Worldwide art scavenger hunt 'Game of Shrooms' happening this Saturday

Daniel “Attaboy” Seifert is the creator behind “Game of Shrooms.” (Lena Reynoso)

This Saturday, June 11, the world’s mushroom population will grow, thanks to an international art scavenger hunt called “Game of Shrooms.” The game’s design is sweet and simple: participating artists create mushroom-themed art and hide it within their communities, to the delight of local art lovers. High Fructose Magazine co-founder and artist Daniel “Attaboy” Seifert is the creator behind “Game of Shrooms,” and he joined “City Lights” senior producer Kim Drobes via Zoom to talk about this upcoming day of fun with art and fungus. 

Seifert’s mushroom art scavenger hunt has its origins in a somewhat dark place, much like a fungus itself. “I was in the midst of my first-ever depression,” he said. “So I started painting pieces of cardboard and hiding them around, with mushroom themes, wherever I went, and it was kind of a way to kind of change the narrative of my day, I guess you’d say, and create something that was literally a surprise for people when they were looking down.”

Of course, an intriguing idea was bound to attract copycats, and as Seifert’s artwork drew attention, he managed to greet his fans and imitators with sportsmanship. “I started seeing other artists do it, and then my first impulse was to get defensive like most artists do. And then I said, wait a minute. The whole spirit of this thing is to, I don’t know, uplift people to explore art in your community or whatnot. And so I started inviting everybody to do it all in one day.” Now, artists worldwide participate in a yearly shroom art hide-and-seek.

Seifert offered a bit of philosophy on his attraction to the mushroom, and he noted how fungus could transform decaying, dead things into new life. But mushrooms seem to have been a recurring theme in the artist’s life, whose own grandmother grew mushrooms at home and made mushroom-themed art in her ceramics studio. Seifert also admitted, “They’re really easy to paint. No matter what you paint, it kind of looks like a mushroom.” 

Participation in “Game of Shrooms” seems to be as easy as you can imagine; no need to sign up anywhere. Contributing artists range from the prolific and famous to the preschool-aged. Anyone who feels compelled to make a piece of mushroom-themed art can hide it in their neighborhood or anywhere they’d like to plant a discovery for a stranger. 

“I’ve made this map with my friend, Jason, where people can submit their location and their links to their social media, and they can leave hints and clues to where they’re going to be hiding these things,” Seifert said. “What’s great about the map is that people know to look in that area, that there’s a dozen artists, say, in their area.” Seifert also encourages participating artists to go on their own hunts for hidden artwork. “’Cause that’s the other part of it,” he said. “Santa Claus gets to go find their own gifts, too.” 

Anyone interested in contributing or searching can learn more by using the hashtag #gameofshrooms on social media platforms. Seifert will often post artwork from the game using #shroomdrop on Instagram. He has hidden around 150 pieces of his original art for Game of Shrooms and counting. 

“I just kind of wonder what we could find in our own neighborhoods, and that’s important to me. I love when art can change the way you see things every day that you maybe take for granted … You may be living next to an artist and not even know,” Seifert said.