As we researched this piece, we realized that we've been denying ourselves the divine pleasure of a snazzy new bra for some time now. Sure, it may be hidden beneath clothing (Just say "No" to the exposed bra strap. Seriously.), but a really swell bra can make a girl feel confident, sassy, pretty and, most important, well-supported. One of the most feminine parts of a woman is her breasts. They nourish, they cradle and they create the curves that separate the women from the boys.
Having such an obvious part threatened by a disease like cancer is mind-blowing. But imagine having that threat become reality, perhaps even having to lose one or both breasts. Self-identity (even though we've all been told "beauty is within") is hobbled, and self-esteem is typically lost. Enter yet again the power of a bra. Post-mastectomy varieties can bring back the shape, the confidence and the nerve lost. They can provide a mental boost until reconstructive surgery is possible. Protesters used to burn them, but we think those contraptions of satin and wire are pretty damn empowering.
Curator Junanne Peck agrees, and has for quite a while. The Dance of Life exhibition is the third event she's organized to benefit Cancer Care Services, Faces of Survivors and Do it for me, Mom, all cancer-related organizations. Earlier this summer, Peck sent out a call to artists for embellished bras and related art that she could form into a benefit exhibit culminating in an auction of the artwork, with proceeds going to the three supportive organizations. Local and international artists responded, and the show features more than 200 decorated bras and works of art, just waiting for charitable bids.
The show begins Saturday with an early viewing and visit from guest artist George Yepes. Yepes, whose murals and painting may be familiar to those who have seen the cover of Los Lobos' La Pistola El Corazon, will present a slide show of his George Yepes' Chicano Vision works. He will also offer a painting demonstration and sign posters of his works. Live entertainment will close the opening celebration, and attendees can begin to ruminate on which bust to bid on and just how much dough to stash in their bras until the auction.