A paleontologist in Montana has “uncovered” a connection between the painted dinosaurs of Drumheller and the fabulous outfits worn by drag queen RuPaul.
Amy Atwater is the collections manager for the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont. She visited Drumheller in 2017 while in Calgary for a paleontology convention and took a lot of selfies with the painted dinosaur statues all over Drumheller.
“My friend and I just couldn’t help taking a ton of selfies and photos with these wonderful, diverse dinosaur artwork statues,” Atwater told the Calgary Eyeopener, adding she is a big fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Canada’s Drag Race.
“Seeing all of their fantastic outfits and seeing RuPaul through the ages, I was really struck by this one image of RuPaul in this black-and-white outfit that stands out. It reminded me so much of the skeleton dinosaur statue from Drumheller, and it got me thinking, maybe there are more connections between RuPaul’s fashion and the statues in Drumheller.”
Once she got the idea, Atwater started going through her own photos and looking up RuPaul outfits for comparison.
“There was a lot to choose from,” she said. “I did spend a lot of time on the Internet to some wormholes trying to find just the perfect fit. And luckily, there just happens to be a lot of options for both. And I think they suit each other very well.”
Atwater put her thread out on social media via both Twitter and Instagram, and the response was immediate. The Town of Drumheller has retweeted the thread, and others have reached out.
“I have a friend who lives in Drumheller and she was fantastic. She let me know which of the dinosaurs have already been repainted, which have been hit by cars, so she was just utterly tickled by the whole thing. It was great to get the local scoop on the current status of these dinosaur statues.”
Atwater visited three years ago and acknowledges that the dinosaurs are constantly changing their colours.
“They’re very, very colouful. And I tried to embrace all the colourful aspect. I know many of them have been repainted throughout the years. So not all of the ones I posted about currently look the way they did in those photos. They’re always changing.”
Atwater says her ultimate dream would be for RuPaul to notice her project.
“Wouldn’t that just be the dream? Of course, I would love to hear from RuPaul. He’s a very busy person. I would be honoured completely,” she said. “I don’t know what I have to do to get it on RuPaul’s radar or any of the drag queens’ radars. But I would hope that we could get the message out there, especially with Canada’s Drag Race just happening. Maybe we can get it on the radar of some of those Canadian queens.”
Atwater said she would be thrilled to curate her collection into an exhibit for the museum. She has not, so far, been contacted.
“I’m open to that collaboration,” she said with a laugh. “Now as a museum professional myself, I know a little bit about the curation and making of a new exhibit, and I would be all about that. Of course, we’d really have to invite RuPaul to the opening of that event. It’d have to be a red carpet affair.”
Listen to the full interview on the Calgary Eyeopener here:
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.