We are writers, filmmakers and artists who are captivated by the mysterious world of mushrooms and mycelia, and the dedicated community of hunters and growers here in the Pacific Northwest. We have embarked on a project to share our wonder and excitement about the mycological world – both natural and cultural – in which we live. (Learn what inspired the project here.)
In this region, not only are the forests, sandy beaches and mountaintops teeming in mycological life, but within our communities, many extraordinary people devote themselves to mushroom foraging and growing. They have amassed deep reserves of knowledge – often through observation, experience, and from one another – which they pass down from one generation to the next.
We are making three short documentary videos, each focused on a mushroom forager or cultivator. On November 29, 2012, we hosted a Mushroom, Mold and Yeast Feast (learn more here). And on December 2-3, we presented an interactive sculptural exhibition inspired by what’s happening in the soil and hosted a mushroom fair (learn more about both here). We will be documenting our progress, the people we meet, and the things that amaze and inspire us along the way on our blog. We invite you to share your stories with us and send any questions or thoughts.
Lola Milholland is a writer and researcher who has an especially intense fascination with the way that shifts in food culture reflect and influence larger culture moments. Since graduating from Amherst College in 2007 with a degree in Japanese history – and a focus on the history of Japanese beef – she has worked for the Portland-based nonprofit Ecotrust. She is currently assistant editor of its free quarterly magazine Edible Portland, which tells stories about the food and farming culture of Oregon and southwest Washington. (Find a free copy at the locations listed here or subscribe here.) She has also written for publications including Gastronomica and meatpaper. Born and raised in Portland, Lola has hunted for chanterelles every fall for as long as she can remember. The thing that makes her feel most at home is the smell of a wet, mushroom-filled forest.
Giselle Kennedy is a filmmaker based in Hood River, Oregon, specializing in non-fiction content that merges her love for beautiful imagery and storytelling with her appetite for good food. After earning a degree in Media Studies from the University of San Francisco in 2007, she remained in the city working on a documentary web series with Seesmic, Inc. and completing her short film, Brew – an Official Selection of the 2010 New Belgium Film Festival. Giselle moved to Oregon in the Spring of 2010 to focus her work on food culture and sustainability. She has immersed herself in the food, agriculture and landscape of the Northwest through her work with entities like FoodHub, Stone-Buhr Flour and Edible Portland. Giselle aims to engage audiences with vivid imagery and entertaining stories to inspire a fresh perspective on the food in our lives and the folks in our world.
Belly & Bones is an art collective founded in 2009 by sculptor Tony Candelaria and illustrator Stef Choi, to create a platform and voice for their combined focus in fine art and commercially-driven work.
Tony Candelaria has worked in many extensions of the entertainment industry. From sculpting and fabricating puppets on stop-motion films, to designing elaborate costumes for dance performances, Tony has created a tremendous range of three-dimensional artworks. Early in life, Tony’s imagination was sparked by Universal Pictures’ classic monster horror films, and his creativity took wing when he realized that the monsters in these movies were in fact actors in make-up. As a senior in high school, Tony secured an internship at a local special effects studio Cafe FX (Pan’s Labyrinth, Armageddon, King Kong) and was soon hired part time as a 3D modeler. Upon graduating, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked on an array of projects, from special effects make-up and costumes for the films of numerous directors, including David Lynch and Eli Roth, to 2D animation on such shows as “Mucha Lucha” and “The Simpsons.” In 2005, Tony traded his surroundings of freeways and buildings for the lush trees and bridges of Portland to work at the animation studio LAIKA, where he is currently wrapping up on another stop-motion feature film, Paranorman. In Portland he began to reconnect with his love for nature by hiking through the woods, taking pictures of mushrooms.
Stef Choi is a Portland-based artist and freelance illustrator who is best known for her unique character design and illustration work on animated projects. She is passionate about designing characters and the world they inhabit, and works in different mediums including painting, illustration, sculpture, installation and film, depending on the project. In 2011, she illustrated her first children’s book, Ruby Lu, Star of the Show, with Simon & Shuster. Stef received a BFA from Cal Arts, after which she worked as a character designer at Cartoon Network on shows including “Powerpuff Girls,” “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” In 2005, she moved to Portland to work as an illustrator on LAIKA’s Coraline. At this time, she began creating characters based on Oregon’s landscape. In her 2008 LED light sculpture, “Crater Lake,” Stef turned her subject into a mythological character. Her art reflects her love of nature, her connection to the people around her, and her sincere desire to shine a light on the world.
721 NW Ninth Ave., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97209
lmilholland at ecotrust dot org
This website does not provide information on how to hunt for nor identify wild mushrooms, safely or otherwise. We stand firmly with the Oregon Mycological Society statement: “There is no quick and easy test that will separate edible from poisonous mushrooms. Identify each and every mushroom you collect, and only eat those whose identification you are absolutely sure of. When in doubt, throw it out. Seek medical assistance immediately if you suspect mushroom poisoning of any kind.”