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The Scout Guide: San Antonio 2021–2023

The same and the same. From here to there. What do you do with little you’ll do with much.

I’m in the air. Flying between here and there. San Antonio to New York City, the same United flight I’ve taken for almost 18 years. This seems to be the case more and more these days. In business class seats (something I’m incredibly thankful for… yes! leg room) I sit and chat with a man in the US military, a medic. His name is Marco. He noticed my fountain pen, “People don’t use those much any more?! What do you do? What’s your line of work?” I explained I was an artist.

“Have you ever flown on cheap tickets? You have to put the kids in the luggage bins, you save $40 yeah, but at what cost?… dear God, never again.” 
I laughed and responded. 

“I’ve flown, driven, traveled and ridden about everything that moves on this planet… from here to there” I said. Thus knowing the importance and value in a business class ticket (leg room). 
In the wise words of Johnny Cash “I’ve been everywhere man … “. I explained I was in the arts, and that I liked to hand write thank you cards and write letters. “My father used a fountain pen, so now I use one when I really want to write something. It shows that you care.” 

Marco’s son is playing on a pikachu iPad. His daughter a Dora the Explorer iPad. They are very well behaved kiddos. We speak about Germany and Italy. We speak about Europe and Asia. He with his background in the military; and mine in the arts. “Planning a trip to Spain for the Fall actually with a local San Antonio organization, SOS San Antonio.” I said. 

Bottom to top, it’s kind of all the same. It’s just about people. You will do the same thing with little as you will do with much. 
There is always some other “thing”, some life experience to plan & aspire too (Spain 2023!). We agreed this was the common thread. The people you spend time with in the places you find yourself. We just finished a show in the Lower East Side of New York City at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture (Elizabeth & Bleeker). 
I’m about to take down a show “An American Story”. 18 years in, not much has changed. In my office, a desk my father and mother built at Hausmann & Hausmann Design Co. The first business of our building, now, second generation Hausmann Millworks: A Creative Community (going on year 16!) in San Antonio, Texas.
In the mail we received this letter from a close friend, Marc. 
A note post New York (The Sheen Center 2023) “An American Story” at The Sheen Center NYC 
Dear Renee, Gene and Rex:
This is just a note to say “thank you” for all the work you all did behind (and in) the scene to make the Sheen Center Show possible in New York City last week. Debra and I had a great time! And a special “thank you” for including me in the show and in the extended Hausmann Millworks “Family”. It is an honor and privilege.
Rex, I have on a number of occasions organized and curated shows, and I know that you did a tremendous amount of work coordinating, organizing and curating the Sheen Center Show - which turned out flawlessly and was of high quality - giving a very good account of the San Antonio arts community, and the Hausmann Millworks. But, even knowing what I do about the process, I know there is much more and many hours which you invested in this project. Your inspiration, ideas and work (not to mention your logistical [that means “driving”] provision) are deeply appreciated.
The Impact that the Hausmann Family has had on ‘The Arts’ in San Antonio, and their development, is very material and will probably not be fully appreciated for years to come. It’s not yet time to write the history of the Hausmann Millworks. But one day there will be such a document. Until then, I want you to know that there are many, including myself, that already appreciate the resources and inspiration which you have provided to our Arts Community, and to providing a sustaining platform for the Arts in San Antonio and, indirectly, to promoting San Antonio, itself. Not only are you a great ‘Family’, but you are a great ‘Team’ and that, in itself, is unusual and laudable. You have created, already, a lasting legacy for yourselves. The name “Hausmann” is synonymous with “The Arts in San Antonio”. I believe it can be said without contradiction that the only continuing platform that sustains, develops, promotes and represents the totality of the San Antonio art community (with a particular focus on the artists themselves) is the Hausmann Millworks. That is already a remarkable accomplishment that constitutes a legacy for yourselves and for the City of San Antonio. And no one can really fully know the continuing effort, and ingenuity, it has taken to develop and to sustain, on a day-to-day basis, the Hausmann Millworks project. But, I  have a pretty good idea ! And it is impressive.

Marc (Artist, attorney and trusted family friend of 18 years.)

With the project “An American Story” literally in boxes and on the way back to the studios and homes of the artists I think about how far this artist's path has come. A kid from San Antonio and UTSA transferring to The Savannah College of Art and Design (“SCAD” for short) on scholarship (Thanks President Wallace, Rita and Jason for the scholarship & Nestor for the advice). 

In school I went from taking buses at 5:45am walking from Penland Hall at SCAD with my back pack & duffle to the Greyhound station down the street … this was in between a full load of classes, applying for a project, and still finishing a full workload while in class … finding myself as a student working on projects with national corporations (Delta & Hands on Atlanta) “A Bus Seat For Justice” a project that ended up in the collection of The Smithsonian and latter The National Parks Department and along being replicated all over the US in schools, teaching kids how to think creatively with decoupage and collage (thanks Sam). I just did the work at hand to the best of my abilities. By the grace of God, the rest worked its way out.

I will never forget Tom Bryce saying “Rex, are you about to eat dinner with a President …?” I was 22 at the time, seeing the unveiling of the project “Rosa Parks: A Seat for Social Justice '' presented at The Points of Light Foundation gala in the Kennebunks. I said “Well, Tom; funny enough… I am!” He laughed and said “Rex Hausmann, this doesn’t surprise me in the least.” After all the festivities, I ended up eating a burger at the bar with the bartender and went to a little bed-and-breakfast that was provided for me by the project. With my backpack and duffle I enjoyed the rest of the evening calling my family and Tom and Lessie Bryce. I started writing some postcards over the burger and put them in the mail on the way out of the door to the airport. 18 years in, much has changed.

To artists. In humble circumstances or in great, it’s all about the same. You will do the most you can with little as you will with much. So show up, do your work, do your best to the best of your ability and then put your head down at night knowing you did all you could do. Then get up the next morning … and do it again. And again and again and again. Till you have something else to do, or you can do it no more.” 

Rex Hausmann 
The Hausmann Millworks: A Creative Community in San Antonio, TX. 

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