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Art exhibit lets you hear the plants – Sault Star



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What sound does a mushroom make?


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A New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) exhibit in Sound River has the answer.

The Mycorrhizal Rhythm Machine is a hollow sphere about eight feet high people can walk into and listen to the sounds plants make.

Artist Tosca Teran of Toronto created the display which has plants and fungi, like oyster mushrooms, sitting on shelves in the sphere.

The interior is large enough to accommodate four to five people at a time sitting on benches.

Teran achieves the sound aspect by attaching electrodes to the roots which are connected to other units and ultimately to a synthesizer which gives a musical sound to what the plant or mushroom is experiencing.

The sounds people hear occur in real time.

And if a person touches a mushroom for example, Teran says the nature of the sound changes.

“There are also changes to the sounds throughout the day even when no one is around and nothing is going on,” Teran said.

The sound artist says the plants and mushrooms produce different sounds and she’s learned that mushrooms of the same species can emit different sounds.

“I have found that there are differences and that’s bizarre,” she said.

“They have different patterns and energy. Also the oyster mushrooms have lots of patterns compared to other mushrooms.”

Perhaps an analogy to this is to consider that people are all human but as humans we have different sounding voices even though we belong to the same species.

Teran plans to record the sounds because she “wants to research further what’s going on” in the plants and mushrooms.


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But Teran’s initial takeaway from what the plants and fungi emit is something like a life force or heartbeat.

“Also the sound changes when the mushrooms are not looked after or enough changes have taken place in the surrounding conditions,” Teran said.

She knows this through a personal experience when she first began experimenting with sounds from fungi.

Teran says she normally cleans the electrodes before attaching them to the plant or fungi and uses a solution to rid the electrodes of foreign substances.

In this instance she was trying to remove slime mould but didn’t get it all before attaching the electrode to the fungi.

“The next day the fungi had a dry mould around it and the sound was entirely different,” Teran said.

“I interpreted that the (fungi) was freaked out and stressed out because it was being eaten by this other organism.”

Since that incident, Teran has been using new electrodes on a regular basis.

On another occasion during Teran’s earlier days experimenting with sound from plants, she was at the University of Toronto which featured a plant exhibit and a young child was hitting one of the plants.

Teran said the hits produced “a horrible sound” from the plant and when the youngster asked what the sound was, Teran told him “the plant was responding to the hits.

“So there is some kind of life force at work here,” she told the Nugget.

Teran got into sound art when she was growing mushrooms and began wondering if they emitted sounds.


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By acquiring the proper equipment she was able to hear the plant sounds.

“I was blown away from the different sounds,” she said.

“It was a mind-blowing moment and I wanted to learn more.”

Teran’s work led to the development of the sphere now at NAISA.

Originally, the exhibit was to have gone up last year but the COVID-related lockdowns nixed those plans.

Despite the one-year delay, this is the first time Teran’s Mycorrhizal Rhythm Machine is on public display.

It takes almost three days to set up.

When she was in South River putting up the exhibit earlier this month people coming into NAISA were definitely curious about the eight foot high hollow sphere.

Since opening day, quite a few South River and area residents have seen the sound-making machine and Darren Copeland, NAISA’s artistic director, said he gets asked a lot of questions about it.

Copeland and other NAISA staff look after the plants and Teran says they have flourished in their environment.

Because the sphere can be taken apart, Teran is hoping to take it on the road to other communities after Sept. 20 when the exhibit leaves South River so other people can experience the sounds plants and fungi emit.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.



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New App Aims to Promote Province's Thriving Art Community – VOCM



A new app aims to get people outside and appreciating art in public places all over the province.

The Explore Art NL app leads users to more than 100 existing works of art in communities from St. John’s to Makkovik, inviting people to spend more time in those locations, while possibly meeting others with mutual appreciation.

The works thus far include everything from sculptures to memorials and murals, but anyone can upload their own creations to the growing list.

Business and Arts NL executive director Amy Henderson says they modelled their app on a smaller version in Manitoba.

She says they were inspired by the app used by the Winnipeg Arts Council, but needed to expand it on a larger scale for the entire province.

Vanessa Iddon came up with the design for their so-called ‘Art Car’, a Genesis GV80 which will be touring the region to promote the new app.

The overall initiative is also supported by the federal government, City of St. John’s and Tract Consulting.

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Art Crawl bounces back for 2021 – Coast Reporter



The 2021 Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, from Oct. 20 to 24, will feature more venues, more artists, and fewer pandemic-related changes than were in place in 2020, unless new health orders are issued before then by the provincial government.

