Looking back on the Homegrown Festival


One of my favourite illustration projects was for the Homegrown Festival which ran from 2008-2016, in Ann Arbor, MI. A “ grassroots community celebration of locally grown food, drink, music and fun”, it was part food security mission, part Dionysian kickoff that took place over one September weekend in the historic Kerrytown market.

In 2010, I was asked to produce a logo for the festival. Inspired by the diner placemats I had seen on my many road trips, I created the Michigan Food Map which featured county specialties from rhubarb in Detroit to celery in Kalamazoo. In the creative process, I learned a lot about the state’s rich agricultural history.  The Michigan map was used for all festival branding until 2016 when the Homegrown Festival celebrated its last. 

First produced in black and white, my colour version, along with other original images - from peas to bees -were featured on t-shirts, posters, buttons and programs by other graphic artists. The collaboration and the festival was a ton of fun. But like all good things it came to pass, and now exists only in collective memory, forged friendships and a few well worn t-shirts.