Friday, October 1, 2021

Deadlines, timelines, and lovelines








These grants range from $2000 to $6000 and fund visual art projects. ​
Interlace prioritizes projects that: ​

  • Facilitate the making of visual art; 
  • Incorporate collaboration; and
  • Engage Providence-area communities, whether in process or presentation. 
To learn more and to apply, visit

Interlace Grant Fund is part of the regional regranting program supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation





As my home town Born and raised in Olneyville, I put on earlier paintings in the display to show my dedication and love for what and who inspired me. As one of my paintings is my guarding angel in which I would always put above my bed. I now gladly put in the heart of Olneyville to protect my people. 

"Life is a big canvas is what you make of it."

My name is AGONZA. I was born in Providence, Rhode Island in the Manton projects. I spent my teenage years living in the Dominican Republic, before moving back to New England. Throughout my life, I’ve suffered culturally, economically, and socially. Due to this, I’ve battled severe depression, PTSD, and PCOS which has heavily influenced my art.

I believe as human beings our experiences allow us to be able to teach others what perspectives and understandings we have learned from life. I express myself through art, as I believe art is the best way to communicate a story without words. Every art piece I have created in my life has a purpose and a story. Throughout my career I have displayed my work in multiple art shows in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 2017 and 2018 I won three People's Choice Awards between the Salem Mural Slam and El Punto in Salem MA. I have been featured on the front pages of Providence, Boston Glode, Her Rhody RI monthly, URI Magazine, and many more throughout New England. Now I am a main board member of TAC with the focus to help that urban community rise with the power of Art.

I believe in the transformational power of art. It has helped me to live my truest life. I believe that art can change people and communities. As an artist, the best feeling is having viewers of all ages and ethnicities be able to sit together, as a community, in front of your work and relate to it, smile, and momentarily lose themselves in the experience. Public art creates those opportunities for all.

The Storefront Window Gallery project is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.




YSANEL's recent collection of paintings called "Me Fui" was exhibited last month and she's been getting back into mural making. She worked on the one in the photo above at the Dirt Palace :) Learn more about her commission for Lowe's Centennial Celebration on her website or go see it in person at the Lowe's located on Quaker Lane in Warwick, RI. 


Hello world! I've been reading and drawing and soaking in the last bits of sun. We're making a lot of pumpkin spice lattes at work and that's when you know it's truly autumn. Certain people have expressed doubts about my plans to build a papier mache gazebo which only means I must forge ahead. SO... if you have any tips on papier mache for the outdoors- please email me or send mail to 14 Olneyville Square- I will write back I promise.  :)

Also, I'll be tabling at RISD craft on benefit street (from in front of the Atheneum to like Carr Haus, I think) on October 9th!!! I'll have lots of things like the ones pictured above: tote bags, some shirts, lots of prints, and little books ! Come by and say hi if you want to! 


Over the past few weeks, I’ve been focusing some energy on my first screen-print and playing around with that medium. The intention has been more “what exposure times do I need for this specific frosted tracing paper // transparency? Will it even work? What does it feel like to flood the screen and then pull it … over and over again?” rather than “this image is exactly what I set out to do from the get-go.”

So, I have ended up doing a lot of layering and playing around with the medium. There is a specific image that (I hope?) will arise out of from some of these runs, but I’m sharing an image of one layered print with no real “logic” (except my own internal feelings). Maybe you’ll find your own imagery and feelings.

Otherwise, this past month I DJ'd another event in Philly at a skate park and worked on various sounds projects to share in the near future. I have also been spending some serious time at the Providence downtown rink cutting shapes with my blades and hoping for the extended version of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” plays so I can skate-dance hard.


Hi hi hello imaynalla otra vez! This month I officially moved into the Dirt Palace as a resident. I am overjoyed to be staying and so excited to be a part of this household/space/community.

I spent September settling into my space here and working on three secret collaborative projects that should materialize over the next couple of months. Sorry that's all for now! I owe you three secrets.

Best of September:


Time's up. (More Ivory Soap.) 


