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Once Upon a Time, created by Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle, features all new work inspired by childhood memory, with fantasy “snapshots” from classic children’s stories, fairy tales and nursery rhymes. The flatwork – which is a combination of balloon sculpture, photography and illustration – which surrounds a live balloon sculpture installation. The show’s title also plays on the temporary nature of their medium.


The phrase “Once upon a time” instantly evokes memories of childhood stories filled with deep dark forests, towering beanstalks, and talking animals. It brings us back to the days when each of us blended storybook characters and creative play to explore worlds that only existed for a few moments in time.

Balloons offer an interesting medium in which to reconstruct those dreams and fantasies. Much like the afternoon daydreams from years ago, the sculpted creations quickly fade away. We find new and interesting ways of preserving and replaying those memories by recreating the fairy tales we heard as children.

Likewise, this Airigami series, combining balloons, photography and illustration, is about finding a new way to preserve, enjoy and share those childhood impressions.


While we have worked together on individual pieces, this is the first complete series of work that we have done entirely as a team, from concept to execution. We found that each piece taught us something new about working together, as well as developing our individual skills. As the concept took off, we envisioned the sharing and passing on of stories to our children to be an important part of the project. That made it important to us to integrate our own kids into the work. We hope other families find similar ways of enjoying the artwork and stories together.

Following the success of our show at the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester, we want to take the images from our Once Upon a Time series to the next level. We want to turn this work into fully-illustrated children’s books. We’ve started a Kickstarter project to help us get the funding we need.

Please help us get the project funded. Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. It’s powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. That means, you can offer support, ask for cool stuff from us, and there’s no risk to you or us. If we get funded, we get to take our project further and you’ll get something really awesome from us. Check it out.

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