Annual Peep Show attracts art fans and candy company

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Monica Mutschler, left, of Finksburg and her daughter Madilyn, 11, walk down West Main Street in Westminster as they bring Madilyn's crab made with Peeps to the Carroll Arts Center for the center's Annual Peep Show.

Christian Twamley is a sugar artist.

While he works with other candy, it is his masterpieces in Peeps marshmallow candies that got him the attention of Just Born, Inc., the company that makes the popular marshmallow treats.


The company commissioned him last year to create a 6-foot Cocoa-Cola polar bear out of Peeps.

His Lorax figure and Bart Simpson piece — both made completely of Peeps — are on the company's website though both were created not for Just Born, but for the Carroll Arts Center's annual Peeps contest.


"There are so many different ways you can use them and so many different shapes," the Sykesville resident said. "The challenge is coming up with a new idea."

This year's event will be the seventh at the Center with 190 Peeps works scheduled to be displayed, according to Sandy Oxx, executive director of the Arts Center.

The largest fundraiser for the center raised more than $35,000 last year.

Matthew Pye, Just Born's vice president of corporate affairs, said the company has known about the annual fundraiser at the Arts Center for years. Its website features many photos from it and its lobby once housed the Peeps Big Bird figure from a past show.

"It's amazing how people express their 'Peeps-onality,'" Pye said."All the fun things people are doing."

Pye will see the show in person on April 14, driving the company's Peepsmobile, a yellow Volkswagen Beetle sporting a large yellow Peep, from company headquarters in Bethlehem, Pa., to the Arts Center.

"We are very excited Just Born will be sending their Peepsmobile," Oxx said with glee."That is a really exciting thing."

"It's going to be a good ole time,'" Pye said. "I'm going to bring my camera."


Oxx is confident Pye will be impressed when he sees the size of the show and creativity on display.

"I always think all the good ideas are taken and then everyone comes up with wonderful creative ideas," Oxx said.

The mother and daughter team of Cindy and Danielle Mann, of Hampstead, brought their work, titled "Peepsicle" to the exhibit on April 8. Featuring about 120 orange-colored Peeps and 75 toothpicks connecting everything, the large creamsicle was the team's second entry in the Peep show.

"We're going to make it a tradition," Cindy said, of their participation.

Walkersville residents Rebecca and Glenn Brown, along with their 12-year-old granddaughter, Lia Finch, have entered the show for several years with standouts such as "Justin Peeper;" Alvin and the Chipmunks; and an I-peep that played music.

This year, they created the character Mike Peepowski from the movie "Monsters University" —a giant eye waving a banner and wearing a retainer.


"The first Mike went in the dumpster," Rebecca Brown admitted. "It was really a good learning to make the legs to support it. We always got odd looks when we went to Lowes or Home Depot."

The Peeps show is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 21at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster.

Admission is free.

Vote chips will be for sale to vote for favorite entries.