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Front and Center at First Ave Peeps Show – solo Peeps Diorama submission by Ann Treacy
April 8, 2022, 9:49 pm
Filed under: St Paul

When the kids we little we used to create Peeps Dioramas for the Pioneer Press contest. Aine and I even did one on 2020 – you know due to COVID boredom. Last year I bought Peeps with good intentions but never got around to building. Those Peeps have been in the cupboard laughing at me for more than a year. Today after lunch I realized that the Peeps deadline was 5pm today. Dramatic pause…

It’s not often that the muse visits me with a burning urge but when it does I’ve got to listen. I decided I was going to Peep, dammit. I thought about possible timely topics – pandemic, war, ongoing racism and people dying because of it, oil winning over water, women losing rights like a needle in a haystack, never-ending winter – nothing felt right. Then I remembered something that does feel right – First Avenue!

So I recreated Front and Center at First Ave Peeps Show.

I hiked up to Art Scraps, the best place to go for diorama inspiration. I had a much bigger box in mind. So I have some thimble-drums and other things I may be selling on eBay soon. (Not really – total cost at Art Scraps was $3.27 – I will leave these tiny purchases to guilt me into another art frenzy next year.) Aine helped me find a box and walked up to the shop for glue and I let the magic work through me. I used the purple Peeps because – Prince. I found fairy lights, which make everything better. I created stars based on the Minnesota bands I’ve seen most recently and/or anyone who sent me a super nice note today. (List includes Kiss the Tiger, Golden Smog, Tina and the B Sides, Mae Simpson, Charlie Parr, Bathtub Cig, Mama Rose, Low Rats and Muskellunge.)

This diorama is inspired by First Ave, it is not a replica. I know the named stars aren’t inside the club. It did occur to me that if I had the time next year I would recreate (with liberties) the Clown Lounge in the basement of The Turf Club – but I’d focus on making the Peeps look like the actual bartenders. I might have to up my art skills through – or face retribution pricing for my pints.

In years past, the Pioneer Press would share Peeps submission on social media and folks could vote on winners. That’s no longer the case. So look surprised when you see me win. Actually I have great respect for the amazing artists with skill and time to create amazing art each year. And I appreciate a pastime that draws non-artists like me in too.

(Also I am allowing this terrible picture Aine took for me – because it looks as nerdy as I felt today.)


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