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Friday, December 15

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Literary Thu Aug 09 2012

Flying House -- annual artist-writer collaboration, group show

first fly.pngAround January or February of this year a picture of a house with wings started following me on Twitter - yes, this post starts with a Twitter follow. I checked out the house-with-wing's Twitter and found out that it was an organization called Flying House - an annual collaboration project with artist-writer pairs. Naturally, I followed back.

In March, I submitted my application to Flying House - it sounded like fun being paired up with a random artist and having a guaranteed show out of it. A few weeks later, I got the adrenaline-producing call that I was chosen as one of six artist-writer pairs to work on collaborations.

Now, nearly six months after those first submissions, the six pairs are preparing for the upcoming show on August 25th at Maes Studio.

"Collaboration is so much about artists being OK with putting your work in front of somebody else and hearing the feedback and using each other's ideas," said Megan Paonessa, Flying House co-founder. "It's definitely that piling up of ideas and making something out of it."

Paonessa explained that the idea for Flying House was kind-of inspired by being in a long-distance relationship and The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy.

"When I was living down in Alabama and my now husband - then boyfriend [Jay] - lived [in Chicago] we wanted to write letters or like postcards together...I started it and he would do a response to me and it sort-of blew up from there," said Paonessa. "He started doing full-sized paintings that he would shrink down and I started taking some [of the letters] into poetry workshops...Our friends started catching onto it and asking about it so we kind-of liked it and thought that maybe we could do a show."

At the time, she was still living in Alabama getting her MFA. After she graduated, Paonessa moved to Chicago.

"The day before we moved we were talking about maybe doing a show where Alabama writers would get together with our Chicago artist friends and put a show on in a studio. [Jay and I] drove a U-Haul all the way back up to Chicago, and we just kind-of were throwing back ideas on what it could be. Jay came up with the name Flying House, because I was all sad about leaving my writer-friends and I was all like 'it doesn't matter the distance between us, we can re-connect."

The first year's (2010) participants were personal writer-friends and artists that the couple already knew.

Now in its third year, Paonessa says that the Flying House participants produced some really great work and that's she's eager to see the show.

"This year everyone's really stoked about it and kind-of going above and beyond to make it work -- so it's very exciting."

This year's Flying House collaborations are:

• Vanessa Palacio and Katherine Zlabek
• Jyl Bonaguro and Tyler Gillespie
• Cleveland Dean and Heather Momyer
• Jennifer Moore and CD Mitchell
• Melanie Larson and Luke Geddes
• Christina Loraine and Richard Thomas

The process of choosing the artist and writers to participate begins with an analysis of submissions. Both Jay and Megan Paonessa make a list of ten writers and ten artists they like; the two see which people from their lists match up and have conversations about who else should be included. Once the participants are chosen, the writers and artists are paired up based on things like aesthetic, theme, and style.

Paonessa is expecting there to be a show next year, and she says to check the Flying House website for updates on the application.

This year's Flying House show will be held on August 25th at Maes Studio, 167 N Racine (Suite 1). The gallery doors open at 6:00 PM and readings begin at 8:00 PM. Entry to the event is $5 or FREE with purchase of 2012 Anthology. You can preorder online here or pay at the door. The event is sponsored by Poets & Writers, Vivo, and Cocomori.

Check out the Flying House website: http://ourflyinghouse.com/about.html

photo: first year Flying house participants, credit Gerard Paonessa.

 
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Megan Paonessa / August 14, 2012 12:47 PM

Apparently I kind-of like saying kind-of and like... oh goodness.

Thanks for the interview Tyler!

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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