The Night DC Stood Peeped

“Peep Julius II Questions Michelangelo’s Artistic Judgment”
Jean Kaleba and family

Last Friday I finally made it to Artomatic, a month-long gallery event that colocalizes hundreds of local artists under one roof, together with musicians, poets, wine and beer. But the real stars of Artomatic were pastel marshmallows – yes, Peeps.

In conjunction with Artomatic, the Washington Post sponsors a Peep-populated diorama contest, Peepsomatic. The entries were creative, hilarious, and occasionally esoteric, like Jean Kaleba’s entry above, “Peep Julius II Questions Michelangelo’s Artistic Judgment” – a mini-Sistine Chapel, with the Divine Peep touching the spark of life into a marshmallow-headed Adam.

Many of the dioramas depicted scenes from classic films – including “No Country for Old Peeps,” “The Wonderful Wizard of Peeps,” and “The Birds,” a diorama by Linda Parker Gates and Brooks Wilson (the Peep in this one isn’t a bird – it’s the head of an amazingly well-coiffed Tippi Hedren):

“The Birds”
Linda Parker Gates and Brooks Wilson

WaPo has a “Peep Show” (ha ha) with excellent photos of the finalists and winners, from which I stole the two photos above. But my favorite diorama, Carl Cordell’s “The Day the Earth Stood Peeped”, didn’t make it into the finalist slideshow (apparently it was just completed last Friday). Here it is, in a very unsatisfactory snapshot:

“The Day The Earth Stood Peeped”
Carl Cordell

Check out the bunny-eared space helmet made with eppendorf tubes! And yes, that says “Klaatu Barada Peepto.”

Apparently there were more than 800 entrants. By now, the DC metro area must be completely out of Peeps! Which might be why there were signs warning visitors to restrain themselves:


Enough about Peeps – the rest of Artomatic was phenomenal too. It even had its own weird pranksters. I’m really impressed with the ability of a volunteer artist collective, however good its sponsors, to put on a massive event like this. I’ll blog about some of the non-Peep art later, but for now, here’s what it looked like on lovely, warm DC night:





  1. #1 PhysioProf
    June 20, 2008

    That’s fucking great! Peeps! HAHAH!

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