The Foragers: A World of Enchantment and Intimacy

By Catalina Lassen, Environmental Art & PR Intern

The Schuylkill Center is proud to present Melissa Maddonni Haims and Josh Haims’ latest venture, The Foragers, a whimsical exhibition featuring photographs and delicate yarn sculptures of regional fungal life. In my time helping prepare and install this exhibition, what has stood out to me the most has been the enchantment and intimacy of the world the Haims’ create. As I step into the gallery now, the show completely set and ready to go, I sense myself stepping into the deep of the forest. Quiet, but flourishing, The Foragers takes the viewer on a charming adventure through a magical wood grown from the investigation and imagination of this wife-husband duo.

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Although sporing from a place of academia, scientific curiosity, and a fascination with fungal forms, the exhibition is artistic and romantic. While Josh’s photographs create immersive expanses of forest imagery, Melissa’s sculptures work as an anchor between image and space, completing the illusion and bringing the forest to us.

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As can be seen in Melissa’s Shelving Tooth sculptures, there is an exciting fusion of gentility and action occurring within each form.

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Even Melissa’s more subtle, soft pieces—which allow you a quiet moment to reflect—are vibrant and alive, rich in color and texture.

On the other hand, Josh’s photographs work to set the scene and create an overarching tone. One of my personal favorites lies at the entrance of the show. Depicting a small toadstool in a large, green wood, this image is welcoming—it happily invites viewers into the world of The Foragers, a world mimicking and so closely related to our own beautiful earth.

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Please join us January 28th at 6:00 pm to unearth for yourself the fascinating fungi-filled forest brought to you by Melissa Maddonni Haims and Josh Haims, The Foragers.

About the Author: Catalina, the Schuylkill Center’s Environmental Art and Public Relations Intern, is a recent West Chester University graduate, having finally earned her BFA in December 2015. Her passions (beyond art, of course) are numerous, but often include writing, nature, concert-going, and, most importantly, eating burritos.

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