Conversation / Ruffles, Repair & Ritual

Explore the fine art of fixing with Xander Marro and Pippi Zornoza, co-directors of the Dirt Palace at the Wedding Cake House in conversation with Taylor Polites, author and lecturer in RISD's Literary Studies Department. Learn about the ambitious restoration project of this iconic three-story historic house located at 514 Broadway Street, Providence, RI through its phases of construction to its commissioned artwork celebrating history, community, and repair culture with installation, exhibition, and time-based performances. Saved from the wrecking ball, the house begins a new chapter offering artist residencies, public programs, and guest lodging.

This program is planned in conjunction with the RISD Museum exhibit, Repair and Design Futures, the Wedding Cake House exhibit, Ruffles, Repair & Ritual: The Fine Art of Fixing, and THE FOLD | PVD.

Pippi Zornoza is an interdisciplinary artist working in sound, performance, installation, video, and printmaking and is a co-founder of the Dirt Palace feminist art collective in Providence Rhode Island. Formed in 2000, the Dirt Palace has since become to embody the oxymoron of “Underground Institution.” Her work is housed in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the RISD Museum and has been published in the Bell Gallery's Building Expectation: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future, Anthony Alvarado's DIY Magic, Matthew Barney and Brandon Stousy's Tubal Cain, and in the art-poster anthology, Art of Modern Rock.

Xander Marro has been living the good life in the feminist sub-underground for too many years to count on her long bony fingers. She draws pictures (usually narrative), makes movies (usually not narrative), produces plays with elaborate sets and costumes (usually narrative, but confusing), and then makes stuff like posters, quilts and dioramas (probably narrative?). Her work is often about spiritual relationships to the material stuff of this world. Co-founder of the Dirt Palace in 2000 (feminist cupcake encrusted netherworld located along the dioxin filled banks of the Woonasquatucket river, which is to say in Providence, RI USA).  Her studio (and heart) is there still. She cut her teeth in arts management on the jagged edges of spreadsheets at AS220 while serving as the Managing Director. She's been involved with issues around affordable housing and the changing landscape of urban America for nearly two decades. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of ONE Neighborhood Builders, a Providence community development corporation, and is on Providence’s Art and City Life Commission.

Taylor M. Polites is a Rhode Island-based writer, educator, and researcher. His first novel, The Rebel Wife, was published by Simon & Schuster and his work has appeared in anthologies as well as arts and news publications. He is a partner with Ann Hood and Hester Kaplan in Goat Hill, a collaboration dedicated to bringing writers and writing professionals to Southern New England, and works with local organizations to cultivate storytelling and community. He was a Community Practitioner in Residence at the Swearer Center at Brown University and is the recipient of the 2018 award for Public Humanities Scholarship from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. He teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maslow Family Creative Writing MFA program at Wilkes University.