Five Questions for 'the artsy Farmer'

By Beth A. Birmingham | Jul 28, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Bonnie Farmer

Most often when one hears of someone trying to make it as an artist the old phrase "starving artist" pops into one's head.

However, for one local artist, who dips her hands into many genres,  that is far from the truth.

Bonnie Farmer, a disc jockey, can be heard on "The Bonnie Farmer Show" Thursday evenings on radio station WRFR. She can be seen at her gallery on South Main Street in Rockland. And, if there is music and dancing to be had, Farmer will be there wearing something stylish along with her big smile.

Farmer moved to Maine more than 30 years ago from her hometown of Champaign, Ill. She is a self-taught photographer who started out doing black and white documentary photography. Now she keeps busy capturing magical wedding moments, creating her 3-D assemblage artwork, and running her own online business.

She took time out to answer these five questions:

How did you get started in photography?

"I just picked up a camera and started shooting. I saw I could do that without an education. I'm a hands-on learner. My father was a printer and my mother was a housewife, but she loved singing and dancing. So I think I got the artsy side from her and the more technical side from him."

How did you learn to be a disc jockey?

"I am passionate about music and I love to dance. It has opened up a whole new world for me. Paul Benjamin had recommended me to someone, and I started with 'Farmer's Got the Blues' about three years ago. Now I have a second show 'The Bonnie Farmer Show.'"

Do you have a favorite photographer you looked up to?

"The Depression era, I think ... Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange. In the early '80s I went into Knox Woolen Mill and VanBaalen's and took black and white photos. I think I felt most comfortable there. Like I was capturing part of history."

What's on your bucket list?

"I feel like I'm finally living my bucket list. Someday when the time is right, I'd like to put together a really big show — a retrospective of my work. I believe what we're going to have in life will come to us."

What is your online business about?

"I buy unusual metal objects and gears from all over. Whatever is very trendy. Then I put together art kits basically that I sell to steampunk jewelry metalsmiths and jewelers to make their own unique jewelry. It kind of ties in with my assemblage work."

If you have a candidate for Five Questions email Beth A. Birmingham at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Wayne Keiderling | Jul 30, 2014 05:42

As a dancer and blues lover I assume you do west coast swing. I seldom can find a west coast swing partner at speak easy or time out.Where do u dance?



Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Jul 29, 2014 05:17

Wow, interesting life! I love it, best of luck in all your endeavours!



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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
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Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 14.

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