05/08/17 — Take a 'Peep' at what's at the Arts Council of Wayne County

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Take a 'Peep' at what's at the Arts Council of Wayne County

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 8, 2017 9:57 AM

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A Peep dragon consisting of approximately 5,500 peeps made by Vivian Davis of tutoringart.com and Kim Fitzgerald

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This palm tree is one of three Peep sculptures at the Arts Council, which is holding a competition for local artists to make their own Peep sculptures.

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This Peep sculpture is of a pregnant woman. The ultrasound next to the sculpture indicates she is expecting a Peep. The sculpture at the Arts Council of Wayne County is to promote an upcoming Peep sculpture competition at the Arts Council.

You see them everywhere at Easter time -- yellow Peep chicks. And you also find them at Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas.

One place you may not have expected to see the sugary candy, though, is at the Arts Council of Wayne County.

In the downstairs gallery is a 7 1/2 foot dragon with about a 9-foot wingspan. Look closely and you'll see that the blue and green dragon with yellow trim is made entirely of Peeps that have been spray painted different colors.

The mother dragon has three huge eggs in a nest on a tree stump, and everything is made with Peeps -- 5,500 of them to be exact.

The dragon was originally one of the entries in a Peep show at the Arts Council in Carroll County, Maryland.

Wendy Snow Walker, Arts Council of Wayne County director, attended the show recently and brought back the mother dragon, along with two other Peep sculptures. One is a huge palm tree. Another is a pregnant woman with brown peeps as hair and a body of bunny peeps spray painted gray. Next to her sits her ultrasound of the baby Peep she is carrying.

All three Peep sculptures are being used to encourage Wayne County people to do their own Peep creations as a fundraiser for the Arts Council.

The Arts Council is looking for local businesses and other groups to be sponsors for a Peep sculpture, which includes purchasing the marshmallow candies from the company in Pennsylvania that makes them, Just Born Co. She said it can be any kind of Peeps.

The sponsor also pays an honorarium to the artist to create a sculpture.

"We'd like to have 50 sponsors agree to sponsor a diorama, a mosaic or a 3D sculpture," Ms. Walker said. "Anyone can enter the contest. We can match the artist with the sponsor, but we will also accept student entries and entries from Girl Scout troops, fraternities, sororities, businesses. A business can do some kind of Peep sculpture to advertise their business. There can also be patriotic sculptures."

Sponsorships will be accepted starting this weekend through Aug. 1.

The entry fee for each sculpture is $10.

Sculptures will be on display Aug. 25 through Sept. 17 at the Arts Council.

"We will put all of the sculptures on display, and people can purchase tickets to vote for their favorite," Ms. Walker said. "That's how it becomes a fundraiser for the Arts Council. Each vote is $1."

People can vote for their favorite Peep sculpture Aug. 25 through Sept. 17.

Ms. Walker said there may be some Peep sculptures in various businesses downtown, depending on how many entries there are.

She does have some advice for artists creating sculptures.

"I would encourage people to create a very solid foundation," she said. "The Peeps get much heavier then you think they're going to be. There's that thought that they're just light marshmallows and are not going to weigh a lot. They weigh a lot."

In addition to the Peep sculpture competition, the Arts Council is currently holding a contest to name the Peep dragon on display.

"We want to give her a good name because she has three eggs," Ms. Walker said. "The eggs will hatch during Beak Week, so we'll have three new characters that will become mascots for the Arts Council for Beak Week."

Anyone can go by the Arts Council to submit a name for the dragon or submit one through the Arts Council's Facebook page. A winner will be chosen this weekend, and will receive a prize.

Ms. Walker said the Arts Council wanted to do a Peep contest because of the candy itself and also to have something to connect to Beak Week that is very artistic.

"We hope people will see that you can be creative with absolutely anything," she said. "The more outlandish it seems, the more amazing the creations can become. It crosses all demographics, ages and interests. And who doesn't love Peeps?"