“Because there are so many individual venues, there’s no way we can do any kind of [COVID-related] recommendations overall, other than that the venues follow the provincial guidelines,” Coast Cultural Alliance (CCA) board member and spokesperson Linda Williams told Coast Reporter.

In 2020, the Art Crawl dropped to 97 venues, down by nearly half from the record high of 186 locations in those heady pre-COVID days of October 2019.

This year, the number of venues has jumped back up, to 164, with more than 250 artists participating.

The 2020 version also tried to accommodate health concerns by offering vendors some options, as on online-only venue, or taking in visitors only by appointment. Those choices aren’t on the table for 2021, but the overarching guideline is still safety-first.

“We are following all the health regulations, period,” Williams said.

At press time, the only restriction on indoor events where participants are not seated is that masks be worn at all times by those over the age of 12. Requiring proof of vaccination is optional for venues where the number of visitors is kept under 50. Some smaller Art Crawl venues might ask for vaccination cards, but for now that’s at their discretion.

“We were just going to have to take responsibility as individuals, as artists and as visitors,” said Williams.

Sign-in sheets will be required for all venues, not for pandemic contact purposes, but in order that the CCA can collect a few statistics.

Art crawlers can also answer a quick online survey to be eligible for prizes of a two-night stay at Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina, or ferry travel vouchers. Winners will be named in a draw to be held on Oct. 31.

Williams noted there are 46 new venues this year. Also, there are more in the Pender Harbour area than ever – 15. And for some reason, there’s been a blossoming of new Art Crawl locations at the west end of Beach Avenue in Roberts Creek.

“There are eight of them that are on Beach Avenue close to Henderson (Road) this year,” she said. “And I think seven of them are new.”

The Art Crawl is also welcoming a new major sponsor this year, Longman Developments.

“They’ve come in because their core values are similar to ours, in community-building,” said Williams. Sunshine Coast Credit Union is also back as a major sponsor, Williams noted, as it has been since 2010.

Art Crawl does receive modest grant support from local governments but is not eligible for provincial or federal funding, so is otherwise dependent on local business sponsorships and $135 venue fees to make the event possible.

The Art Crawl generated close to $600,000 in sales and commissions in 2019.

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Art Beat: Coast artist heads to show in New York City – Coast Reporter



Roberts Creek artist Kandice Keith is on the U.S. East Coast this week to show her nature-inspired paintings at the Affordable Art Fair in New York City, Thursday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Sept. 26. “It’s a really amazing opportunity,” Keith said in an interview. “I’m very fortunate.” Keith was set to go to the twice-yearly fair in March 2020, but the outbreak of COVID-19 put an end to that plan. “This is a make-up for that show,” Keith said. She’s also slated to return to the NYC fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion next March. You can see some of Keith’s vivid and luminous work currently on display at the Gumboot Café.


Anna Lumiere, Grant Olsen, and Coast String Fiddlers are among the performers featured at Oktoberfest, which has been on all week in downtown Sechelt until Friday, Sept. 24. A full rundown of acts and events can be found at Celebrations move to Rockwood Lodge on from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, where more live music is planned. Prizes for best lederhosen and beer stein.


FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in Madeira Park had planned an opening reception last Saturday for its new, juried exhibition, A Beautiful Mess: the joyful & random discovery of the artistic process. The reception has been rescheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Scent and Soul

You can meet Rohanna Goodwin Smith, author of Scent and Soul: The Extraordinary Power of the Sense of Smell, at One Flower One Leaf Gallery on Marine Drive in Gibsons, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Live Music

Peter Van plays a solo show on piano at the Clubhouse Restaurant in Pender Harbour on Friday Sept. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. Then, for a $5 cover on Sunday, Sept. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. you can hear the Steve Hinton Band.

The Howesounders host a Friday night jam session at Roberts Creek Legion on Sept. 24, starting at 7 p.m. Sign up at the door to book some solo- or group stage-time. On Saturday, Sept. 25, there’s a Jeevious/Jaggs Jambouree, where members of the Jeevious family and a few players from Vancouver’s Staggers and Jaggs will shake things up for a few hours, starting at 7 p.m. Jim Foster is at the Backeddy Resort and Marina in Egmont, weather permitting, on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Banditry Cider on Pratt Road in Gibsons is staging its first Apple Festival on Sunday Sept. 26, with a lot of family-friendly frivolity starting at 11 a.m. The band The Burying Ground plays from 4 to 6 p.m.

Let us know about your event by email at

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