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Currently on view with Arrowmont: School of Arts and Crafts, TN



 More information here

Below: video on the making of the Gatekeepers project is on view with the Captcha Design Festival, Mannheim, Germany

University of Applied Sciences.

The group exhibition is with the The Mannheim Art Association founded in 1833.


Step through thousands of years of history and ask yourself what our world looked like before climate change. The Gatekeepers project was developed to inspire the next generation of keepers and rouse the need for continued stewardship of the natural world in all of us. Arches have been with us since 2000 BC. During the Roman times, these structures commemorated triumphs. In other cultures, these curvilinear paths outline doorways to homes, temples, and sacred spaces.


The Gatekeepers was grown from mycelium for three years. Mycelium is the same substrate that fruits mushrooms and holds our entire planet together at the roots. Mycelium itself is profound. Mycelium as a medium is a climate crisis game changer. The left and right sides of the columns stand at 4 feet. Approximately 200 lbs. of mycelium was used to grow the columns of bricks. The final phase of growth began with a North Spore sponsorship. The archway was grown using a sawdust spawn from North Spore that fruited golden oyster mushrooms to crown the arch of the gate.


My mission as an artist is to use healthier materials for a healthier world. There are approximately 2,000 seashells grown into the bricks to illuminate the need for marine conservation. The sculpture was grown from mycelium to prove that using a sustainable material in place of concrete or resin is possible. Grown into the sides of each pillar are 15 symbols of bees, moths, honeycombs, and other natural wonders along with 3 keystone species sculptured from clay and foraged botanical materials.  

On April 22nd 2023 Maria Medina-Schechter was honored as an "Eco Hero" in a ceremony hosted by The City of Bloomington, Indiana. The Gatekeepers project won 2nd place in the 2023 Eco-Heroes Art Contest, presented by The City of Bloomington, office of the Mayor and Environmental Commission.

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The Gatekeepers project is supported by a generous research sponsorship from North Spore.

Gallery Phase III., 03/08/22: Each layer is made up of 4 bricks, there are currently 13 layers of bricks, in total there are now 104 bricks that make up both left and right columns. 

Gallery Phase II: 12/22/22

Gallery Phase I.: 02/2/22

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