On October 9th, X will be asking questions & encouraging audience members to ask questions in conversation with Tyler Hubby, director of Completely in the Present, a documentary about Tony Conrad - below is info about the event - check out The Machines website for detailed info on their COVID policy

Tony Conrad was legend of the minimalism movement in film, and an early co-conspirator with John Cale and Lamont Young who went on to co-found the Velvet Underground and push the boundaries of avant-jazz. A composer, filmmaker, educator and polyglot master of many, Tony epitomizes an idiosyncratic life lived joyfully in service of pioneering new frontiers in expression. Completely in the Present is a collection of materials recorded over about twenty years. 

The film's director, Tyler Hubby, drew on a rich archive of videos presenting the artist at work and on private collections of Tony and his friends.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director Tyler Hubby who has also worked on The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Bad Brains: Band in DC, Lost Angels and Desolation Center, and has worked with experimental musician from across the spectrum of scenes and micromovements for decades as a photographer, writer, and filmmaker.

Inventor and local multimedia artists Xander Marro, of Dirt Palace and many many other local and wide ranging ventures will be joining Tyler on stage for the discussion.

Musical guests Lydia Lunch + Tim Dahl, and Providence Research Ensemble will be playing two collaborative musical sets after the Q&A in the spirit of the late Conrad.

Lydia Lunch needs almost no introduction, with her seminal work in Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and the Transgressive Cinema movement, and her more recent musical work with Retrovirus. Tim Dahl plays with Lydia in Retrovirus and has played in a wide gamut of noise and avant jazz acts with everyone from Marc Ribot to Weasel Walter.

Providence Research Ensemble is a project of composer JPA Falzone and plays experimental and avant-garde musical stemming from classical and early music traditions, and has worked extensively with Providence Research Ensemble which he founded in 2014. They will be playing alongside abstract film provided by local legend Dave Fischer.

Doors at 6:30 PM


making bells raising hells

Songbooks (and more) are for sale via Spring/Break 
(Click this link to buy a songbook!)


Library Hi-Lites!








Landmark Public Art in


Learn about the finalists in the competition for Providence's current major public art commission and participate in opportunities for public comment/feedback. Click on the link above



Wednesday, September 29, 2021







Closing for Ruffles Repair and Ritual the Fine Art of Fixing!

Tuesday August 31st 

5:30-7:45 open house, self guided tours of exhibition 
8pm-9pm on the patio (weather permitting) a reading! At long last, Mary-Kim Arnold! with Sara WintzDarcie Dennigan Seth Tourjee

All adults who go inside are asked to be vaXXXed & masked 






About Public Gallery -

We are both Providence natives and residents. Casandra writes poetry and short stories, and has dabbled in painting, photography, and illustration. Spocka is a musician and performer, event curator, and creates visual art. Growing up, we benefited from local creative opportunities.

And so we felt a need to bring more of those opportunities to our community. The idea of opening this public, art-centered space together floated around for about three years. Our goal was to build a creative hub for art and music but also a place to host events, meetings, workshops, and classes. On September 7th, 2019 - we opened Public.​

Since then, we've had 85 makers in our shop, 50 artists in our gallery, 12 muralists, and 8 local authors in our book corner. We've hosted regular open mics, a dinner in the gallery series, a secret comedy show, a film screening, a self-care pop-up, 4 artist-curated events, a collage night, dance night, a panel discussion, and vintage pop-up (as of March 2020).

Public: a space that welcomes all members of the community to experience and interact with art.

With this display we wanted to explore the cross / interaction between all of our work. Involving hand painted objects, floating creatures and  a cartoon.
We hope the variety of colors & objects entice viewers to use their imagination.


The Storefront Window Gallery project is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.




YSANEL’s been spending every day at the Dirt Palace working on her new collection of mixed media works on large canvases for an exhibition called “Me Fui” that’s opening September 11th at AS220’s Aborn Gallery from 5-8pm. Please come support, experience her art and learn more about the artist as she’s telling stories about her self and diverse life+creative journeys in such a vulnerable way for the time ever.

