WEDDING CAKE HOUSE RESIDENCIES
The Wedding Cake House offers short term, project based residencies with a focus on mid-career artists.
All applicants are asked to read this page in its entirety before applying to a group residency at the Wedding Cake House. The application is linked at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to hit us up at email@example.com
We are still in the pilot phase on several of our residency programs (family residency, project commission residency, and work exchange residency). As these programs become available for applicants we’ll add more info here!
July 21st - Winter residency applications go live
August 21st - Winter residency applications due
Week of September 21st - Winter residency applicants notified
What the opportunity is:
A slightly longer than a week-long group residency at the Wedding Cake House in Providence, RI. Residents also have access to facilities at Dirt Palace Classic - our original & nearby, long term live/work residency space. See FAQ about DP Classic Facilities
There are no fees for the residency, nor are there stipends or travel budgets.
We provide breakfast, lunch and groceries for dinner. Each resident will be in charge of preparing one dinner, and help with prep on another dinner. We will work with each artist in residence on planning
Time during the day is unstructured - however we ask that residents be focused on their project/creative work in whatever form that takes and to do their best to organize their days to have as few errands, appointments, and regular work as possible. (We totally get that some folks will need to have some elements of all of these things in their residency time)
In the evening residents are asked to eat dinner together from 6:30-7:30. After dinner each night there will be an artist talk, presentation, activity or reading given by each of the residents in a rotating order that everyone is expected to attend. This will go until about 8:30/9pm. Some nights may go a little longer if we end up needing to double up presentations on a couple of nights. These talks are a space for residents to share/learn/workshop things with each other, and are not open to the general public.
During the end of the residency there will be a public component. The exact form of this will be determined by the various projects artists are working on. Likely it could include a hybrid open-house/ openstudio/talk/screening/performance/with project show & tell.
As an artist-run project we think a lot about the hoops that artists are asked to jump through. We value an artist's time and resources and know from experience what applying for things can be like. With this in mind we do not charge application fees, and have attempted to keep the application fairly simple, and ask for materials that we imagine many artists already have.
The flip side of this is there are definite limits to our administrative capacity and ability to review large quantities of applications and manage complicated scheduling needs.
We ask that if you submit an application that you are certain that the dates you are submitting for are dates that you can make work. If you’re not sure, wait it out for the future! Our plan is to keep at it until the wheels fall off! This is the second open application that we are conducting. If you have questions, comments, or constructive feedback on the application process, please let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently using GOOGLE FORMS for the application back-end. It will not save writing in the interface unless you use a google email. Applicants are encouraged not to rely on this and to fill it out in one sitting, or write answers elsewhere and paste them in.
We are also asking applicants to use google slides and google docs to provide links to work samples. Please make sure that you set permissions for sharing to “anyone with the link may view”. If you would prefer to link to another platform where you put your work samples, that’s ok, however we’re trying to avoid things like links to entire web-sites or Instagram accounts. We’re not looking for a fancy presentation, just for applicants to use the platform to plunk in some images. If you are not familiar with google slides, there are several tutorials online!
We ask that applicants use restraint in putting together work samples. Your application is better served by having a few well organized high quality pieces. The guidelines are 8-12 images, 5 pages of writing, 5 min of video/audio. These guidelines are for artists working in each media (ie a visual artist can submit up to 12 images and a musician 5 minutes of audio). If your work is interdisciplinary and to show the breadth of your work, you want to submit in all of these media, Please don’t submit the maximum in all categories. For interdisciplinary work we approximate that would be like 5 slides, 2 min of video/audio and 2 pages of writing.
The reason that we’re using free, internet based google tools for submissions is pretty straightforward: budget & efficiency. Proprietary submission software like CAFE or Submittable often ends up costing upwards of $5/submission. As we’ve mentioned before, we don’t want artists to have to pay a fee to apply (as many residencies do). So we ask that you work with us to keep the application process free and simple by using these google tools for now. We might ramp up to using other platforms someday, but this is what we’ve got at the moment. We’re excited to grow and develop, but this is where we’re at right now.
Sample Application Questions can be found on the "APPLY" page.
HOW COHORTS ARE PUT TOGETHER:
The focus of the Wedding Cake House is to support mid-career artists, however we find that group residencies are greatly enhanced by cross generational experiences. Applications are accepted from artists in all phases of their careers, however we want to be transparent that the application process is more competitive for early career/emerging artists. It is unlikely that residencies will be awarded to artists just finishing an undergraduate program with little experience outside of institutional settings. We define mid-career as artists who’ve been working at their craft or “doing their thing” for about 12 or more years.
