Referencing the interconnected web of mycelium, SPORE Projects provides opportunities for people to interact in real-time through what makes us intrinsically human- our creativity and desire for connection with each other and the natural world. Spore Projects and the Wild Seed Field Musuem are closely intertwined with the creative practices of community artist and citizen scientist, Emily Hemeyer.
A lifelong nature enthusiast, Emily's reverence for the outdoors began with her family. From an early age, she danced in the rain munching on fresh green beans from her mother's garden with bare feet caked in mud. Some of her earliest memories are hunting for squirrels with her dad and brother on Spencer Acres, the Hemeyer family's multi-generational farm in Ralls County, Missouri. Emily's mother's family are German Ozarkians with generations of family in Osage County, Missouri. Grandma Bets (Thoenen) was a prolific quilter and crafter who lived her entire life in Osage County on a farm where she raised Emily's mother and her 9 siblings. Traditional skills and food, craft, and foraging have always been a part of life.
Since 2005, Emily has lived in St Louis, Missouri. With a teaching artist and public practice career 20 years rich, Emily has worked with numerous schools, museums, and organizations in St Louis and throughout the US. Her longest running relationship is with Artscope, where she has worked in many roles including artist-in-residence, program director, summer camp director, and lead teacher. Other partnerships and teaching engagements have included the St Louis County Library System, St Louis Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis Art Museum, Public Art St Paul in Minnesota, Metro Theater Company, Maypop Garden Center, Milque Toast Restaurant, Florida Earthskills Gathering, the City of St Louis, Columbia Art League, the Community Arts Training Program, Columbia Montessori, Morningside Community School, True False Film Festival, New City School, Soulard School, Eagle Academy, Whippoorwill Festival, and more.
In 2004, Emily earned a BFA in Fibers and Photography at the University of Missouri, Columbia. During her studies, she spent a semester abroad at the Aegean Center for Fine Arts in Paros, Greece. A life-long learner, she continues to attend workshops and learn through skillshare gatherings and folk school workshops. She's currently a MAT (Science) Graduate Fellow with Project Dragonfly through Miami University, Ohio. Her cohort is with the Missouri Botanical Gardens. She is a graduate of the St Louis Regional Arts Commission's Community Arts Training Institute and a Tiger Community Arts Graduate Fellow. She was a Community of Practice Fellow through Artscope with STEM STL and earned a yoga teaching certification with Urban Breath Yoga in St Louis.
Emily has conducted independent research in the Ozarks, Appalachia, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, California, Costa Rica, and Northern Minnesota. Focusing primary on mycology and ethnobotany. These studies have spanned a decade, leading to the development of the Wild Seed Feild Museum. Emily is a member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) and the Missouri Mycological Society (MOMS) where she leds forays and workshops.
With Climate Change at the forefront of consciousness, she seeks to find new ways to engage the masses as we consider not only the value of what we are losing but also that of our relationship to the land and each other.
The Wild Seed Field Museum is a mobile museum and curriculum series rooted in ecology, traditional craft/skills, sustainability, and the natural world. Ongoing classes in the St Louis area include homeschool nature immersion workshops, exploratory hikes, and a free lecture series at the St Louis County Library. The mobile museum frequently travels to festivals and events throughout the country.
Wild Seed Research is a Community Science modality of gathering specimens, data, and observations. Over the past decade, Emily has frequented several bio-regions of the US researching fungi, flora, and fauna with ethnobotanical uses including craft, medicinal uses, and for food. This research along with relationships with area experts has informed class curriculum and exhibits within the mobile museum. Current research includes ongoing study at Spencer Acers, building a database on Midwestern dye fungi, and a mobile field research program.
ST LOUIS ROOTS: CHEROKEE STREET, CRANKY YELLOW, & WOUNDED BIRD
SPORE Project's incarnation was connected to the root systems of other creative endeavors sprouting around Cherokee Street and St Louis in the Mid-2000s. SPORE's first public project was a conceptual pop-up clothing store dubbed Wounded Bird in the back of the first location of the infamous Cranky Yellow at 2212 Cherokee. Wounded Bird contained imperfect vintage garments, sold as-is with the likes of "Dreadful Dove Dresses" and "Sickly Starling Skirts". A mending station sat near the entrance with several sewing machines available for public use. In the spirit of reuse and conscious consumerism, customers were encouraged to alter their wares. The decor of Wounded Bird featured installations from "Melancholia" an all-girl group exhibition curated by Cate Anevski.
In Flesh We Build (2008-2014): http://infleshwebuild.blogspot
Spore Projects Blog (2009-2017): https://sporeprojects.blogspot.com/
These blogs serve as photo documentation, archive, and reflections on SPORE Project events, Cherokee Street, St Louis, and Emily's creative life during this era.
The cover page of this website is an ode to David Wolk/Cranky Yellow- one of SPORE's earliest collaborators.