Photos by Evie Carpenter
By Desirée Toli
Local dietician Monika Woolsey began the collaborative project.
“After 30 years of working as a dietician, it was really starting to burn me out,” Woolsey said. “There are people who could really benefit from my services and deserve them more than those who take them for granted.”
Woolsey asked Medina to create a piece that incorporates a locally grown food. His design is featured on a limited edition, screen-printed, reusable canvas shopping bag sold for $20. Each artist chooses a local organization that will receive one-third of the profit. Medina chose Tumbleweed Youth Development Center to receive this event’s portion of profit and, because of growing up in Bolivia, oranges as his locally grown food.
“I’ve always loved giving, so whenever there’s an opportunity to do so, I’m all on board,” Medina said.
Medina had an idea to do a live mural painting for the bag launch. Woolsey began looking for spaces that would accommodate a mural.
Kate Kunberger, whose home is on West Lynwood Street, jokingly said to Woolsey, “I have a wall he could do, and it’s right behind Vovomeena. Maybe they’ll want to get involved, too.”
Woolsey approached D.J. Fernandes, owner of Vovomeena, and the two collaborated to kick-off the bag launch.
“In Arizona there’s so much waste,” Fernandes said, “and it’s important that we raise awareness not to waste and how to use our available resources.”
Vovomeena catered the bag launch guest with a specialized menu: an orange-themed dinner including a blood orange ‘bevvie’, orange marmalade crostini, blood orange salad, orange adobo pork tenderloin and pound cake with orange flower water whipped cream and orange zest.
The next Hip Veggies event is being planned for April, in which lemons will be the featured produce.
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