Friday, April 29, 2022

Peeps! 2022

It was a good year for Peep art in our house! At this year's Peeps art show at the Racine Art Museum, Mona took first place in the adult individual category with her fantastic Peepzilla sculpture, and Aden and Quinn and I placed second in the group category with our giant Sparkle Peep.

Mona definitely had a vision for her Peep sculpture this year, but the rest of us didn't have any specific ideas, so we just decided to go big! And sparkly!

I built a basic bunny Peep from foam board, paper, and tape.

Then we just started gluing on acrylic gems. Lots and lots and lots of acrylic gems. Aden started in one area while she was home over break, then Quinn and I took over after she left. It wasn't hard, but it took a while, and by the time we got to the back there was no time to sort colors or be fussy if we were going to make the deadline, so it was simply random. The end result definitely looked like a group project. But it was a group project, so we'll just call that a bonus.

Sparkle Peep looks especially pretty in the sun! It will have a home in our violin shop window when we get it back (near its inspiration, the Sparkle Cello).

I originally ordered what I thought would be an appropriate quantity of acrylic gems online, but I apparently misunderstood the sizes listed, because the boxes that arrives contained very very tiny jewels. We had to go to a craft store to get bigger ones. I can't begin to imagine how long it would have taken to cover that entire Peep with these little things.
After gluing on a bajillion gems, I coated the whole thing with Mod Podge so they wouldn't start shedding. (I did the same with the Sparkle Cello, so I know it works and dries clear.)

Finished Sparkle Peep!
Now, there is a strict size requirement at the museum for this show. I built a box to test our things in, so even though Sparkle Peep was impressive for its size, it definitely fit within the dimension limits.

Peepzilla did too. . . Until the Peeps got added to the tail. At first we thought we were going to have to simply take Peepzilla home, but Mona finally agreed to snip off the ears of two of the offending bunny Peeps in order for the sculpture to fit in the box. I was proud of Mona for doing it, because I know how painful it is to be forced to alter your work when you don't want to. And Peepzilla is spectacular, so I'm glad people got to see and enjoy it.
Pre-pandemic, the Racine Art Museum held a opening night event for all the artists in the show. There was food, and the first public viewing of the works on display, along with the announcement of the prizes. There are three major categories: Adult Individual, Group, and Young People's. There is also the coveted "Peeple's Choice" award that is voted on by the public and announced after the show comes down. We just got news the other day that Peepzilla also won that prize!

Anyway, this year we thought the tickets they gave us when we submitted our pieces were for an in-person opening again. Last year (when I won for my Peep-A-Rama), it was all online. We drove all the way to Racine before realizing this year was virtual too! This was an excellent lesson that as fans of The Amazing Race we should have known already, which is "Always read the clue." Said right on the tickets: "Virtual awards ceremony." Oops.

We drove back home in time to catch the announcement of the big award of the night, the Adult Individual category: Peepzilla.
I can't describe how much I love that Mona's thing, and our group thing, are arranged in such a way that they are the first things people really see when they walk into the exhibit.
Mona dismisses any praise from me as simply "Mom stuff," but seriously, Peepzilla is excellent. It deserved the Golden Peep. (As well as the second Golden Peep it earned for Peeple's Choice.)

And Sparkle Peep looks so BIG. Which is what we were going for, so yay!

The line for the exhibit on the afternoon we went was long enough Ian had to go put another hour on the meter. But it was great to see so many clever things on display.
And as far as trophies go? I don't think there are any awards cuter that these Peep art awards. They are hand blown glass by a local artist and they are adorable. (The first one here is Aden's from a few years ago, the tall one in the middle is mine from last year, and the last one is Mona's. I can't wait to see the second one she gets when she goes back down to the museum.)

The Racine Art Museum always offers to keep winning sculptures for their permanent collection, and Mona is leaning toward letting them hang onto Peepzilla. I think that's a good idea, because they would store it more safely than we could, plus it sounds more impressive on an art resume to say something you made resides in a museum than in our house.

Sparkle Peep, however, will have a proud and glittery place in the violin store window for passersby to enjoy. Does it make sense for a violin shop to have a giant Peep covered in jewels on display? I think only at ours.

Happy Spring!