Blurring Boundaries, Having Fun with Peeps: New Exhibitions Open at the Racine Art Museum | Parker

RACINE — The Racine Art Museum recently opened two new exhibitions.

The 13th annual RAM PEEPS International Art Exhibition runs from April 7-23 and features works inspired by pop culture, animals, sports and famous artists, created by various individuals, groups and organizations with the candies Colorful Marshmallow Peeps.

Open until August 27, Blurry Boundaries: Contemporary Artists, Imagination and the Spaces Between features works made from diverse materials exploring the ambiguous connection between imagination and reality.

Each year, the popularity of the Peeps exhibit draws thousands of visitors to the museum. Even in 2020, more than 135 enthusiastic artists created pieces for the 11th annual International Art Exhibition PEEPS RAM, which was postponed several months beyond its usual Easter holiday opening due to the COVID pandemic closures. -19.

RAM’s 12th Annual PEEPS International Art Exhibition in 2021 saw a significant increase in submissions, with 170 artists from across the country participating in the competition.

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While many PEEPS® artworks are created by local artists, families and organizations, several pieces arrive each year from out of state. For the past 13 years, PEEPS® parts have been sent into RAM from as far away as Tucson, Arizona; San Francisco, California; Pisgah Forest, North Carolina; and New York.

Many regular attendees have become experts in marshmallow candy as a material, using methods such as sculpting, painting, punching, gluing, and fusing to manipulate PEEPS® into incredible shapes. While seasonal candies are still the most common material, PEEPS art exhibits also include pieces made in a variety of other media. For the most part, anything goes, as long as the artwork depicts PEEPS®, is family-friendly, and meets exhibit size requirements.

Visitors throughout the show will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite creation, nominating a work of popular art worthy of the coveted PEEPles Choice Award. Guests are entitled to one vote per visit. The price will be announced after the closing of the exhibition.

Artists of all ages are invited to participate in the 2022 competition by dropping off works on museum opening days, noon to 4 p.m., or by shipping them to arrive at the Racine Art Museum by Saturday, March 26.

blurred borders

On some level, being imaginative means producing things in the mind that exist independently of reality, including invented or fantastical scenarios.

Although there may still be links to everyday reality, the scenes, sensations or ideas in the imagination are fictitious. However, philosophically, one could argue that what happens in the mind is just a different type of reality. This blurring of the definition of what is truly real leaves artists with the potential to investigate, create and actualize their own narratives.

Blurry Boundaries addresses these ambiguities, or the spaces between them, by sharing a wide range of works – including sculpture, painting, prints and fine jewelry. There are made-up characters, versions of legendary tales, musings on death, and scenes that seem simultaneously real and unreal. With narratives operating in a space between fiction, fantasy and reality, the contemporary artists whose works are included represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

To narrow the scope of an exhibition that addresses ambiguity and imagination, the works featured in Blurry Boundaries primarily – but not exclusively – reflect visualized narratives.

Although drawn primarily from RAM’s collection, the exhibition also highlights works on loan from Wisconsin’s Yeonhee Cheong and Illinois’ Paul Andrew Wandless.

Additionally, the loan of Edouard Duval-Carrié’s “Lost at Sea” represents a newly formed partnership between RAM and Art Bridges, a foundation dedicated to expanding access to American art across the country. Duval-Carrié’s large-scale, two-dimensional work addresses the propaganda of paradise, responding to how historical imagery has sometimes diminished cultural identity.

The museum is located at 441 Main Street, Racine. To visit ramart.org for more information.

Julia P. Cluff