Teaching Artist for Queer Ancestors Project Prints!

Katie Gilmartin’s checkered past includes stints as a buoyant union organizer, bona fide sex researcher, and deeply engaged college professor. She attended Oberlin College and Yale Graduate School, and for over a decade taught cultural studies classes with an emphasis on the histories of gender and sexuality. On an urgent quest to relocate pleasure, Katie took a printmaking class and become utterly smitten with the medium. She now runs Chrysalis Print Studio at SOMArts, where she teaches linocut and monotype classes. Along the way she founded City Art Cooperative Gallery, a still-thriving artspace on Valencia Street, and the Queer Ancestors Project, devoted to forging sturdy relationships between young Queer and Trans artists and their ancestors. 


Katie’s prints consistently interweave the visual and the verbal. The “Queer Words” series explores the multiple meanings of Queer slang – retooled epithets, secret codes, and camp – as a record of creative resistance. Her “Pulps” are faux pulp fiction covers: art for novels she’s invented that are set in 1950s San Francisco and celebrate the city’s history. In writing blurbs for these fabricated novels, Katie engaged deeply with the aesthetics of pulp fiction and noir. Gradually, the text outgrew the prints and became an actual novel: Blackmail, My Love, a noir mystery that explores real and imagined Queer ancestors in early 1950s San Francisco. Published by Cleis Press in 2014, the illustrated novel won both Lambda Literary and Indiefab Book of the Year Gold awards. Her short story, “White Horse,” appears in the just-published collection Oakland Noir, edited by Jerry Thompson and Eddie Muller.

Katie is the current recipient, along with Openhouse, of a Creative Work Fund grant to honor and preserve LGBT elders’ memories of tavern culture and bar raids through interviews, walking tours, and her next novel: Vice Academy, a fictional account of factual taverns and raids in mid-1950s San Francisco. Amid a nation-wide crackdown on LGBT bars, San Francisco law enforcement mounted a “drive on sex deviates” that drew attention and involvement from legislators, media, the local PTA, and a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. Gilmartin is currently interviewing LGBT elders about their experiences in bar culture and raids during the 1950s and early 1960s, in the Bay Area and across the U.S. Find out more at katiegilmartin.com or email Katie at katie@katiegilmartin.com.

Teaching Artist for Queer Ancestors Project Writes!

Celeste Chan is a queer writer, filmmaker, organizer, and teaching artist, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. She is a Hedgebrook, Lambda, and VONA fellow – and recent Sister Spit alum. Her writing can be found in Ada, AWAY, Citron Review, cream city review’s genrequeer folio, among others. She is also a contributing editor for Foglifter queer literary journal. From 2008-2018, she co-founded and directed Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. They have toured films nationally, and screened work internationally at GLITCH festival, Entzaubert, Queeristan, What’s Your Flavor, CAAMFest, OUTSider, MIX NYC, Entzaubert, Queeristan, Korea Queer Film Festival, Imperfectu, and beyond. Currently, she’s working on a new documentary/mixtape called ART Heart: Children of Riot Grrrl (in collaboration with Elliat Graney-Saucke). 


As an artist, Celeste has taken workshops with Lynda Barry, Cherrie Moraga, Randall Kenan, Arisa White, The Escapery Writing UnSchool (Carson Beker & Nancy Au), Lidia Yuknavitch, Roxane Gay, Matthew Clark Davison, Carolina de Robertis, Maiana Minahal, Nayomi Munaweera, Faith Adiele, Elmaz Abinader, and beyond. Now, she shares her literary learnings, and creates free workshops specifically to support queer/trans youth and queer/trans people of color communities. 

She is honored to teach Queer Ancestors Project Writes! and a free writing drop-in at the SF Public Library’s Hormel Center. For people 25 and older, she coordinates Writing Rainbow: QTPOC FREE School in Oakland. Questions? Email Celeste at diy.queer.arts@gmail.com or through www.celestechan.com.