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The 13th Annual International Peeps Art Exhibition is currently on display at the Racine Art Museum (RAM) located in Downtown Racine at 441 Main St. The collection returns after years of popular attraction and showcases unique art inspired by Peeps®. 207 artists from across the country participated in this year’s show and have created 162 pieces of colorful artwork. Sculptures, paintings, dioramas, quilts, and a variety of pieces are showcased.

The non-traditional Peeps Art Exhibition has gained the attention of the local artists in the area but also has caught the eye of artists from locations as far as Northampton, Massachusetts, the Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania and Hermosa Beach, California. In fact, the International Peeps Art Exhibition at RAM reigns as the only competition of its kind in the world.

RAM’s spokesperson states, “over the years, many entrants have been become experts in marshmallow candy as a material, using methods like carving, painting, hole punching, gluing, and melting to manipulate Peeps® into incredible shapes. While the seasonal candies are still the most common material, the 13th-anniversary show also includes pieces made in a variety of other media.”

The gallery is full of original pieces including a glass-blown peep made by Racine’s very own Amanda Paffrath, owner of Hot Shop Glass. Paffrath created this piece as a twist on a glass-blown pumpkin. Another local artist, Veronica Averkamp, created her own version of Milwaukee’s Hoan Bridge. Additionally, artists involved in this year’s exhibit used art as a way to show support to Ukraine. Multiple artists are standing in solidarity and using The 13th Annual International Peeps Art Exhibition as a way to pay their respects.

To review a complete list of participants, visit the RAM website.

Peepkin by Amanda Paffrath – Credit: Racine Art Museum

Awards

Likewise, Paffrath has had the special honor of making a glass-blown golden peep that has been given out as an award. On April 6, Bruce W. Pepich, RAM Executive Director and Curator of Collections, and Lisa Englander, founder of the Peeps Art Exhibition at RAM, presented a Virtual Awards Ceremony. RAM states, “awards were selected based on clever and skilled use or representation of Peeps® in adult, children’s, and group categories.”

The following individuals won awards:

Adult Division
  • First Peep: Cremona Weisser, Peepzilla
  • Second Peep: Bill Reid, Rabbitcoin Mining Museum
  • Third Peep: Leslie Perrino, Peeps for Peace
  • Honorable Peep Mentions: Debbie Peck, Falling to Peepzes, JoAnna Poehlmann, Peeping Tom Peeping at a Peep, and Katie White, I’m Stuffed
Peepzilla by Cremona Weisser – Credit: Racine Art Museum
Young Peeple Division
  • First Peep: Olive Taldone, Peep’s Market
  • Second Peep: James Davis, Live in Peeps (Peace)
  • Third Peep: Lilly Thomas, Peepardy
  • Honorable Peep Mentions — Emma Jarrett, P*E*E*P*S Central Perk and Ezekiel Niles, The Mad Scien-PEEP’s Laboratory
Peep’s Market by Olive Taldone – Credit: Racine Art Museum
Family/Group Division
  • First Peep: Sarah, Renzo, and Jae Magaña, and Sean and Versace Skipper, Ode to Wayne Thiebaud
  • Second Peep: Korinthia Klein, and Aden and Quinn Weisser, Sparkle Peep 
  • Third Peep: Paul and Rob Madsen, and Mike Meyer, Peep Floyd, One More Peep in the Wall
  • Honorable Peep Mentions: The Prairie School Studio Glass Class, Bead Making Bunnies and Joanna Tlachac-Hehn and Jane Zeman, Peeps Park Pyrotechnic
Ode to Wayne Thiebaud by Sarah, Renzo, and Jae Magaña, and Sean and Versace Skipper – Credit: Racine Art Museum
Peeponauts by Holly Ottum – Credit: Racine Art Museum
Margaret V. Wargo Memorial Quilt Award
  • Holly Ottum, Peeponauts
RAM Postcard Peep Award
  • William Love, First Appearance of The Bat-Peep
First Appearance of The Bat-Peep by William Love – Credit: Racine Art Museum
Peeples Choice

In addition to the various awards distributed by RAM, the public has the chance to vote on their favorite. One lucky project will earn the Peeples Choice Award. RAM states, “this vote has been taken very seriously since the inception of the annual exhibition. With guests allowed only one per visit, they circle the works of Peeps® art, taking notes about the exhibition, and then often lobbying for their eventual favorite. The award will be announced after the closure of the exhibition.”

Visit the Show

Interested in visiting this year’s colorful exhibit? Visit Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. to see the 13th Annual International Peeps Art Exhibition. The museum encourages all visitors and staff who have not been fully vaccinated to wear a mask while inside the premises. Additionally, the museum welcomes anyone to wear a mask if it makes them feel more comfortable in the public space.

Online Viewing

Unable to attend the exhibit due to COVID-19 or due to being out of state? RAM invites anyone to watch the live virtual tour of the 13th Annual International Peeps Art Exhibition. The online tour will take place on the RAM Facebook page at 1 p.m. on April 12. Those who tune in on Facebook will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive commentary from museum staff.

Likewise, the Virtual Awards Ceremony is available online on Facebook, Youtube, and the RAM website.

Sponsors

Exhibitions at Racine Art Museum are made possible by sponsors and supporters. In addition to the following sponsors, this competition is sponsored by the Racine Art Museum Store and Guest Relations.

Sponsors include:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Judith and David Flegel Fund, Nicholas and Nancy Kurten, Wingate Foundation
  • Diamond Sponsors: Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Ruffo Family Foundation
  • Gold Sponsors: Anonymous, David Charak, Tom and Irene Creecy, Herzfeld Foundation, Ron and Judith Isaacs, National Endowment for the Arts, Racine Community Foundation, Reliance Controls, Trio Foundation of St. Louis, W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Wisconsin Arts Board
  • Silver Sponsors: A.C. Buhler Family, Andis Foundation, Family of Annette Hirsh, Lucy G. Feller, Ben and Dawn Flegel, Johnson Financial Group, Dorothy MacVicar, RDK Foundation, Inc., Real Racine, Jann Serr and John Shannon, Twin Disc, Inc.
  •  Bronze Sponsors: Anonymous, Baird, Susan Boland, Virginia Buhler, Educators Credit Union, Fredrick and Deborah Ganaway, Get Behind the Arts Studio Tour, William A. Guenther, Tom and Sharon Harty, Andrea and Tony Hauser, David and Judy Hecker, Bradley Lynch, Carlotta Miller, Larry and Barbara Newman, The Norbell Foundation, Deb and Willard Walker
  • Media Sponsors: 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Wisconsin Public Radio.

Editor’s Corner

Emma’s Entry

Emma and her boyfriend, Dylan Kleitsch created “Wisconsin State Peep,” entry 138. The duo patterned their entry after their love of camping and their many outdoor adventures.

Wisconsin State Peep – Credit: Emma Widmar
Dylan Kleitsch and Emma Widmar on one of their many camping adventures. – Credit: Emma Widmar

Loren’s Choice

The entry that took Third Peep in the Family/Group Division, Peep Floyd, One More Peep in the Wall, by Paul and Rob Madsen, and Mike Meyer, stole my heart. Pink Floyd is a tremendous gift to the music world; I was elated to see them represented in this iconic exhibition.

Peep Floyd, One More Peep in the Wall by Paul and Rob Madsen, and Mike Meyer – Credit: Racine Art Museum

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