By Rachel Newdorf

Peeps aren’t just Easter candy. Every Spring in the D.C. Metro area they get transformed into art.

For the past six years, The Washington Post has held a contest using the beloved marshmallow Easter candy. Popular culture, historical events and local phenomena are transformed into creative dioramas featuring the sugary and marshmallow-y treat in the most creative ways.

But The Washington Post isn’t the only one with Peep fever. The Honor’s College at George Mason University has held its own annual Peep Diorama Contest for the past two years.

“I thought it was the coolest thing in the world,” says David Anderson, the Living and Learning Community Coordinator in the Honor’s College at GMU, who  loved the Post’s annual contest and decided back in 2011 to bring the contest here to Mason.

This year’s contest asked the students to create a diorama including their favorite scene from a movie, television show, book or historical event. Characters had to be made out of Peeps, but students could manipulate them in any way needed to make their diorama as close to the real thing as possible.

Unlike the Post’s contest, Peeps were given to students who signed up for the contest.

“We wanted to provide the peeps for those students who didn’t have the transportation to go out and get them themselves,” says Anderson, 30.

But, they didn’t have to spend much of their candy budget —  last year, there was only one entry, “Kill Peep.”

This year, there were three entries: “Tarzan of the Ape-eeps” by Mary Wells, “Peep Trek,” by Natalie Losik, and “The Peeps of Being a Wallflower,” by Caroline Kim.

Kim, a 20-year-old junior majoring in both History and English found out about the contest through the Honor’s program weekly e-mails to students.

She decided to re-create the most popular scene from her favorite movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” when the three best friends, Charlie, Sam and Patrick are driving under the Fort Pitt Tunnel after homecoming and Sam’s dress is inflated by the wind.

It took her a couple of days to craft the peeps, clay, poster paper, acrylic and construction paper into her diorama.

“The Honor’s College thought Sam and her dress were a potato sack,” says Kim, from Annandale. “I enjoyed it and would do it again.”

Natalie Losik, 22, from Hampton, Va., didn’t have time to enter the contest last year, but with this year’s deadline, March 30, being so close to spring break, it gave her an opportunity to work on her diorama “Peep Trek.”

Working on it a bit everyday during the break, Losik made a shoebox look like the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise. She used foam core, toothpicks and wooden skewers to hold the Peeps up.

Using the original “Star Trek” television series as her inspiration, the senior majoring in Global Affairs,  got her idea after polling her family and friends over Facebook.

Mary Wells, a freshman from Stafford, Va., used real plants and rocks, Peeps, paint and an old t-shirt for the Peep’s clothing — and created her Tarzan diorama in only two days.

“After getting the Disney song from the Tarzan movie stuck in my head, I thought it would be fun to create it with peeps,” says Wells, 18, an English and Theater double major. She plans to enter next year, too.

To see the dioramas in person, go to Enterprise Room 302.

Peep Trek

Wallflower Peep

tarzan peeps