“Me Fui”
Opening reception:
Saturday, Sept 11 from 5pm - 8pm

Aborn Gallery
95 Empire Street, 2nd floor
Providence, RI 02909

Exhibition will be on display until 9/25.. 


Hello world! I've been drawing and printing and going to work and spending a lot of time with Anneli's dog, Margo. She is really cute and sweet, we've been reading about astrology and numerology together (pictured above). On September 16th at 6pm, there is a community quilted mural event at the George Wiley Center- supported by RISCA (thank you RISCA!). Everyone will paint a square and then I will spend a few weeks quilting them together. Once it is finished, the community quilted mural will be displayed in the center. Come by to participate and to learn about utility justice, PIPP, and the grassroots organizing that the center is spearheading for our communities. You can also email me at if you would like to paint a square at home and send it in!



Hey there! I'm still settling after a replacing a broken down truck and taking an extended visit to see family in the Midwest. On the way out I played a show  – (fun despite some gear failures) @ Collision in Pittsburgh, transported multiple stools for no real reason in the back of my truck, helped assemble a low power fm transmitter for a free radio project, and played videogames with my 7 year old niece. On the way back, I attended as well as DJ’d at the Clouds gathering in New Lebanon, NY where I received community acupuncture for the first time, my aquamarine hair acted in a queer porn, and I recommitted myself to decolonizing astronomical knowledge. I am now happily back in Providence, getting ready for various printing, painting, dancing, community, and sound projects.


 Hi hi! This month I am focusing on getting Trophy Hunt's forthcoming LP "The Branches on Either Side" mixed and mastered by Scot Moriarty and Brad Boatright of Audiosiege, respectively.


Goodbye all y’all! 


Hi, I'm Sam ~ I'm from Chicago & have had the pleasure of staying at the Dirt Palace this past month, doing a bit of drawing and collecting organic textures from local plants + construction for future screen prints. I make work under the name Earwig H. Airplug ~ you can check my out my garments here & visual archive here


I'm continuing my deep dive into soap carving, now from my folks' place in Davis CA. My mom (on the right in the first pic) preps for her upcoming exhibition Stone Doily, opening online and in person at Axis Gallery Sept. 1st. I'm looking forward to being back at DP next week after two months away!


Stretching out the beloved August days. Basking in the wildness.



Pippi will be at SPRING/BREAK Art Show exhibiting work with artist Alex Hammond



Pics from our 2nd Wedding Cake House Group Residency in July! What a dream!! What a crew!!! Artists from our second group residency listed below! Check out their work!!!
Lani Asuncion, Lois HaradaGaby Hurtado-RamosFaythe LevineRyan Lopes, and Anábel Vazquez Rodriguez,






Interlace Grant Fund just opened up applications for Project Grants (due October 3rd) and rolling Emergency Relief grants (due the 7th of each month).
For more info about grants, info sessions and more - check out



Call for Artists: Public Art Residency at Lillian Feinstein Senior Center



IS LOOKING FOR A NEW SPACE  They're sending out the word and hoping for some leads.  They're currently in a garage and looking for something as big (at least 350 sq ft) with little or no rent - no idea too odd! email Carol if you have even a glimmer of an idea

Landmark Public Art in


Learn about the finalists in the competition for Providence's current major public art commission and participate in opportunities for public comment/feedback. Click on the link above


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Les Mangles y Les Cuirales, Dirt Palace Interview with artist Andrea Pérez Bessin

Les Mangles y Les Cuirales - Statement

My artistic practice focuses on generating visual language around queer non-binary bodies through syncretic explorations of science, alchemy, Christian iconography, my immediate surroundings, and influences derived from Puerto Rican culture. Within these fields, I often find synchronicities in elements that are at times contradictory. Much of my process involves translating these elements as shapes and symbols that merge with the figure to synthesize fictitious devotional images. The resulting image places the body as a site for disidentification where the binaries that previously held these elements in opposition vanish, allowing congruous and discordant symbols to coexist. I create anthropomorphic amalgams that defy essentialist notions of gender and sexuality. This particular project Les Mangles y Les Cuirales is meant to highlight and honor queer modes of existence. The installation revisits mangroves as sacred queer ecosystems. All organisms within these ecosystems refute through their existence the idea of a gender binary. The red mangroves and the exuberant soft corals that reside at their roots exist in symbiotic relationships similar to chosen families. This project is a celebration of the abundance, resilience, and creativity present in queer communities.


