Right as you walk into the Spurlock Museum your eyes are drawn to the glitz and glam of In Her Closet and it’s hard to turn away.
Written by Catherine Webber
I have never been to the Spurlock Museum before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I was going to be interested in any of the exhibits that were on display; however, I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found in this stunning Museum. When I walked in I didn’t know which way to turn, but after turning to my right and seeing the extravagance and glitter I couldn’t imagine turning left. I stumbled upon the In Her Closet exhibit which was full of materials and costumes donated by many local Champaign-Urbana drag performers. I have seen RuPaul’s Drag Race before, but I had never seen a drag costume in person before, and they left me in awe.
All of the costumes were so beautiful, I don’t even think I could pick my favorite, they were all so amazing and breathtaking while also being so unique. I cannot imagine the amount of time and effort goes into making these costumes, they have so many big and little details in them, they must be so timeconsuming. This exhibit made me realize that I absolutely have to attend a drag show in the future because it seems so fun, but also to see the fashion and appreciate the hard work that went into all of it.
The image above is the artwork I will try to explain in length. This costume definitely caught my attention, and I was looking at it for a while. This costume has many feathers and what looks to be a very furry exterior on the arms and legs. It has what looked like glass eyes with vivid colors painted on them and big eyelashes to accentuate the eyes. It is made of many bright colors and has claws for fingers and hands and big teeth coming from its mouth. It is a very extravagant costume, I was staring at it for a long time because I found it so interesting. At the time of my visit, I was the only patron in the exhibit so I wasn’t able to gauge anyone else’s reactions to this piece, but I bet it would also bring a smile to their faces as well. This costume was donated by a local drag queen by the name of Sharon Sharealike and I’m very happy she shared this with the Spurlock Museum.
Besides the costumes on display and small interviews with the drag queens who donated the costumes, the exhibit also gave some history of drag queens and their performances. One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was the wall where patrons were encouraged to share their memories of drag shows or any instances of an LGBTQ+ experience. Many people wrote of watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with friends or being exposed to the beauty and fun of Drag Shows. I loved this so much. This was an awesome exhibit, one that I will definitely tell my friends to check out!