“Queer.Archive.Work is coming out of our inaugural year with a thriving residency program, a growing library, and an expanding community of writers, makers, artists, and activists who need free and open access to space and resources,” says artist, educator, and QAW founder Paul Soulellis, proudly summing up the strides his nonprofit has made in what has been a tumultuous first year. QAW comprises a reading room, publishing studio, and project space in Providence with an emphasis on queer practices; they offer a non-circulating library of everything from books and zines to tools and downloadable files, plus a risograph printer, digital meeting spaces, and more.
“[We] strive to be accountable, to center marginalized voices through intersectional work, and to cultivate anti-racist, safe platforms for independent, queer publishing,” Soulellis adds, which is why alongside this wealth of resources, QAW also offers workshops, weekly Queer Hangouts, and residencies – including their upcoming second installment of their Artists-in-Residence program. The first year hosted 10 artists, five of which were from Rhode Island: Caça Yvaire, Jayson Rodriguez, Laila Ibrahim, Sara Inacio, and Cai Diluvio. Now, QAW has wrapped up their call for residents and will be picking the final lineup, which will officially begin in September – and, in a new space.
“Our move to 400 Harris Avenue with Binch Press makes so much sense,” says Soullelis. Binch Press is a volunteer-run print and ceramics cooperative centered on queer/trans artists and artists of color. “We’re combining our collective expertise, networks, equipment, and resources in an enormous, new space,” which conveniently neighbors The Steel Yard and Farm Fresh RI. The 2,200-square-foot studio will mean plenty of space for each resident to explore and experiment with risograph and screen printing, letterpress, and more.
That “more”, according to Soulellis, is what’s most exciting: “We’re dreaming big right now about what’s possible – events, distribution, publishing projects, mutual aid, and other ways to support Rhode Island’s creative communities, especially those who are typically left out of traditional art world spaces.”