Dirt Palace staff, Pippi Zornoza in conversation with Andrea Pérez Bessin

P: You originally received a degree in biology. Can you talk about your transition from the world of science into the world of art? Also your practice is very research based, i’m wondering how this is connected to your past work studying the natural world.

A: I find the natural world fascinating and I enjoy how science aims to provide an understanding of the natural world, but personally felt as if I had to really narrow down my area of focus to excel as an academic researcher in a scientific field. As I was nearing the end of my biology degree I took an introductory course on visual arts and it sparked the idea of wanting to pursue a life in art. It was an unusual idea to have since I had no concept on how to do that. I even told the professor teaching the class that the course had made me think about switching disciplines to which he promptly responded “don’t do it” and with that I got all the encouragement I needed to move forward. Previous to that course I had never taken any art classes, but I always enjoyed drawing and finding creative outlets in my spare time. Not really knowing how to shift trajectories, it occurred to me that there were some gaps in my understanding of art so I went back to school and got a BFA in Printmaking. Initially I had set aside my skills as a researcher not fully understanding that art and research were not mutually exclusive, gradually my science interests seeped into my art practice and now they are fully converged. I enjoy the freedom that art has granted to my research, I can focus as much or as little  as I want on any given topic and my research skills have also been practical when exploring new mediums in my art practice. 

P: Les Mangles y Les Cuirales at the Dirt Palace uses mangroves as it’s primary ecosystem. Mangroves are so fascinating, not only because of their adaptation to low oxygen conditions and salinity, but how they literally build their own ecosystem. They are also in need of protection in many areas. Can you talk about the mangroves and your connection to them? 

A: I agree, mangroves are entirely fascinating. In Puerto Rico, I grew up seeing and admiring mangroves along the coasts of the island. When I was living in my early 20s I would walk by docks near mangrove forests and spend a good amount of time observing the life that happens at the roots, their flowers, the shape of their propagules. The importance of mangroves as protectors was something I understood from an early age. Not only do they protect the organisms that inhabit their roots, but they protect the coastline from erosion. They do form unique ecosystems, even islands. Red mangroves such as the one depicted in “Les Mangles and Les Cuirales” produce viviparous seeds, seeds that are never dormant.They uniquely adapt to the challenges that the environment they exist in presents them and they serve as an anchor for others. Mangroves are very adaptable, but they are vulnerable too. I appreciate the mangroves in my community and it is important to remember that they need protection too.

P: Les Mangles y Les Cuirales translates in english (I think!!) to the Mangroves and the Queers. You draw meaning in the symbiotic connection between the corals living in the roots of the mangroves to chosen families. In your cosmology the landscape is also a character choosing kin and offering protection. Can you talk about your connection to the land? To family? How this metaphor developed? 

A: I think a lot about roots and memory and about synchronicities of shapes. Neurons are in charge of memories and their extremities resemble plant roots. So roots have become a symbol of connection to the land and to memories of the land. I love my homeland and I love the vegetation that grows back home. I grew up with my grandmother growing all sorts of fruits and herbs in a very small patch of land and living in awe of all the things the land would offer. Living away from home has strengthened the things I do love from my homeland, and the vegetation that grows back home is one of the things I miss. As it pertains to chosen family, I tested the true viscosity of blood by coming out to my family and subsequently lost contact with my family. That lack of connection makes it hard to return to my homeland for both practical and sentimental reasons, but it gave me first hand experience in reimagining and restructuring what a family can look like. Shared DNA means very little when compared to the love and support I receive and give to the people currently in my life. That is what I aim to emphasize when establishing an analogy between chosen family and mangroves, organisms that are not related existing in community and to mutual benefit. 

P: There is also an element of wordplay here, no? 

