Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, April 16

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« A Theatrical Deal in Rogers Park Art Around Town »

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:

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

GB store

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!

GB store

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 »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15