'Peeps' party in Newport contestBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Sunday News Correspondent March 23. 2013 10:45PM
NEWPORT -- White smoke rose from the chimney of Saint Peepers Basilica, the MV Peepsarge sank and Peepers enjoyed the slopes of Mount SunaPeep all at the Library Arts Center's second annual Peeps Diorama Contest Friday night.
It was amazing to see how this year's Peeps dioramas were not a repeat of last year's competition and, in fact, reflected current events and new local destinations, said Fran Hout, the center's program coordinator.
More than 250 people attended the Peeps Party Friday night celebrating and showcasing more than 60 dioramas -three-dimensional miniature models created from the colorful sugar-coated Easter treats.
The diorama contest has definitely become a springtime tradition for the nonprofit art gallery and studio, Hout said.
"We had a lot more children enter this year. They were so inspired by what they saw last year," Hout said. "It's our second year. We weren't sure how it was going to do, but we really believe the public came through."
Winning the Best in Peeps was 10-year-old Allison Howald of Newport for "the Peep Ballet."
In the adult category, Jill and George Montgomery of Sunapee won first place with "The Sinking of the MV Peepsarge," Stephanie Zara of Unity won second place with "Zombie Attack in 3D" and Franc Raymond of Georges Mills came in third with "You Peep What You Sow."
In the family/group category, Brooke, Rette and Lynn Solomon of Wilmot won first place with "We the Peeple," the McCrillis family of Newport won second place with the "Peepsville Fire Station," and Mrs. Burroughs' 6th grade class at Towle School came in third with "Burroughs' Crazy Circus."
Winning in the children's category was Uzma Malik of Sunapee for her depiction of "Peeps in the Library Arts Center," Joshua Almstrom of Croydon second place for his "Native Peep-les," and Jackson Scheele of George Mills took third place for his "Owl Peeping."
In a change from last year The Peep-les Choice Award was not named at the Peeps Party.
This year, the dioramas will remain on display at the center for the next week. The public has all week to vote and the winner will be announced before the gallery closes at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The best part about the contest is that it brings out the artist in everyone, said Kate Niboli, Arts Center executive director.
"People who would never think of themselves as artists spent hours creating these witty, fun, creative pieces," she said.