A: Yes, Spanish is a very gendered language so I used ‘Les Mangles’ as a way to omit the usually masculine gender by which mangroves are addressed in Spanish. Same with corals, except I did a minor adjustment and fused the word cuir (queer) and coral as an overt nod to the community I am paying tribute through this work. 

P: The 3 soft sculptural figures in your installation are so otherworldly, They have eruptions from their bodies, tentacles, a singular nose with no other features. I was wondering if they were inhabitants of your imagined ecosystem, or if they were visitors.

A: They are inhabitants of the ecosystem. They are in a different medium as the mangrove depicted, but part of the ecosystem all the same. I was looking at a lot of soft corals and nudibranchs, again all organisms that operate in direct opposition to the idea of a gender binary. So while these are not directly representing one particular organism, they have forms extracted from looking at these organisms. I love the intricate exuberance of all these creatures. 

P: The translucent colored vinyl that you sewed together creates a brilliant effect with light. When I was photographing your window, I was captivated by the blocks of color projecting on the walls the way a cathedral window might project color and light. You mention that you are currently researching stained glass windows. Much of your current work is illuminated in some way (I’m thinking about ORCHIDACEÆ PNEUMA). What has brought you here? 

A: If I were to pinpoint the origin of this focus I would have to attribute it to a complicated relationship with Catholicism. I know a lot of folks, queer and not, have a complicated relationships with religion and I am not unique in that way.  A lot of religious artifacts in Christian traditions are beautiful and ornate, but as a queer person these objects are not meant for me. A source of inspiration is the visual language present in Christian iconography, especially medieval imagery. Stained glass windows in cathedrals had the original function of being a didactic tool of the church. Stained glass windows illustrated stories present in the Bible for the illiterate folk attending the church. They are still captivating, but one can only imagine the unique ethereal feeling of tinted light shining through them at a time before technology and when windows in most homes were rather small. I love that light passing through a tinted filter still has the capacity to be visually compelling. I was recently photographing some work in a forest and noticed that the sunlight going through the ferns was projecting green light on the forest floor and it was so enthralling. I felt silly for not noticing that before. 

P: Can you talk about the devotional aspect of your work? I’ve always been attracted to the word devotional because it seems to transcend religious & spiritual implications because of its other meanings (from Webster Dictionary - Devotional A) the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity : the act of devoting B) the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal). The devotional (vs the spiritual - dealing with the spirit ) can be grounded in the body and the spirit, in the sacred as well as the mundane day to day, resisting the binary. I mention this because your work is so grounded in non-binary visioning.

A: I enjoy this analysis of the function of the word devotional. I try to be intentional with language and I often research definitions and etymologies of words. Creating art is a devotional act, it is my brain connecting ideas with the body to generate these images. While these images do take a lot of their aesthetics from religious iconography, it is not me directly making up my own religion or a search for a spiritual life. Instead, I am redirecting and repurposing my spiritual tendencies towards the devotional act of creating. I don’t necessarily see a clear division between the spirit and the body so I am always trying to gain an understanding of the body I inhabit. I dedicate a lot of time to observing.  The sequence of events that happen at a cellular level in even the smallest action are nothing short of a miracle. While all these events are not strictly miracles in the sense that a lot of the actions can be explained by science, there is a point where there is no answer to the “why?” that science tries to answer and I think that is the miracle I am trying to refer to.  I also spend a lot of time in nature. I like to get distracted by my surroundings and be captivated by the smallest details. So a lot of my process involves being very present in my surroundings and my body. Again to use the word, I am devoted to finding the sacred in the mundane and that is what I am trying to depict in my work, bodies and plants and all sorts of organisms contain all sorts of miracles that we often take for granted. I think there is a devotion in queer existence, there is a dedication of time and energy to interrogating the self that is tied to the body and the mind we inhabit. I also think it is interesting that the word dedicate is present in both definitions of devotional because the word devote is in the first two definitions of the word dedicate, the words are inextricably linked. 

P: There’s a couple images on your instagram that I’ve been obsessed with. They are two soft sculptures almost like busts on a neutral colored fabric. The description says etching on muslin and counterproof sewn together.  Their faces look worn like old stone carvings but they are printed on  soft fabric.Are these part of your Reliquies series? They seem like outliers but also connected.

