Fungus Foam Mushrooms
Spray Foam Magazine – Fall 2022 – Artist Aleisha Prather’s nickname is “Swiss Army Art Girl,” suggesting that no medium is out of her grasp. As a sculpture artist, she specializes in fantasy works inspired by nature and the alluring history of fairies. She utilizes every aspect of creativity to execute her concepts, tapping into her knowledge of drawing, painting, wood carpentry, metal fabrication, electrical engineering and lately, spray foam insulation.
Growing up in an artistic family, Prather has been fortunate to learn many ways of being creative. From baking with her grandma, scrapbooking with aunts, and welding race cars with her father. It’s this resourcefulness along with her ability to investigate and use a diverse array of materials that paved the way to her discovering spray foam.
When first experimenting with foam, the artist tried Total Boat 2 Part polyurethane foam with as Prather said, “Not so manageable results.” The flotation foam is mainly used for marine applications and reaches full expansion in about five minutes and can be poured in multiple layers with bonding between those layers. However, the pour-in-place was not suitable for this project. Prather was on the hunt for something a little more manageable. She soon discovered Great Stuff and said “Spray foam really was the perfect solution. I needed a material that was versatile and could organically capture the shape of the mushroom while remaining durable to the harsh elements of outdoors.” This installation was part of the immersive art experience at Hulaween Music Festival 2017-2021, as well as festivals like: the Brainquility Music Festival 2019, Orange Blossom Jamboree Music Fest 2019, and Palm Harbor Cultural Center Black Light Show 2019. These mushrooms will also be on display during her solo exhibit along with Space Log, a six-ft Kaleidoscope log suspended in space with a fractal glowing star scape within.
Spray foam was the perfect solution for this artistic project because it is versatile and organically captures the shape of the mushroom while remaining durable to the harsh elements of outdoors.
From the mountains of Arkansas, Prather relocated to Saint Petersburg, Florida where she graduated from USF in 2017. Her art has appeared at numerous art and music festivals and most notably was featured as an emerging artist at The Dali Museum for the Dali Dozen 2018 and Ringling Underground 2019. She also retained real world experience creating large scale public art sculptures under the tutelage of Mark Aeling at MGA Sculpture 2017-2021.
Prather is currently focusing on her own creative growth as a self-employed artist specializing in sculpture and transformative space while continuing to grow her business. The use of materials like spray foam has enabled this artist to achieve her desired results, leaving not mush’room for anything but creativity and excellence.
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