With a whopping 4,380 votes, a sculpture of The Swedish Chef from "The Muppets" was crowned the grand prize winner of the Carroll Arts Center's PEEPshow this week. Christian Twamley of Sykesville created the candy-coated art, which he titled "Swpeepish Chef."
The PEEPshow is a competition for all ages that challenges participants to craft art made out of or inspired by PEEPS marshmallow candy. Organized by the Carroll County Arts Council, money is raised for the center's various programs by visitors purchasing votes to cast for their favorite artwork.
"It was very successful," Executive Director Sandra Oxx said of this year's exhibit. "We were absolutely thrilled with the quality of the entries. They're truly works of art. They're not just kids' creations. They are masterful works of art."
In its ninth year, the contest included 159 entries that utilized more than 34,000 PEEPS. Sculptures, mosaics, dioramas and films were among the types of art participants submitted.
Other award-winning entries included "Here Comes Peeper Cottontail," "Winnie the Peep" and "Snoopy's Christmas."
"I love the fact that the artists are raising the bar for everyone else," Oxx said. "I mean, people know now if you want to win this thing, you have to come in with an absolutely fantastic creation."
The thousands of votes cast in the contest brought in more than $75,000 for the Carroll County Arts Council.
For more information about the contest and the arts center, visit carrollcountyartscouncil.org.