Decisions about applications will be made with a number of factors in mind, including the overall makeup of the groups, studio resources available for each residency, demographics, and our mission to support feminist artists and artists historically marginalized within the arts. An artist could submit a printmaking proposal that the panel thinks is super, but if all of the slots for printing are already allocated, we won’t be able to accommodate that proposal at this time.
This is a long winded way of saying that factors other than just the amazingness of the submitted work and project proposal go into programming group residencies. Not being chosen for one of these cohorts in no way means that your work/project is not the best. We will keep applications on file for curators/programmers to consider for future potential opportunities and residencies at WCH.
About half of the slots will be for artists outside of RI, and half from within.
Each Group Residency has 6 suites. Artists may apply as individuals or as pairs or as groups sharing a suite.
The peer review panel is made up of
Previous/Current AIR from WCH & Dirt Palace Classic residencies
Dirt Palace Public Projects board of directors
Review panels include practitioners who have the ability to critically consider contemporary practices in: visual art, sound, writing & interdisciplinary practices
Frequently asked questions below on the next page.
General Organizational questions
Q - What is the Dirt Palace?
A: The Dirt Palace is a feminist artist-run space project founded in 2000 in an abandoned library building in the commercial corridor of Olneyville in Providence. The Dirt Palace has grown to include two facilities, and multiple residency and exhibition programs.
In 2015 Dirt Palace Public Projects (DPPP) was founded as the not for profit umbrella for various programs and projects of the Dirt Palace. Dirt Palace Public Projects’ mission is to enhance the cultural life of the city by building relationships between artists and the public as well as creating visibility for feminist artists and people historically marginalized within the arts.
Q - What programs fall under the ‘Dirt Palace’ umbrella?
A: The original Dirt Palace facility located in Olneyville Square (DP Classic) operates as a self organized collaborative that supports feminist artists by providing affordable studio space, facilities, shared resources, opportunities, a culture of cooperation, and maintains visibility in the community through a committed public arts presence and long term relationships. The Dirt Palace is trans-inclusive, strives to be accountable, and works at intersectionality.
DP Classic also houses the Storefront Window Gallery. This public arts project is viewable from Olneyville Square 24/7. DP Members curate this space together and each year 8 - 12 artist installations are exhibited in this space.
The Wedding Cake House (WCH) facility at 514 Broadway has 2 main programs: a short-term project based residency program for mid-career artists; and a Bed and Breakfast for travelers interested in supporting the creation of new work by artists. Residencies at the Wedding Cake House are generally 1-3 weeks in length. The Bed and Breakfast subsidizes the operations of Dirt Palace Public Projects and all of its programs. Artists in residence at the Wedding Cake House have access to the downstairs work studios at Dirt Palace Classic.
Q - Are there different types of residencies at the Wedding Cake House?
A: Yes! We gravitated towards the group residency during COVID because it gave us the greatest ability to manage COVID safety. The first of these residencies happened before vaccinations and took the form of a pod with participants quarantining beforehand. When we are hosting Group Residencies all of the rooms of the Wedding Cake House are filled with the participating artists and we are closed for operations as a BnB.
In addition to the group residencies, we also host Duo Residencies where two artists are in residence while the BNB is in operation.
We have also hosted day-time only tower residencies, residencies for families, and hope to host funded residencies that are organized around making objects for the Wedding Cake House. A group cohort style residency might not be the best fit for everybody and for every project. We’ll be easing into offering these other kinds of residencies in 2022 & 2023.
Q: What’s up with this Maintenance Schedule exhibition and can I apply?
A: “Maintenance Schedule” is an exhibition that will be mounted in 2026 that will engage artists in creating new work centering ideas of maintenance and “taking care.” This initiative follows on our 2019 Exhibition: Ruffles, Repair and Ritual which mounted 150 artist works on the theme of repair. The conceptual framework for the exhibition regarding maintenance has grown out of our practical experience stewarding two historic facilities, but also out of our practical experience centering feminism in the context of an artist run space and organically bumping up against questions around care-taking and the multitude of diverse ways that it happens in creative communities.
As with Ruffles, Repair & Ritual, Maintenance Schedule will commission artists to create both decorative and practical objects for the Wedding Cake House, continuing the house’s trajectory as a facility built out by artists for artists in the future. Alongside of object making, we are also interested in working with artists who make space, time, and opportunities for other artists. We’re interested in supporting creators who are thinking about resource reallocation in moments of need and crisis, as well as those who are thinking about making new structures that attempt to be sustainable in the long term. A component of the Maintenance Schedule exhibition will be supporting the writing and refinement of documents that help to take care of, sustain, organize, articulate, energize, prophesize or celebrate projects about artists for artists. We’re also interested in working with artists who do care-taking and maintenance work as day-jobs to support their creative work.
