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PEEPshow primer set for aspiring artists in Westminster

Vivian Davis poses for a photo for her husband Jed, left, with "Mother of (Peeps) Dragons," her grand prize winning Peep sculpture, following a closing ceremony for the 10th annual Peep Show at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
Vivian Davis poses for a photo for her husband Jed, left, with "Mother of (Peeps) Dragons," her grand prize winning Peep sculpture, following a closing ceremony for the 10th annual Peep Show at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Wednesday, April 19, 2017.(DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

The biggest tourist attraction in Carroll County, the Carroll County Arts Council’s PEEPshow, is gearing up for another season with a sculpting workshop from a past grand prize winner Feb. 22. Registration for the PEEPshow runs until March 13.

Vivian Davis, who sculpted 2017′s grand prize winner “Mother of (Peeps) Dragons,” is teaching “Marshmallows as Media: The Basics of PEEP Sculpture," to assist would-be confectionery crafters, using the knowledge she has gained through years as an art instructor and as a multiple-year entrant of the PEEPshow.

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The workshop takes place Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is $45.

Davis has been an artist and scenic painter for theater for years. After her daughter asked her to work on a PEEPshow entry one year, “I just kind of got the bug,” she said.

Part of her workshop will be discussing armature, or the framework that supports a sculpture.

“Once you start putting those marshmallow Peeps on, it will surprise you how heavy these things get,” she said. For example, wood 2-by-4s supported her dragon sculpture.

She had experience with junk sculpture, re-purposing found objects into supports or decoration for sculpture in the past. She has used everything from carved foam to chicken wire to re-purposed Christmas decorations.

She encourages workshop participants to bring something like a vase or boxes that they might like to use as the base of their sculpture, but she will also bring materials.

She also encourages artists to start early because projects often come with unexpected challenges. Davis’ dragon sculpture that won Grand Prize had a hiccup in transportation. Davis started in the basement, and anted to move to the garage where the cold would make it easier to work with the Peeps candy. When it came time to move, the dragon’s bottom section would not fit through the door of the family’s garage.

“We hadn’t put any Peeps on it yet, thankfully,” Davis said. “My husband had to take the basement door off. I wish we had taken a picture of pushing that butt through that door.”

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More information about Davis’ work and teaching is available at tutoringart.com/viviandavis.

Josiah, 4, right, and DJ Watson, 7, of Glen Burnie check out an entry titled "I'm Late, I'm Late (for the PEEPshow)" by Vivian Davis while visiting the 11th annual PEEPshow at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Saturday, March 31, 2018.
Josiah, 4, right, and DJ Watson, 7, of Glen Burnie check out an entry titled "I'm Late, I'm Late (for the PEEPshow)" by Vivian Davis while visiting the 11th annual PEEPshow at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Saturday, March 31, 2018.(DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

The Carroll County Arts Council called for "innovative artists, engineers, designers and anyone with a ‘sweet’ sense of humor to register by March 13 or when the maximum number of entries has been reached. There is an entry fee of $10 and only one entry per household, business, club or school will be accepted. Participants may register online at www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org.

Delivery of the competed creations takes place between March 23 and March 28 and the show opens to the public April 3 through April 13.

The Arts Council will accept dioramas, sculpture, and mosaics as long as they include Peeps as the medium or subject matter. They will also accept entries utilizing photography, stop-action filmmaking, computer-generated art, drawings or paintings as long as they feature Peeps as the primary subject matter.

In addition to the usual categories,, Just Born Inc., the makers of PEEPS, will judge the entries for the one that best exemplifies the theme “Inside We Are All the Same" for a special award.

For more information about the workshop or PEEPShow registration, call 410-848-7272 or visit www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org.

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If you go

What: Marshmallows as Media: The Basics of PEEP Sculpture workshop

When: Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: : Carroll Arts Center, 91 West Main Street, Westminster

Register: Cost is $45. Call 410-848-7272 or visit www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org.

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