Magical Mushroom Garden

DATES: Entire Festival, February 3 – 11, 2023

STARTS: 6:30 pm
ENDS: 9:30 pm

The Thomas family is best known for their “JuggleMania” circus performances but they also dabble in genetic experimentation. Their best work is 2 sisters who enjoy sculpting giant mushrooms and sewing inflatable tardigrades. Add a Mom who upscales morels and a Dad who wanted to be a Dung Beetle for Hallowe’en and you end up with a Magical Mushroom Garden in the Cully neighborhood.

The mushrooms started when Izzy Thomas sculpted giant slugs for a Lewis & Clark College installation then turned to ‘shroom shapes. Made with up-cycled materials where possible, the mushrooms are mostly plastic sheeting and box tape. Maria Thomas added mouth watering Morels lit with repurposed juggling props. The other lights are Christmas leftovers and scrounged glow toys.

The Tardigrades were designed and sewn by Matilda Thomas because … WaterBears! They have blowers and “miasmic” lights rigged by Rhys Thomas. Matilda sells a “Sew Your Own” pattern at

Dung Beetles are a metaphor for our times. That’s how they roll. Rhys Thomas’ Dung Beetle is a fiberglass carapace mounted on a backpack frame and paired with sewn legs. It’s snuggled-up to a 5′ tall dung ball that some might mistake for a giant beachball covered with coffee sacks and lit with another “miasmic” light.

Last year attracted over 1,000 visitors to Portland’s most diverse neighborhood. Come see what’s new.