With this in mind we are structuring our residency offering for the winter of 2023/2024 a bit differently. We will have a few “regular” group residency offerings Nov-Feb and then later in a season, a few that are dedicated to artists working with the Maintenance Schedule themes/concepts. The “regular” residencies will be by application. The residencies focused in on themes relating to our upcoming exhibition will be by invitation. While the “Maintenance focused” residencies will be by invitation, if you or someone you know would be a great fit, feel free to send us links.
Q: What’s the deal with food, what if I’m a picky eater or have allergies/sensitivities?
A: Once we solidify the details of the residencies & who’s involved, we’ll survey everyone about food specifics. We try our utmost to accommodate all dietary requirements in planning menus. The breakdown of how meals work is generally:
Breakfast: there will be coffee, tea, toast, yogurt (dairy and dairy-free), cereal & hard boiled eggs starting at 8am & left out for self serve till about 11
Lunch: there will be basic soup on the stove, salad in the fridge, and sandwich fixings for self serve from noon - 2pm
Dinner: Each resident will be in charge of preparing one dinner, and help with prep on another dinner. We’ll have groceries here and will work with each artist in residence on planning
We won’t provide alcohol or chocolate bars, but residents are welcome to bring their own stashes and/or any other food-things that they love to eat daily.
Q: What are rooms like and what facilities are available at DP Classic?
A: Rooms at the Wedding Cake House also function (when we’re not hosting residencies) as bed & breakfast suites (that is how we fund this operation!). So they’re fairly “fancy”. I.e. they’re not a place to do a lot of materials based work. Each room is unique and has a different set up. We do our best to match up folks with rooms that suit their projects. Every suite has its own bathroom except for rooms 7 & 8 which share a bathroom. Types of work that people have done on site at WCH include; writing and research, audio mixing and recording, video editing, photography, collage, drawing, sewing, durational performance art. If you have an idea for something that you’d want to do in one of the rooms, but aren’t certain if it would cross over the “potential for being too messy” threshold, shoot us an email and ask.
For artists doing more materials-based work, Dirt Palace Classic is an option. DP Classic is about a 7 minute walk from the WCH. There is a “Big Room” where long term AIR’s there have studio bays. Two studios are set aside for WCH residents. If there are more than 2 people looking to work at DP Classic, these bays can be shared.
This space is suitable for larger projects, sculpture, painting (though there is no special ventilation, so paint should be acrylic). There is a screen printing shop, and some basic carpentry/shop tools. There is also a small sound rehearsal space with access to a P.A. for artists interested in working with amplified sound. The sound rehearsal space is small and not best suited for dance or movement projects which require space, though it does have a diy "mirror wall". Note that the Big Room and Rehearsal space share a wall so sound and silence may have to be scheduled. Dance and movement projects are not out of the question, however the studios are shared work spaces with other WCH and DP Classic AIR and we want to be clear and transparent about what facilities we have. There is no dedicated dance studio
Q: Do you accept students?
A: Our focus is on mid-career artists. Our definition of “mid-career” is artists who’ve been working at their craft or “doing their thing” for about 12 or more years. Artists working within degree programs often have access to resources, studio space and community as part of their programs. With this in mind we generally prioritize artists who are not in school and do not have access to these resources. However we value lifelong learning and recognize that people take on higher education for a variety of reasons at many moments in their trajectories, and so do not have a hardline disallowing student applications.
Q: I took part in a Wedding Cake House residency already, can I apply to come back?
A: We love all of our past residents so much and hope that you will come back at some point, but for now we’re hoping to give people who haven’t had an opportunity to take part in a WCH residency a chance.
Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: At this time we can not accommodate resident guest pets. A staff member does have a dog who comes to work with her occasionally, but generally stays in her room & out of the way.
Q: Can I bring my child?
Group residencies at this time are not able to accommodate children. We are planning some family residencies for the summer, please be in touch for information.
Q: Can I bring my significant other?
If your significant other is an artist/researcher etc, you are welcome to apply together to both participate in the residency. Hosting non-participating significant others isn’t something that we do.
Q: I have specific needs or preferences such as a very firm mattress, a bathtub, ADA lodging, fragrance-free laundry, a preference for less stairs, are these things possible?
A: Most of the things on that list are possible! Please use question 4 of the application to notate anything that you’d foresee needing (you can write in anything on the “other” line).
Q: What percentage of applications are accepted and can I get feedback on my application?
A: About 15% of applications are currently accepted. Because we have limited staff capacity for this program we are not able to offer feedback on applications.