said by e-mail. "Linda never bothered any of us artists as we worked; she would drift in and out and would occasionally peek in at us. We loved that she occasionally peeked in, and we loved that she had her own life and was busy with it. We loved as well that she loved art."

San Antonio artist Mondini-Ruiz said Artpace changed his life. "I don't know where I would have ended up, but I ended up being an artist that got to travel all over the world and have something to say about myself and San Antonio, and it's very much due to her and her efforts," he said.

Mondini-Ruiz said Artpace was a Linda Pace "masterpiece."

"She thought big, she dreamed big and she spent big, which is what this city needs," he said. "And it worked. It really worked. ...

"She gave a whole generation of artists a voice, a platform, credibility and, most important, exposure to the world bigger than just San Antonio.

In a 2005 interview, Pace said Artpace had been more successful than she ever dreamed. "Contemporary art can be controversial, and quite honestly, that's what makes it exciting," she said. "As a working artist, I have come to realize that art reveals itself as it develops in the artist's studio."

Riley Robinson, Artpace's studio manager, worked with Pace for almost 15 years.

"She was gracious and supportive," Robinson said. "She had a hands-off style, but she really enjoyed watching the artists work.

"Artpace has given local artists a lot of good exposure, and it's exposed them to national and international artists who might never have come to San Antonio otherwise. We're really going to miss her. She loved Artpace and how it worked, and I know she wanted it to be around for a long, long time."

Those close to the organization expect that to happen.

"Artpace is Linda and Linda is Artpace," said Jeanne Klein of Austin, head of the Artpace board. "All of us who loved Linda want to make sure that Artpace stays steady and continues to operate at a high level. Our duty will be to carry out her legacy.

"Linda has given us this mission and she has been very clear about what she wants Artpace to be. ... We are all so sad, but we know Linda wanted us to carry on."

Her legacy of art patronage will be continued through the Linda Pace Foundation, said Rick Moore, the foundation's president. "The tremendous charitable legacy of Linda Pace will live on through her private foundation, which will continue to encourage the creation, exhibition and dissemination of the work of notable contemporary artists," Moore said.

Another part of Pace's legacy is Chrispark, south of downtown, which she created as a tribute to her late son Chris Goldsbury.

Artpace artist Teresita Fernandez designed the jewel-like park — across from Pace's home on Camp Street — with meandering paths and colorful landscaping. "It's something growing, something living and forever, just like the imprint of somebody that you love," Pace said in a 2006 interview.

Chrispark will be the site of a memorial service for Pace at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Pace's father created the original Pace Picante Sauce in 1947.

After their divorce in 1976, her mother bought out the company. Linda Pace and her husband, Kit Goldsbury, acquired the company in 1985 for $14 million.

"Kit and I risked everything we had to buy the company," Pace said in a 2000 interview. "It was a scary time. We were spending big bucks and didn't know if it would pay off."

In 1991, as a result of their divorce settlement, Pace sold her 50 percent stake in Pace Foods to Goldsbury, who sold the company three years later to Campbell Soup Co. for $1.12 billion.

"Losing Linda is a tremendous loss for me and my family," Goldsbury said in a statement. "She was a wonderfully loving mother to both of our children and to our granddaughter, Ava. We will miss her very, very much."

In the past few years, Pace stepped back from Artpace to spend more time working on her own art. A mirrored igloo that she debuted in "Blue Star 21" in 2006 was featured in the 2007 "Texas Biennial" in Austin. After she learned that she had cancer, she continued to work in her studio and had a one-woman show at the Joan Grona Gallery in May that featured drawings based on her dreams.

A drawing of a necklace from that show has been purchased by the San Antonio Museum of Art and will be featured as part of the museum's re-installation of its contemporary art collection, which is scheduled to open Saturday.

But Pace is perhaps best known for her monochromatic mixed-media collages such as "Red Project" and "Green Peace," made up of stuffed animals, cheap souvenirs, advertising trinkets, plastic jewels and other solo-colored objects.

"I collect all kinds of things from the places I've been," she said in a 2005 interview. "I call it 'accumulation art.' I have bins full of stuff in my studio, each work sorted by color. I just like the look of things in monochrome. And I like to juxtapose quirky things. How you put the things together, composition, is the art of it."

San Antonio artist Kathy Vargas, an Artpace resident in 1997, said she related to Pace as a fellow artist.
"Everybody always wants to talk about everything she did for artists, and of course, that's huge," Vargas said. "And the fact that she brought a lot more contemporary art to San Antonio, and, of course, that's huge.
"But people tend to be embarrassed sometimes or — how would I put it? — shy about speaking about her as an artist, but I think one of the best ways I connected with her was as Linda Pace, the artist."

Vargas recalled a white piece by Pace from an exhibit at Joan Grona Gallery.
It "has all these funny little toys in it, and every now and then there would be a little skull. It amazed me that she could combine whimsy and sorrow the way she did, or whimsy and reality. And that makes for depth in work."

As an art lover, Pace followed in the footsteps of her mother, Margaret Pace Willson, a watercolor artist, a founder of the Southwest School of Art & Craft and a longtime board member at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Marion Oettinger Jr., Museum of Art director, said Linda Pace had given a painting or sculpture to the museum each year since the founding of Artpace in memory of her mother.

"She could have gone in a lot of different directions, she could have chose to do nothing, but she chose to do something that benefited the San Antonio art community in all kinds of ways," Oettinger said. "Artpace has a great reputation nationally and internationally, and everyone knows that it operates at a really high level. A lot of people were dedicated to her and what she did, and I think Artpace should have a long life beyond her."

Before Artpace, Pace served as chairman of the board of the San Antonio Art Institute, which had to close in 1993 after declaring bankruptcy. However, the institute's visiting artists program inspired Pace to create Artpace.

"I knew that what I liked about the school was the visiting-artists program," she said in an interview in 2000. "It was so important for the students to hear other voices and to see other work, and being with the artists was what I enjoyed most. I also knew that the art I was seeing in San Antonio was as good as much of what I saw in New York and Europe."

She studied sculpture with Bill FitzGibbons, who taught at the institute and is now director of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center.
"This is a tremendous loss for our community," FitzGibbons said. "She had more impact on the city's contemporary art than any other single person. She was a treasure to the city, state and nation."