Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Collaborative Writers and Artists Project: Flying House

Flying House is an annual collaboration project that kicks off in May with the announcement of five artist-writer pairs. There’s no need to apply with a partner to participate, in fact, we discourage that. The more we artists and writers can push ourselves out of our comfort zones the better. That’s the point. We’ve become too comfortable where we are, or we haven’t strived far enough, and Flying House provides artists and writers with both a blank space to fill, and a push to get your work out in front of the public. 

Once the pairs are picked, they have a good month to swap ideas back and forth. They get to know one another, email, phone, and skype each other, and then they brainstorm what kind of project they are interested in completing.

Warning: the participants should be realistic with the projects. Work must be finished on time; there are two checkpoints to be met along the way and, of course, the work has to make it to the show on time. That's mandatory. Flying House will help with transportation and lodging costs, but not with the cost of materials.

After the first month of introductions, the pairs get to work. The sky’s the limit at this point but, as we mentioned, there are 2 checkpoints along the way to be aware of: first, at the end of the first month each participant must email in 5-seconds worth of something about themselves and their project. This could be anything from a home-movie to a series of camera-phone pictures to a paint-by-numbers coloring book page. It just needs to tell us who you are and what you’re about. Second, half way through our fundraising campaign (July 1), each artist and writer will need to provide a work-in-progress sample of their project. This sample will do 2 things: it will tell us if everyone is on track (or if a replacement needs to be found), and it will also be used to create hype around the up-coming show.

At the beginning of the sixth month, all five of our participating artist-writer teams must have a completed visual and written representation of their collaboration, and they must get it to the location of their big show. We will then display all the work in a gallery space, have a big reading, and celebrate a job well done! Last year’s Flying House gallery event and reading took place in Chicago at the Maes Studio (fancy-shmancy) on December 11.

Last but not least, each year Flying House bottles up the whole experience and produces an anthology for all of our lovely sponsors, friends, family, and participants to enjoy. They are on sale through our website, as well as at the show, and annual subscriptions are welcome!

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