Doin’ Mushrooms: The SPORE Project

My friend Doug Rhodehamel has come up with a VERY COOL art project worthy of your participation. He’s one of the laffingest guys I know, and keeps me highly entertained and amused when I hang out with him. I’ve been charmed over the years by his many quirky and provocative art installations here in Orlando. 

His SPORE Project is– well, let’s have him tell you about it in his own words… 

“this May 2010, turn your trash into art and take part in the largest art installation in the world! thousands and thousands and thousands of paper bag mushrooms will be planted around the world! show your support for art education and creativity! 

kids! and big kids! and adults who still brown bag their lunch! and adults who don’t brown bag their lunch, but like to make stuff! yes! you! even if you don’t think you can make anything, you can make paper bag mushrooms! i promise! start saving your bags! they make great mushrooms. parents! teachers! educators! this is a perfect project for you! it costs almost nothing and is basically made from trash. there are fast-food restaurants in every part of the world. they have bags! ask for some! i’ve been saving mine. you can also get a pack of lunch bags from your grocery store. they’re cheap! 

so what exactly is going on here? you have the opportunity to be part of this project ! during the month of May 2010, i am asking everyone who has an interest in supporting art and creativity to create and plant some paper bag mushrooms. you can make a couple of a few or several thousand if you want to. paint them or do whatever, but be creative! have fun! 

The SPORE Project is a worldwide effort developed by me– Doug Rhodehamel– to promote awareness for the support of art education and creativity in day-to-day life. and that’s why my project illustrates the importance of self-expression, resourcefulness, and creativity– specifically, how to look at one thing– a simple paper bag– and see what it can be instead of merely what it is. this encourages people to know and appreciate the importance of art. 

art is essential: it promotes intelligence and creativity, and it’s a great expressive outlet that inspires people toward new perspectives on life, which we all need– frequently! creativity is needed in every aspect of life, as it teaches us to think differently while allowing us to consider other options.  

the idea behind the paper bag mushrooms grew innocently out of lunch in high school. while sitting around waiting for the meal break to end, i squished my lunch bag into a mushroom and gave it to my friend. this became a daily routine. this became a daily routine. years later i figured out a way to stick them in the ground. i then began placing them in my friends’ lawns while they were at work. it was meant as a joke, but other people loved them and asked me to cover their yards with mushrooms as well. i began making hundreds, then thousands. i did them for festivals, art shows, parties, and just for fun. i began getting calls from teachers asking if i could show their classes the art of making paper bag mushrooms. even businesses and corporations began to get involved. this is where the SPORE Project began. 

like it? then okay, after you have planted your mushrooms, simply take a digital photo from your camera or phone or whatever you are using and send it to: 


1. your name or group’s name 

2. your city and state 

3. your country 

4. how many mushrooms you made 

in may 2010, i will begin to post all the photos and information on this site along with a world map, so we can see how much of the planet we’ve covered with mushrooms!  ultimately, i’d like to see a mushroom on the moon before 2030. that’s 20  years to figure that out. any ideas? 

and there’s even a SPORE store so you can purchase SPORE Project merchandise.” 

Sounds great, right? I’m personally looking forward to helping Doug with his noble effort! My lawn was the focus of a mushrooming a few years ago, and you can see it– and all of Doug’s fascinating and amazing artworks and installations– at: The World of Doug Rhodehamel

Thanks for reading ! 



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