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Some artwork looks pretty in Peeps
Marshmallow treats make a splash in the hands of student artists
“Peep Lunch” creators from left: Quinshad Jenkins, 14, Austin Clayton, 15, Stephanie Jarrett, 14, and Mandy Coleman, 13. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The marshmallowy sweet goodness of an Easter-hued Peep has long been a staple treat given by the Easter bunny.

But there are so many other crafty things you can do with Peeps other than eat them.

For example, an annual contest organized by The Washington Post asks readers to create their own Peep diorama. National Geographic asks kids to photograph Peeps in strange places around the world.

So, inspired by Youth Art Month that’s wrapping up today, we approached Dusti Joyner’s eighth-grade art class, where we asked students to get creative with their provided Peeps. When challenged by The Times to create art from the pink, yellow and green marshmallow puffs, the students at C.W. Davis Middle School happily obliged.

The class divided into groups and sculpted, for example, a Peep sandwich, “Poker Peeps” inspired by Cassius Coolidge’s poker dog paintings and “Mount Peepmore,” among others.

“You can pretty much make anything out of anything,” said Mandy Coleman, who was in the group that created “Peep Lunch,” a Peep sandwich complete with a receipt.

Joyner said the Peeps were interesting to mold into shapes and weren’t quite as sticky as she expected. Many of the groups had to use tape and wires to form molds for the Peeps to stick to.

“I should have tried it out before they started,” Joyner said. “It’s a learning process.”

Other Peep projects included the “Peepy Puppy,” a reinterpretation of “The Scream” by Eduard Munch, a butterfly, a cross made from bunny Peeps, a rose and a reproduction of “Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh.

“Starry Night” was made by Allison Moore, Bailee Carr and Hailey Hedberg.

“It was really hard to get them to stick together,” Moore said. “We had to use tape.”

Anna Lyons, Melissa Dawson, Madeline Derusha and Paige Bridges created “Poker Peeps” for their Peep project. “They wanted to make everything out of Peeps, the table and the legs and chairs,” Joyner said.

Dawson came up with the idea of the poker dogs and said it was “definitely a fun project.”

Conner Fenwick and Logan Hollers helped their group make “Mount Peepmore,” inspired by Mount Rushmore.

“I just thought of it because I looked at their heads and they looked like people heads, and (I) came up with that,” Fenwick said. “The teacher said that we needed to use a famous piece of art. It was the first thing that came to mind because at first I thought Statue of Liberty — but that would be too hard.”

Logan Hollers added that the group had a hard time shaping the mountain portion of “Mount Peepmore.”

“We put wires around, and they kept falling off, we were going to try and make it where the white would show but the white part stuck more than the green,” he said. “We made a Batman cave because it kept caving in.”

But Joyner said she thought the group did a great job.

“I think they were the only group that had an idea from the very beginning.”

Austin Clayton said his group had the idea of the “Peep Lunch” because of a mistake.

“We were gonna do a butterfly but it didn’t work out,” he said. “I was just looking through a magazine and I saw a sandwich, there wasn’t anything but food in it. So, I went to the store and bought a bunch of Peeps ... and then we did the sandwich.”

The Peep sandwich is filled with chicken and all the toppings.

“The orange is chicken — like a chicken sandwich — and then we have some lettuce which is green, mustard is yellow, mayonnaise is the white stuff and blue cheese and then this is the toothpick,” Clayton said. “We had some of the green left and I got bored and started making little balls of them and decided they could be green beans — It was made with love.”

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