Shroom with a View: Lewis Elementary Art Teacher Goes Large with Latest Project

Calhoon’s creation is attracting a lot of attention in her hometown of Gallatin, MO (photo submitted by Katrina Calhoon).

When borer beetles killed the beautiful red maple tree in front of Katrina Calhoon’s home in Gallatin, MO she turned the tragedy into an opportunity for creativity. Calhoon, who teaches art at Lewis Elementary, spent the past year transforming the towering stump into a giant 12-foot-tall morel mushroom. Although she preferred the shade and splendor of her tree, she says she decided to make the best of a bad situation while having some fun. She said she was inspired to create a morel because she has such fond memories of hunting them each year. “I’ve hunted with my family for as long as I can remember, I still race people to get to them first!” she said. Her father, who is a woodworker, lives next door to Calhoon and she said at first he wasn’t too sure about her creation, but now he likes it and thinks it’s pretty funny. Before tackling the project Calhoon says she’d never even used a chainsaw before, but she “watched a lot of YouTube videos” to figure it out. Since she’s finished her creation, she’s noticed a lot more traffic on her street, “people drive by real slow or even get out and take pictures, I’ve gotten used to it,” she laughed. Calhoon says she’s already on the lookout for her next project. “There’s a neighbor just down the street who cut off three of his trees at different heights, so that seems pretty obvious,” she said. Who knows, before long the whole city could be covered in giant mushrooms. For now, if you’re up for a little off-season mushroom hunting, head on up to Gallatin and check out “Calhoon’s Shroom.”

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