The Washington City Paper saved the contest about the Washington Post bailed on it.
Washington, DC, has faced plenty of turmoil since, oh, I don’t know, Congress officially moved there in 1800? But last month, when The Washington Post announced it would no longer continue its decade-long tradition of running an annual Peeps diorama contest for Easter, it finally appeared as if nothing was sacred. Thankfully though, the Washington City Paper scooped up the concept, and yesterday, the Peep-loving public was able to bask in the fruits of the DC alt-weekly’s labor: The City Paper announced the winners of its first-annual, eleventh-annual Peeps Diorama Contest.
“When the Post announced in March that it would discontinue its annual Peeps diorama contest . . . we knew what we had to do—to give the peeple what they want and take up the contest,” wrote City Paper Editor Liz Garrigan. “Though the Post cited declining submissions as one of the factors for ceasing the popular feature, we received a healthy haul.” The alt-weekly eventually settled on three prize winners and six other finalists in an effort that involved “intense shouting matches, ranked voting, multiple viewings, art history discussions, and a few allusions to just who does, and doesn’t, have a BFA.” But enough of the backstory. You’re here for Peep dioramas.
Taking the top prize: “The Peeple v. O.J. Simpson” from Peep artist Larisa Baste—a diorama tackling a scene from 2016’s Emmy-winning FX miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Baste told the City Paper that the project took her “66-plus hours” to complete. “It kind of got out of control, watching all the O.J. documentaries” to nail each of the characters, she said, which by my count appears to be over 40 Peeps in all.
From there, the rest of the top three are very high-minded. Finishing second, “Peep Show: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Peeps” is a sugary spin on the popular Yayoi Kusama exhibition currently running at DC’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (on the left below).
Meanwhile, the third place finisher also tackled the art world: “Peep Haring as Photographed by Annie Peepovitz” is an Easter-themed take on photographer Annie Leibovitz’s shoot of artist Keith Haring.
This selection could be seen as a bit controversial being that the entry doesn’t quite adhere to the tradition of tackling some sort of relevant event from the previous year, but hey, The Post isn’t running the show anymore, are they?
The remaining six finalists, which include Peep versions of Bob Ross and the Trump inauguration – head over to the Washington City Paper’s website.