Evie Lovett's Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co. Exhibit
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Evie Lovett’s Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co. Exhibit, will be displayed at Vermont Law School in Oakes Hall and the Second Floor of the Cornell Library. In this exhibition, Evie offers a unique and highly personal portrait of drag queens in rural Vermont. The photographs of participants—box store workers to nuclear power plant technicians—reveal the power of personal transformation. Evie describes photographing the Ladies of the Rainbow Cattle Co. as a personally transformative experience—transformative because she chose not to remain at a safe comfortable distance on the margins of their world.
Instead, Evie plunged headlong into the lives of these drag performers, creating an ensemble of images that invite the viewer into the intimate space of their basement dressing room. Along the way she was in awe of the Ladies’ sense of personal freedom, their outrageous creativity, and their bawdy good times. Evie brings a sense of wonder, a deep and abiding curiosity, a fundamental respect for human difference to her work as a photographer. “I went into the basement with curiosity and an interest in how drag queens use dressing up to explore different parts of themselves. I didn’t think I had much in common with someone who dressed as a drag queen. I emerged wishing I had more in common: more guts to explore a different side of myself, to be courageous and outrageous, to write my own story rather than follow a prescribed path that I feel I should walk. My time with the Ladies has prompted me to ask myself: how can I achieve that degree of freedom—and fun--in my own life?”
The Vermont Folklife Center collaborated with Evie to conduct interviews with the five main drag performers and to curate a traveling exhibition which incorporates lively audio excerpts of these interviews. Thanks to a grant from the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, the show will travel to all fourteen counties of Vermont; Vermont Law School is the tenth Vermont location on this statewide tour. Thanks go to statewide LGBTQQ advocacy organizations RU12?, Outright Vermont and Vermont Cares for their support and collaboration.
Evie Lovett’s work inspired the Project and will set the tone for a month of education. We hope to create a dialogue that not only brings these complicated and highly contentious issues to the forefront but that will provide enlightening, honest, and fun discourse.