When local dietician Monika Woolsey announced the launch of her latest creative food/arts project, eye candy was to be expected.
Woolsey is a co-organizer of Get Your PHX/Phoestivus holiday markets, Director of Marketing for Chow Locally, and founder of a hormone health organization called inCYST, which focuses on treating hormone disorders with food and complementary medicine.
She describes Hip Veggies as an educational partnership between the local arts and food communities and a creative way to showcase fruits and vegetables: "I've always believed that one big reason people don't eat more fruits and vegetables is that their growers do not have the marketing budgets of other foods."
Enter local artists. The project utilizes food- and health-related artwork from Phoenix-based creatives including Sebastien Millon, Christine Cassano, Joe Ray, Hugo Medina, Marissa Hall, Gennaro Garcia, and Rafael Navarro on limited-edition, screenprinted canvas bags.
The first run is a design by Sebastien Millon, which includes one of his signature illustrated characters, Little Owlie, wearing large headphones plugged into a large beet.
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"Owlie has loved fat beets ever since he was a wee little baby owlie," says Millon. "He was first introduced to the fat beet by Grandmaster MC Flashy Flash Owlie who dropped the fattest beets on the scene, and ever since that moment Owlie has loved fat beets ... Anyhow, I personally eat a lot of beets and love them. They're one of my staple foods."
Woolsey says each bag is $20 and included in the purchase is also a pamphlet with info about each artist and recipes using the represented food item. Other designs will be released as soon as she can process the pre-orders and one third of each bag's purchase will be donated to local food banks.
The bags are currently available for preorder on the Hip Veggies website.