A: They are part of my Milagres series.  Milagros are another type of object that informs the visual language I am drawn to. These objects were presented to a saint as an offering for an answered prayer. They were wonderfully specific. If a saint helped with a particular organ or limb in the body, that one organ or limb would be depicted. So there are specific milagros arms, legs, eyes, intestines, even genitals. I have this book “Los Milagros en Metal y Cera de Puerto Rico” by Teodoro Vidal that has wonderful images of all types of milagros. As metal milagros they are very rigid, but making my own interpretations as soft sculpture allowed the forms to be somewhat malleable. They did give the appearance of being rigid and were a surprise to those who were able to experience them in person.  I had been working mostly in sort of earthy monochrome prints in fabric and paper previous to my current work, I just never documented or posted the work. I had arrived at these forms just as COVID started. They definitely were not a complete thought, but I shifted from these earthy monochromes to vibrant neons during the Summer of 2020. These pieces felt somber at a moment when everything felt heavy. While working on these Milagres pieces I was at home with my two year old and I would give her tubes of paint and roll out a big sheet of paper on the floor and she would just be the brush like a mini Carolee Schneemann. She would apply the paint selectively and then treat the whole piece of paper like a slip and slide. The joy she was having selecting and applying paint really inspired me to seek that kind of joy in my work. 

P: In addition to your installation and sculptural work you are also a printmaker! My first exposure to your work was through your cover Illustration and printing for Shey Rivera Rios’s book Naty and My Chaotic Stench. How does printmaking and drawing feed your installation work and vice versa? 

A: First of all, I have endless gratitude to Shey for the projects they have invited me to participate in. It was a huge honor to get to design the cover for this amazing book. When I think of mangroves as anchoring beings one of the people I think about is Shey, they work so hard to support and improve their community. I just feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with and get to collaborate with them.

My sculptural and installation works are more of a recent development and they were an evolution that had its origins in my printmaking work. I was initially doing prints on chiffon and putting plexiglass on top of it and then it occurred to me that I could engrave the plexiglass directly as is done with plexiglass drypoints. I started doing these tiny “stained glass” plexi pieces where I would engrave the plexi and adhere it to a wood frame. Around that time I got invited to a group show at a museum and the person curating the show suggested I do one of these recent stained glass pieces to put over the windows. When I went to the space to get some measurements I saw that the windows were about 7 feet tall and that my approach would result in an extremely heavy and unwieldy piece so I started thinking of alternatives and landed on the tinted vinyl. I had my partner who is really skilled at sewing to teach me how to sew because the best way to adhere the vinyl was definitely by sewing and I had no idea how to use the machine. Previously, I would mostly rely on hand sewing or ask my partner to sew some pieces together on the sewing machine when I was short on time. To be honest I had kind of a mental block about sewing for the longest time, when I was in middle school we took home ec and it was also a very gendered thing. I just saw in that class that I was being indoctrinated to be a homemaker and while I did not have a full understanding of why I did not like it as a middle schooler, I did viscerally reject the things I was being taught in that class. We had to sew a pillow for class and I was so bad at it that I think it hurt my teacher’s eyes to watch me wreck an innocent piece of fabric with my ineptitude. She just took over my project and I never had to sew again until recently. Kind of a tangent, but I just think it’s kind of funny that I rely so heavily on a sewing machine now given my past history with it. Anyway, I am figuring things out with my sculptural work and I would like to bring printmaking back to these pieces. Again return to printing on fabric. Just bringing a lot of printmaking elements to the work, most of the time I do want that, but time can be elusive. 

Andrea Pérez Bessin (b. San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an artist and Studio Art MFA candidate at the University of Connecticut. Their work focuses on syncretic amalgams and fictitious figures of devotion as a way to speak about the instability of gender. They received their BFA in Studio Art from Rhode Island College and a BA in Biology from Brown University. Andrea currently lives and works in Newport, RI. Their work has most recently been shown in Newport Art Museum’s group show Digital Breath