Ready to Peep!

What inspiration will marshmallow chicks and bunnies bring to Tracy’s Kids this year? Last year our entry in the Washington Post Magazine’s Peeps Diorama Contest depicted some valiant teens saving a Sol Lewitt drawing from falling off the wall at the National Gallery– and though we didn’t win, we  made the Kids’ Post. This year, who knows?? We’re stocked up on Peeps and ready to brainstorm.

Ready to Peep!

Ready to Peep!

Our Peeps Entry Revealed!

All last week at Lombardi, a crew ranging from two-year olds to grade-schoolers and a few adults, worked to transform marshmallow bunnies and chicks into a whimsical work of art for the 2013 Washington Post Magazine Peeps Contest. Since we are all about  kids and art, we chose to represent the incident at the National Gallery of Art on February 15 when a 10 by 37 foot piece of art started to come off the wall and some high school students caught it and kept it from falling. It sounded dramatic in the news accounts, but details were few, so we added creative embellishments.peeps_edited2 closeup3

Just to make it fun, we make the whole piece of art out of peeps. We spent several days custom-painting them to match the drawing. We even had to do “surgery” on them to make them fit inside the lines so we could keep the drawing to scale, but we were at the hospital, after all!

Maybe the most fun was putting in the visitors to the gallery. Three museum guards wear headsets and blue star “uniforms.” Some of the visitors have museum headsets (made of macaroni)  like the gallery provides with narratives about the art, and one little guy is holding a camera. One of the high schoolers who is catching the painting somehow ended up with Rastafarian curly-noodle hair! The gallery floor in real life is super-shiny polished granite, which we simulated with mosaic mirror tiles covered in translucent paint.

The Peeps Contest deadline is midnight, February 25, and this post is scheduled to go up at 1:00 a.m. on the 26th, so we don’t reveal our entry ahead of time. We don’t know if it will win–they get thousands of entries–but we had fun making it and talking about famous art with the kids at the clinic.


Tis’ the Season for Peeps!

Here we go again- thinking up crazy ideas for the annual Washington Post Peeps Contest! ( ) The deadline is this Monday, the 25th, and we are in it to win!


We have our idea (but you will have to wait to see what it is!), now we just have to figure out how to make our Peep masterpiece.


A couple years ago when we created our first Peeps Diorama (Peeper Fever) the kids jumped right in, helping to construct the scene and dress the peeps. Although very different from our first entry, I think this year’s diorama is going to be awesome and the kids are going to have a great time making it!

Wish us luck!



Looking at all the crowds gathered for the Inauguration today makes me think about crowds and hospitals. Anyone who has ever been a patient in a hospital will tell you that the hospital is not like home.

The hospital seeks to be a safe place for people when their immune systems cannot handle the outside world. Some kids have to stay in isolation rooms with special air-cleaning systems to keep germs from getting in. Care providers and visitors must wear disposable gowns and gloves, so germs don’t sneak in on their clothes.

In the art rooms we use a lot of powerful disinfectant, as we have said before, but the hospitals also limit who comes to visit. During this year’s especially virulent flu season, many of our hospitals are limiting visitors. No special events or groups of visitors–only small numbers of family members–to minimize the germs that come into the hospital.

A big part of the value of Tracy’s Kids is that we can break up the monotony of treatment and recovery with creative work. As members of the treatment team, our art therapists are required to get flu shots, and are trained in how to implement infection-prevention protocols to keep the kids safe. Since we’re staff, not visitors, we are always there, just like doctors and nurses.

Here’s our model of the hospital depicting an epidemic of “Peeper Fever”–a whimsical view of infection control.

The photo I have shared is our entry in the Washington Post Magazine’s Peeps Diorama Contest two years ago. We depicted an epidemic of “Peeper Fever”–Justin Bieber was the hottest thing right then–but it’s made largely out of hospital “stuff” to give it the feel of the hospital. The kids had a great time using medicine caps, sterile tubing, and even a urinal to create a piece of art about infection control!