When the temperature dropped below thirty degrees, the evening after Thanksgiving, Grind House Cafe and Baltimore Vegan Drinks provided a warm welcome for enthusiastic participants in Art for Animals, a fundraiser for Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary and Eco- Retreat.
The Grind House Café and Juice Bar at 2431 St. Paul Street hosted the event. Nine artists donated their work to raise money for the sanctuary. The show was organized by Vegan Drinks founders Nathaniel Corn and Rissa Miller, who also contributed their artwork. Miller and Corn are owners of certified green business Balance Photography.
Burleigh Manor is owned by Dr. Lisa M. Davis, who gave up her role as Vice President of Scientific and Clinical Affairs at Medifast to run the sanctuary as a nonprofit with her father. As a scientist who earned a doctorate degree in Human Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University, Davis still works as a consultant part-time.
Davis grew up on a farm. “It’s just in my blood to care for animals,” she said. She and her parents were searching for land, when her mother passed away. Initially, Davis and her father were going to take a break from their quest when they suddenly came across Burleigh Manor.
It was too good a chance to pass up. Now they own ten acres where they care for rescued farm animals in Ellicott City. Older people and their families often call Davis when they can no longer care for their livestock or pets. A variety of animals live on the farm.
“We have a thoroughbred, a donkey and a cat that all came together,” Davis said.
The farm also provides a home for goats, which Davis says are surprisingly picky eaters, especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
Maybe that’s why the goats stayed home Friday night, instead of attending the vegan art show themselves. Normally, the goats follow Davis everywhere, she says. Not only do they get in the car with her, she continues, “they get on the car.”
Davis drives an electric car in order to keep the sanctuary as eco-friendly as possible. The property is solar powered and use of rock salt is employed for vegetation management. Rain catchers are used for water conservation. Table scraps and barn waste are composted.
Burleigh Manor, constructed in 1802, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The property’s original Federal-style manor house, stone smokehouse, gatehouse, 1940s bath house and wine cellar still exist.
Davis rents out space for birthday parties, meetings and retreats at Burleigh Manor. Tours of the sanctuary can be scheduled, as well.
Art for Animals raised $300 from close to seventy patrons who enjoyed kale salad, sandwiches, quinoa sushi as well as herbal-infused organic vodka and raw chocolate mousse.
After the sale of three pieces of artwork, the total amount raised jumped to $600 .
Lucky raffle winners got to take home a cookbook and everyone got a recipe for Pineapple and Cucumber Gazpacho, Raw Zucchini Hummus, Roasted Chick Peas and Sweet Potato Salad.
Art for Animals will be on display at the Grind House until March 1.