RACINE, Wisc. — Peeps are kind of like the candy corn of Easter. You either love them or hate them. Whatever you think, you will find the seasonal exhibit at the Racine Art Museum pretty sweet.
“Dioramas, sculpture, paintings and any kind of creation that they come up with that either deals with Peeps candy as subject matter, depicts Peeps if it's not made out of Peeps, or uses the Peep material to make a work of art," Bruce Pepich, the executive director at the Racine Art Museum, said.
You can't escape Peeps this time of year, and they are in full display at the art museum. Over 200 artists from across the country submitted 138 Peep-inspired designs this year.
Everyone from professional artists to groups to children submitted designs. Prizes are given to the best design in the children, adult, group, and people's choice categories. The awards range from toys to gift certificates for local shops and restaurants in Racine.
"What we're asking people to do is, to do something creative with the material, and this shows how people, creative people, from all different walks of life, really can be," Pepich said.
Inside the gallery, you will see a Peep version of Bernie Sanders from the inauguration, Baby Yoda, recreations of the Mona Lisa, COVID-19 inspired art and everything in between.
“Many of these pieces begin their life as a pun," Pepich said.
Some of those punny names are Peep. P. E., Al-Peep Valley, Peeping In Touch, Ture Crime Peep Cast, and Peep Erickson Noticer of America, to name a few.
As fun and whimsical as this is, you can tell people put a lot of time into their art. Every detail is stressed.
“The Greetings From Racine. That’s the first piece that has ever been entered into competitions, that is actually entering the museum's permanent collection.”
Also, try not to eat any of the Peeps.
“Everyone once in a while we will see a Peep that looks like it's been a little bit nibbled on, and we wonder if it’s at like a four-year-old's height level.”
You can see the exhibit on Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. It's open until April 10.
This story was first published by James Groh at TMJ4.