Whether you love marshmallow PEEPS or pass them over in favor of chocolate, this Easter candy staple can provide amazing inspiration to area artists.
Their work will be on display during the Carroll County Arts Council’s 15th annual PEEP show, April 8-18. Instead of hosting at CCAC as was typical in years past, this year’s show will take place at the Town Mall of Westminster. CCAC’s executive director Lynne Griffith notes the show has outgrown its traditional space. “We have a lot more space at the mall, and we are able to have more entries,” she says. “It (also) allows us to have one-way traffic, which is not possible in the arts center.”
The show will have approximately 120 entries in various mediums, including sculptures, dioramas, videos and mosaics. Each piece varies in size and construction time. “Some of them are real masterpieces that take days and days of work and some of them are quicker obviously because they are small,” Griffith says. Artists are mainly based in the local area.
Admission is free, but if you want to vote for your favorite marshmallow masterpiece, you need to buy votes. Last year, more than 65,000 votes were cast. All the money raised goes to the CCAC.
“(The show) is our biggest income generator, and it allows us to provide the events and education that we (host) throughout the year,” Griffith says.
The idea for the annual show came from former executive director Sandy Oxx. The Washington Post hosted a contest asking readers to submit a picture of a PEEP creation. Oxx submitted her take on Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” but in PEEP form. She did not win but decided to start a local contest to raise money for the nonprofit. Since then, the show has become a must-see event for area residents.
“It is phenomenal to see the creativity that exists in the community,” Griffith says. “Just the incredible imaginations that people have. You think after 15 years that it might get stale, but every year it is a surprise to see literal masterpieces that people are creating out of marshmallows. It is really incredible .… It is whimsical and it is surprising. You will see things you never could imagine that people could create.”