Performance Evening for Burning Down The House

Performances by Jennifer Avery, Brooke Erin Goldstein, Carol Scavotto, and Quintín Rivera Toro

Burning Down The House brings together a group of international artists whom explore issues of house and home in their work.

Home is more of an emotional construct, dealing with feelings of safety, nostalgia, belonging and aspiration. Many of the artists here analyze these feelings and reflect on the social structures associated with the ideal of home. Exhibiting artists for Burning Down The House include: Jennifer Avery, Joan Backes, Frances F. Denny, Polibio Diaz, Brooke Erin Goldstein, Jon Laustsen, Philippe Lejeune, Jessica Deane Rosner, Quintín Rivera Toro, Carol Scavotto and Sophia Sobers.

The expression “Burn the house down” in clubs means to play music in a loud of frantic way in order to get the audience very excited. Similarly Yellow Peril Gallery holds as its mission to “exhibit provocative and visually arresting artwork created specifically to ignite conversations long after viewers have left the building.” With Burning Down The House, we strive to excite the audience with engaging works exploring issues familiar to us all.

Curated by Yellow Peril Gallery and presented in conjunction with The Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art


About the Performances

Jennifer Avery (scheduled to perform on July 25 and August 7)

“Anchorite” is a multi-media performance art piece by Jennifer Avery. Exploring notions of home and sanctuary, Gesamtkunstwerk studio practice, personal mythology, femininity and childhood, Avery will recreate the abode and practice of a medieval religious hermit. If home is where the heart is, what is a place that is heart soul and body?


During the performance three performers will activate the anchorage: Jennifer Avery as the anchorite, Valerie Cardenas as the High Priestess and Shelley Gresko as the Servant.


While Avery is not performing, the anchor house will remain unsealed to contemplate as a tomb or ruin housing the corporeal supplies for physical construction of prayers.


The general public is encouraged to thoughtfully and gently interact with this piece.


Brooke Erin Goldstein (scheduled to perform on August 7)

Brooke and Jennifer Avery have collaborated to create “Artist Playdates”, where artists interact with their artwork as directed by other artists. Brooke will direct Jennifer in her installation and vice versa. The artists hope to examine a loss of control in a space that they have created.


Quintín Rivera Toro (scheduled to perform on August 7)

“Manda Podere” is an installation of sculptural-paintings, ladders and music. These elements are the formal and conceptual representations of my reflections on social issues of both existential and political nature. Having worked in the historic renovation industry of Providence, I developed biographical relationship to architecture and design, by being in close proximity to peoples’ homes, and their functional experience of living inside and out of these structures. More interesting perhaps, is the complex human aspect of this industry, pendulating from the physically taxation of the hard labor, to the intense satisfaction of beautifying obsolescence and broken architectural environments. The bringing “back to life” phenomenon that requires specialized knowledge, but involves too often dangerous and hazardous maneuvers. Most rewarding of all is the camaraderie that develops amongst workers, where one literally entrusts each other lives on a daily basis, a quotidian action. A selection of bachata music was played in the gallery during its original iteration, and it is a lively commemoration of my fellow workers from the Dominican Republic, who through their determination, music, and good humor, endure long days of hard work, under all sorts of weather inclemencies. “Manda Podere” means – Send power – in Spanish, a short prayer I would commonly hear before going up the ladders first thing in the morning.


Carol Scavotto (scheduled to perform on August 7)

During the original performance of THE LETTER PROJECT, I opened and publicly read for the first time one letter at a time in the order they had been tied. At the time I believed they had not been opened since my mom passed away. I read one after another and there were only a few letters from my dad. I was bit confused and maybe a little disappointed. My time slot for the performance ran out while I still had a small pack of letters left. When I looked at the addresses of the remaining letters, I realized they were all my dad’s letters to my mom!!! My dad had been reading the letters from my mom to him for all those years, his letters were just stuck on the bottom of the pile.


During the Jamestown performance evening, I will publicly read my dad’s letters to my mom. (I have not read them)


My parents met in the late 1940’s during a singles vacation on a Dude Ranch.

Neither of them were equestrians.

My Father was living in Springfield MA. And my Mom was from the Bronx’s living in Astoria NY.

They had a six-month long distance courtship prior to getting married. They were married for 50 years.

Social media was not what it is today so their correspondence consisted of weekend visits and letters.

My Mom passed away twenty years ago and my Dad passed away three and a half years ago.

I have had their personal letters in my possession since my Dad passed away.
This packet of letters has not been untied or read since my Mom tied them 20 years ago.

They are such a personal part of me that I have not been able to read them.

I will honor the importance of their relationship by publicly reading these letters while wearing my Mom’s wedding dress.

Jamestown Arts Center | Location: 18 Valley Street, Jamestown, Rhode Island 02835 | Mailing Address: PO Box 97, Jamestown,
Rhode Island 02835 | for more Information call: (401) 560-0979 or email


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