Now that I’m well into my boomer years, I find myself looking for ways to make my dollars do more than just buy stuff. So I was intrigued when I heard that Whole Foods Market® stores in Chicago are making it easy to multitask my purchases. And it’s only for this week until December 31, so get right to it if you’re interested.
Known for its organic foods and attention to the environment, Whole Foods has designated certain Chicago locations to participate in a week-long promotion to support local artists and charities by selling one-of-a-kind canvas bags created by five well-known Chicago artists. Each $10 collectable bag depicts one of the Market’s celebration products: chocolate truffles, brie cheese, champagne, grapes and lobster. Proceeds of all bags sold will go to the local nonprofit organization selected by that artist.
Look for your bag(s) at the following Whole Foods Chicago locations: South Loop, Halsted, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Sauganash and Lakeview. They sell one bag on each of the five days, and each store gets only 100 bags each day. So if you get there early and shop every day you can buy five different ones.
It’s always nice to tell the grandchildren when they see you with something new that you also contributed to a good cause when you bought it. Never hurts to reinforce that idea with them.
About the Artists:
Jay Ryan: Chicago native Jay Ryan has been making screen-printed concert posters in Chicago since 1995. He has worked with hundreds of bands, including Andrew Bird, the Flaming Lips, the Decemberists, Shellac, Fugazi, Jeff Tweedy and the Melvins. Jay’s work has been noted for its muted colors, mischievous household objects and concerned animal characters.
· Lurie Children’s Hospital: Lurie Children’s Hospital works to provide superior care to the region’s most critically ill and injured children. They are an innovative and family-centered environment providing kids with access to the best in pediatric medicine and research – top pediatric specialists, advanced treatments and the latest technologies.
Uriel Correa: Uriel Correa is a Chicago-based artist who works primarily (for the moment) with acrylic and paint pen. Correa’s work is a conglomerate of blurred brushstrokes, frenzied line work and eye-popping color contrast that at first glance may seem aggressive and completely off the cuff. Upon closer inspection, one can see concentrated areas of detail that have a very romantic, nostalgic quality to them.
· Night Ministry: The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. With an open heart and an open mind, they accept people as they work to address their immediate physical, emotional and social needs while affirming their sense of humanity.
Diana Sudyka: Diana Sudyka is a Chicago illustrator and printmaker. Her printmaking background includes working as a master intaglio printer for Chicago print studios Big Cat Press and Landfall (now in Santa Fe, NM), as well as creating screen-printed rock posters for artists such as Andrew Bird, Feist and The Decemberists. Currently, she’s a freelance illustrator, working on projects that range from album artwork to book covers including The New York Times-bestselling series Mysterious Benedict Society.
· First Slice: First Slice funds its efforts with a “shareholders program,” with some 100 subscriber families receiving home-cooked, restaurant-quality meals weekly. Funds from those subscriptions are used to make the same quality meals for people in need. Community volunteers, working with First Slice staff, often serve more than 300 needy and homeless people each week through several social service organizations, such as Streetwise. In the past several years, a small job training program has also been added.
Cody Hudson: Cody Hudson is a Chicago-based artist and graphic designer who also works under the name Struggle Inc. Known for his production of clean, multidimensional graphics, Cody’s design aesthetic is part urban modernism and part organic visual deconstruction. His graphic work and paintings have been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), New Image Art (LA), Rocket Gallery (Tokyo), The Lazy Dog (Paris), and Andrew Rafacz (Chicago). Cody’s work has also been featured in numerous magazines and publications, including idN, Elephant, Arkitip and Anthem & Juxtapoz.
· 826CHI: 826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students 6- 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Their services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind, they provide drop-in tutoring, after-school workshops, field trips, in-school tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications.
Delicious Design League: Delicious Design League was started in Chicago, Illinois, in 2006 by two friends: Jason Teegarden-Downs and Billy Baumann. With over 10 years in the ad biz, they started “Delicious” simply as a rock poster design/screen printing hobby, but by 2008 it had quickly grown into a fulltime design and illustration studio. Over that span, they went from designing rock posters for little-known bands to designing and illustrating for some of the most recognizable brands in the world. When asked about the secret to their success, they responded “for every client, big or small, we strive to create the most insightful, well-crafted and uncompromising work that we can.”
· Purple Asparagus: Purple Asparagus educates children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet. They bring delicious, nutritious hands-on adventures to schools, community organizations and farmers’ markets throughout Chicagoland.