PEI

Game of Shrooms: A mushroom-themed art hunt Islanders can dig into

The fourth-annual one-day worldwide art hunt on June 11 encourages participants to create mushroom-themed art, then hide it in public places for others to find on that day.

No dragons, just mushrooms, says event creator

The fourth-annual Game of Shrooms, a one-day worldwide art hunt, falls on June 11 this year. (@shroomdrop/@lbegleyceramics/Instagram)

When Stratford resident Sofia Baird posted about Game of Shrooms on social media site Reddit, she hoped to get more Islanders to have fun with fungi.

The fourth-annual one-day worldwide art hunt on June 11 encourages participants to create mushroom-themed art, then hide it in public places for others to find on that day.

"My kind of theme for this year is to try to do things that I really want to do that I've been, like, too scared to do," Baird said. "So I was like, 'This is it. I'm going to make up a piece of art.'"

Those looking to participate can check out the event's website to access the map and build geotags on the locations they want to hide their work.

Baird has only been on P.E.I. since August and said the pandemic has made it hard to meet people, so posting about the event last month on Reddit was her way of connecting with the Island community.

When Baird put her pin on Stratford, she saw it was the only one on the Island and figured it would feel as if she wasn't participating at all if nobody was looking for her art.

Since her post, there have been three more geotags added on the Island: two in Charlottetown and one in Summerside.

Spotlight on Island mushrooms

The event encourages participants to make two to three works of art.

Though Baird doesn't think of herself as an artist, she says she's a photographer at heart and wants to highlight the Island's mushrooms in her work.

Sofia Baird is passionate about photography and has taken multiple shots of unique mushrooms she’s found on P.E.I., like this amanita muscaria mushroom in Queens County. (Submitted by Sofia Baird)

"If you've never been mushroom hunting on P.E.I., I highly recommend it. There are so many edible species here."

Baird wants to put her photos in thrifted frames she plans to paint, or create something bigger like a mushroom sculpture crafted with folded pages from a book.

No dragons, just mushrooms

Baird came across an ad for the Game of Shrooms while flipping through an art magazine at a local bookstore.

It turns out the co-founder of the magazine is California-based artist Attaboy, creator of Game of Shrooms.

Attaboy told CBC News that he began hiding art around the Bay area in 2016 as a way to work through his severe depression, and it was only three years later — when he felt it was helping him — that he decided to open it up to the world.

"I'm really happy that ... a small island in Canada is doing this. That's fantastic," he said, even though he doesn't know exactly where P.E.I. is located.

 "It's the best present I could ever get."

California-based artist Attaboy began hiding art on his own as a way to remedy his severe depression before opening it up to everybody in 2019 and calling it Game of Shrooms. (Submitted by Attaboy, photo by Lena Reynoso)

The mushroom theme was inspired by his late-grandmother, who owned a ceramic studio where they painted mushrooms together when he was younger.

The artist began his career at the game production company Milton Bradley before transitioning into doing fine art. He said Game of Shrooms is the perfect marriage of game-playing and art.

'Leave No Trace'

The "leave no trace" event means that art made for the event should not be hidden in protected or private areas without consent, and all art that doesn't get found must be retrieved.

Last year, the free event garnered more than 2,000 geotags across the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mikee Mutuc is a reporter and producer with CBC P.E.I. She was previously based in Toronto, and has worked on stories for CBC's The National, CBC's Cross Country Checkup, CBC Toronto and CBC Kids News. She graduated with a bachelor of journalism degree from Humber College in 2019. You can email story ideas to: Mikee.Mutuc@cbc.ca.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now