Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

All images

©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Harry gets invited to his first gallery opening


Polly singing to our animals with the Hospice Choir

Polly is on the left, singing with The Hospice Choir that came to Apifera to sing to all the animals. It was such a special day.

Harry will be present at the afternnoon reception for our Apifera friend/volunteer Polly Steadman's art show in Damariscotta in May. He is unsure what to wear to such an event.

Polly was one of my first volunteers here, helping me with the Opie Love Mobile and Harry Window Walks. She has been present to witness the beautiful connections the animals have made at Cove's Edge and elsewhere, has supported our fundraiser and our mission. We were so sad to hear she is facing a huge challenge-lung cancer.

But in true Polly form, she is having a series of art sales and all proceeds will be given to Apifera. I am beyond humbled and touched. Her art will be showcased this month at Savory Maine in Damariscotta and on May 26th Harry will attend the final day reception. I also hope to take Harry to visit Polly while she resides at a care facility during her treatments.

Here is the press release for her show written by Grace of Savory Maine who is a long time friend of Polly's:

Savory Maine, dining & provisions will host an exhibit and sale of the paintings of Damariscotta artist Polly Steadman from May 7 until May 26. The public is invited to an closing reception on Wednesday May 26 from 2-4pm. Sweet treats, savory appetizers, wine and refreshing beverages will be served.

Polly was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last year and has been undergoing treatment. The reception will be a wonderful opportunity for her many friends and fellow artists to visit with her & wish her well. 

The paintings can be bought any time during the show for the listed price or a bid can be placed in a silent auction for the paintings. Bids will be accepted through 3:30pm on May 26, the day of the reception. The highest bidder on each painting will be fortunate to go home with a piece of wonderful art. The paintings can be viewed during Savory Maine’s regular business hours which are from 12-7pm Friday through Monday. Savory Maine is located at 11 Water St. in Damariscotta. The entrance is on the lower level facing theDamariscotta River.

 The sale & silent auction is a benefit for Apifera Farm. Polly was a volunteer and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Farm.

Apifera Farm is a non profit in Bremen, Maine. Pronounced App-a-fair’-a , the farm provides forever sanctuary to elder and needy animals, but they also share the animals with the elder community through on site visits and by having elder groups come to the farm. Harry the llama has been making visits to Coves Edge and elsewhere for a couple years and when Covid hit, he began doing window walks to bring cheer. Opie the goat was also one of the farm's ambassadors. Through the winter Covid months, a Facetime Friday was held weekly, and a 'mystery guest' was brought into the farm house to Facetime with Cove's Edge residents in lockdown- sometimes it was Harry the llama, or a donkey, a goose, or a goat.
Recently the farm has been having residents of Lincoln Home come to brush the horses and ponies.

Katherine Dunn is an artist and writer, and along with her husband Martyn, own and operate the farm. Katherine has always had empathy for elders be it animal or human and she feels elders are often invisible to society. She also believes the animal visits provide two important things-the benefits of touch for both animal and human, and that animals help bring out story sharing among the elder people. Polly Steadman has volunteered with Apifera on many visits including the initial Harry the llama window walks to Cove's Edge and she also helped with in person visits with Opie the goat and Bear the pup. Polly has a huge spot in all the hearts past and present at Apifera! You can read more stories about Apifera and support them at apiferafarm.blogspot. com. Apifera Farm is not open to the public but instead focuses on
making visits to elder homes and working with care managers. Harry the llama will be present at the reception.

Polly has been “doing art” for fun as far back as she can remember. For years she tried to draw and paint what she saw as accurately as possible, resulting in stiff, colorless works. Over 30 years ago she learned the wet-on-wet technique for painting in oils and has been exploring, discovering, and honing ever since.The composition is usually unplanned at the outset and takes shape as her brushstrokes - long and strong or short, light and quick - blend blobs of color placed randomly on the canvas,while forms and themes emerge. Then the artist’s eye guides the flow of the design to the finished work that is a unique convergence of intellect and emotion. Polly admits, “To be honest, I never appreciated abstract art much. But when I can, somehow, blend the paint into and over the colors while seas and skies and magic planes
emerge, it excites me. There is a point, after an hour or two, when the oil paint sets itself up to be able to be pulled over the undercolors - and that’s when the excitement begins for me. That’s when the refinement of composition and color begin - as well as the real fun." She finds the process itself exciting and liberating – and each time an exploration into the unknown. Painting for her changed from a pleasing challenge to a passionate adventure. The first exhibit at Savory Maine ten years’s ago was of Polly’s paintings. Every six weeks there after Polly organized all of the art shows at the restaurant. She communicated with the artists, wrote the press releases, made the posters, sent out e-mails & hung & took down the shows. She did all of this with good cheer. Savory Maine will be closing some time this
year. The date is still uncertain. The restaurant open for takeout & outside dining only. This will be the last art exhibit at Savory Maine. Grace Goldberg, who is Savory Maine’s owne says. “It feels so appropriate that the first show and the last show be of Polly’s work. Polly is a dear, dear friend. It will feel great to be surrounded by her vibrant paintings while I am cooking.”

In the coastal Maine art community, Polly has shown frequently at the Boothbay Region Arts Foundation as well as at River Arts in Damariscotta. She is also an active member of a cooperative group known as the Saltwater Artists Gallery in New Harbor. Polly grew up in New Hampshire, received her BA in Psychology at Skidmore College in New York, and has lived in Maine for over 40 years.

For many years Polly volunteered at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and sang and danced with Hearts Ever Young. She was also a member of the Homeward Bound Hospice Choir. For further information please contact Grace Goldberg at Savory Maine 563-2111 or e-mail her at gracehgoldberg@hotmail.com.