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'Octomom' art installation has Whittier talking

June 24, 2009 |  2:53 pm


Back in February, the world's media converged on Whittier hoping to get a glimpse of octuplets mother Nadya Suleman and her 14 children.

Suleman The press moved on when Suleman took a home in nearby La Habra. But the legacy of "Octomom" lives on at the Gold Mine VW Auto Parts building along Pickering Avenue in Whittier.

There, drivers can’t help but chuckle at a display owners Ralph and Diva Chase have set up. Mounted on the wall of the building is half a grabber-blue 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. Inside, a black-hair mannequin -- respectfully named Teri, not Nadya --  is sitting with her legs crossed and is surrounded by babies. A box of diapers sits on the bug’s roof.

Ralph Chase said his 22-year-old niece, Jenna White, put the display together, meant as a tribute to Suleman and her mark on Whittier.  “She’s Teri’s stylist,” he joked.

They sometimes change Teri's clothes to freshen her look, and some people have come by to donate clothes for the display.

Chase said that the display had slowed traffic and that a few customers had inquired about the installation. He said he had not heard from the Sulemans.

This is not the only piece of Octomom art. "Octomom: The Musical" is supposed to debut soon. The show include a scenes between Octomom and her doctor, in which she ponders during a moment of weakness, "I need the man, and not the seed."

-- Ruben Vives in Whittier

Photo credits: top, Ruben Vives / Los Angeles Times; bottom, NBC News