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Metal mushrooms sprout in Botanical Gardens

City installs public art donation from area high school


By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

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Councillor Bob Chapman speaks during the ceremony to unveil the latest public art donation at the Botanical Gardens. (Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express).

They might look good, but these mushrooms are not for eating, and may be a little hard to pick.

The latest public art addition in the City of Oshawa comes as a donation from St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School in the form of three oversized metal mushrooms.

The fake fungi were designed and fabricated by students at the high school over a two-year period as part of the manufacturing and technology program. Spencer Newell, Ethaan Coros and Brody Carder, a trio of Grade 12 students involved with the project, were on hand for the city’s ceremony at the Botanical Garden on Friday.

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The metal mushrooms were fabricated by a group of high school students from  St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School in Bowmanville. (Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express).

“The mushrooms are pieces of art, I see them as an integration between trade and art,” said the high school’s principal Mark Joly.

The project, which is the latest in a series of outputs from the high school that has donated installations to the Toronto Zoo and the Town of Essex, was fueled by the now retired manufacturing teacher John Oliver and his students.

“It’s through their vision and hard work that this authentic project has come to light,” Joly said.

The steel shiitakes, each about four feet high, are located on the east side of Oshawa Creek, north-east of the pedestrian bridge and beside the new home of the city’s day lily garden.

“I’m sure the public that comes down here…will enjoy not just our gardens but the sculptures we’ve been given,” said Oshawa Councillor Bob Chapman.”It’s a great addition to our garden.”

Mayor John Henry commended the trio of students and the others involved, welcoming them as a new part of Oshawa’s history.

“Someday, when you’re my age and you walk through the park with your grandchildren and children, you’ll be able to say I did that,” Henry said.