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life drag 3s artspace

Life is Drag: Virtual Edition

3S Artspace
319 Vaughan St
Portsmouth, NH 03801

3S Artspace announces special exhibit, Life is Drag: Virtual Edition featuring the lens-based works of Rachel Rampleman. The exhibit can be accessed at 3SARTS.ORG and features portraits of New England’s most unique, edgy, and inspiring drag royalty produced during her January/February residency at 3S. Life is Drag: Virtual Edition is on exhibit online May 1 – June 4.

Visitors to 3S Artspace’s website can access the virtual exhibit with image stills and video captures of 21 performers from the Boston-Portland-Portsmouth regions in collaborations that explore gender, artifice, and spectacle. Web design support for the virtual exhibit was provided by Raka Creative.

The Life is Drag exhibit in the Gallery at 3S Artspace was originally intended to open Friday, April 10th. The exhibit dates were affected along with numerous cancelations and postponements of 3S events for March, April, and May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We all still need alternative ways to gather and experience the arts, even when we’re unable to be together in person, so we’re inventing new ways to ‘be 3S.’ It’s a challenge to how we normally fulfill our mission, but a challenge absolutely worth taking on for our community and beyond- however far our digital voice can reach right now! We want people to count on us to provide a place for conversation, inspiration, and creativity,” said Sara O’Reilly, Marketing Manager at 3S Artspace.

“Because Life is Drag is largely a video-based medium to begin with, translating it for a web experience was a natural fit,” said O’Reilly. “It allows us all to view the work now and to look forward to Life is Drag in the Gallery in 2021. What will its evolution be?!”

Rampleman embarked upon Life is Drag in early 2019, documenting her collaborations with the most singular and innovative artists of the currently exploding international alt-drag scene. Some examples that illustrate the range of talented individuals Rampleman collaborated with during her residency at 3S include a local-to-Portsmouth high school senior, a Dutch doctor working in the field of infectious disease diagnostics at Harvard, a Passamaquoddy Two-Spirit (the Indigenous term for someone who is both male and female, and fulfills a third-gender ceremonial role in Native communities), master basket maker, activist, storyteller, and educator from Indian Township, Maine, and an outdoor enthusiast who came to the US as a child of refugee immigrants fleeing Communist Vietnam, who is now the proud father of 46 drag sons in Boston and proudly states that drag literally saved his life.

With the support of the 3S team, Rampleman was able to capture and create at a much higher output than her usual solo pace.

Rampleman said, “I’m a one man band! I do all my own lighting, video, sound, location scouting, outreach to subjects, editing, archiving, admin, etc. With this project and residency though, I’ve been given the opportunity to be a part of a team, and to have help! Wonderful, thoughtful, supportive help!”

“When we began planning the exhibit, we were thrilled to realize our capacity to offer extra residency and staff support, particularly from Knate Higgins, and aid in Rachel’s development of her Life is Drag series,” said Beth Falconer, Executive Director of 3S Artspace.

Rampleman said she wants virtual visitors to experience a density of pure, unabashed individuality, encouraging us all “to actually be – even if only sometimes – who you fantasize you could be, and not settle for who you feel you should or have to be.”

● Dates for Life is Drag: Virtual Edition: May 1 – June 4
● More info on Life is Drag: https://www.3sarts.org/gallery/life-is-drag
● Life is Drag is intended for mature audiences.
● Life is Drag is made possible through the generous support of Raka Creative, Seacoast Apart-Hotels (The Inn Downtown, the forthcoming Rye Motor Inn, and Great Island Inn), as well as our 2020 Gallery Reception Sponsor, Mezzanine Catering.
● Rachel Rampleman’s work will be shown in the Gallery at 3S in 2021, featuring additional content including artist interviews and performances as well as new material developed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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