Friday, July 2, 2021





JULY 2021






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.

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.


This installation showcases a state of mind that YSANEL has felt like she's been in for the last year and a half. She uses spanish language to state her name, forcing people to read it in its complete authenticity. The black fabric and bandanas bring depth to the space behind the clouds, reminding us of her distant reality throughout 2020 and constant defensiveness - protecting self, spirit and culture as tight as the sage wrapped in yarn that hangs, too. A black crown emphasizes the proudness of her Afro-Carribean roots and she plays with lighting to help center her words as it reads, "Mi Nombre es YSANEL". 

A young Afro-Carribean artist learned to “fly” through manipulating her materials.YSANEL started as a poet and became a public artist in her historic hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. She grew up in the South Side of Providence alongside a large population of people from Dominican Republic, where both of her parents were born and where most of her is family is from. Lucky for her, Providence was (and still is) entirely a melting pot of different diasporas so she learned arts & culture through both a personal and collaborative lens. She developed a voice for justice, especially racial justice and anti gun violence movements. Eventually her  interdisciplinary work began to soar from public art to music, and from sculpture to theatre.Today, she experiments with a personal collection about her identity that she hopes to share in the Fall/Winter Season of 2021. YSANEL performed as a background for Spike Lee’s Netflix Film called “She’s Gotta Have It”. One of her most known Public Art projects is a series of portraits on outdoor utility boxes of some inspirational women for a female empowerment project that was eventually featured in Providence Monthly’s August 2019 issue called The Faces of Street Art. In Early 2017, the City of Providence also awarded her the Public Art Fellowship, which backs up her newly gained knowledge in public art.


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.




Hi!! I’ve just moved in and only painted half of my room, also thinking of making wallpaper for some of it too. I’ve baked 2 cakes recently and have been screen printing as much as I can. One larger project that I'm focusing on right now is a graphic novel draft about personal spaces and a mysterious forest. I'm feeling very lucky and very happy to be here :)



Hey! YSANEL here - getting back into screen printing and experimenting with fabric. I've been vending at a lot of art markets this summer so I have been spending most of my time in the printshop at DP making pillows and prints for that. Slowly shifting my focus as i'm preparing for an exhibition at AS220's Aborn Gallery of a collection of my paintings :) Stay tuned... 


Hiiii, I'm LN (ellen). Looking forward to a summer of painting, printing, dancing, sounding, swimming, rollerblading, wandering. Also new to Dirt Palace and kinda new to Providence. Currently living with one foot out the door of Philly, but soon everything will be moved and recentered.

In June I went to Delaware to gather field recordings of the Brood X Cicadas which I edited with commentary for a radio broadcast -- one of which you can see up above! They were swarming hard. Most recently I co-led a visionary fiction workshop for engineering educators toward revisioning how engineering practice and education can dismantle systems of oppression within its realms. 


Hi hi! Imaynalla! I'm Kai and I'm new to the Dirt Palace. On Sunday I celebrated my birthday, packed my things, and moved here from the C.A.F.O in Lenapehoking/so-called Brooklyn. I've fallen in love with Providence and am beyond thrilled to be spending the summer here. Here's me with a pie:

In March I released a self produced EP, Katabasis, with my band Trophy Hunt. A follow-up LP is in production and should be released late summer/early fall.


Hello void! I made a comic about my California exile, it's published by Caboose Books. Recently an excellent short essay about "California" was published on Solrad. "Owl, Amoeba, Eyelash: Anneli Henriksson's California"

During the strange times of the last 16 moths or so I started making forms. That are also maybe kind of like journal entries co-authored by friends in anonymity (who are cosmic geniuses responding with love, candor and comedy). Or maybe they're like a choose your own adventure except with more philosophy than plot. They're all on this linktree and there's a new one, that will maybe be the last one for a little while. It's called Duck Weed. Over the winter I got to do a couple of covers for Megan Milk's books being published by Feminist Press.  And they're in print now! (or at least galley copies exist) I think that you can pre-order them here. They are super fun to read. I laughed so hard reading some of the stories in Slug that slime started forming on my face.  Anne Elizabeth Moore calls it "invertebrate pornography", which is what I speculate most people that I know want to be reading. 


RECTRIX performed live on AS220 TV
Special thanks to everyone at AS220 who made this happen!

More news on upcoming releases soon!



Back in March we did our very first group residency at the Wedding Cake House! Artists quarantined ahead of time and made a pod for the duration of the residency. Here’s a pic of our first cohort! Featured - Ryan CardosoMurphy ChangBonnie JonesIsabella KoenTaylor Polites, and Rue Sakayama. Also pictured is upcoming Work Exchange Artist in Residence Miranda Zhen-Yao !!! (photo by Rue Sakayama)

We’re extremely excited to host our next cohort this July!!! Lani Asuncion, Lois HaradaGaby Hurtado-RamosFaythe LevineRyan Lopes, and Anábel Vazquez Rodriguez,


An artist in residence live/work studio is opening up at Dirt Palace September 1st. The term is for 1 year with the chance to renew. For more info about the residency and what it entails  - email us at dirtpalacepublicprojects at gmail dot com




(To see an extremely motivational video about the plan featuring YSANEL  TORRES, board member LIZZIE ARAUJO HALLER & many folks we admire click here

The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) is proud to release the draft of our updated cultural plan. PVDx2031: A Cultural Plan for Culture Shift outlines strategies and recommendations for strengthening arts, culture and creativity in Providence and is ready for public comment.

To read our draft, click here.

To comment on the draft by August 1, 2021, click here.

The final plan will be released in the fall of 2021.

Have questions about the cultural plan? Please contact Cultural Affairs Manager Gina Rodríguez-Drix, to schedule a time to discuss:


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