Bra art exhibit supports double-threat fund-raiser

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By Sara Miller

“Psst…your bra strap is showing,” you whisper to your neighbor. Then you realize, that’s not an ordinary bra strap.

You finally find the nerve to ask your friend why she has a black feather boa holding up her over-the-shoulder boulder holder. “Why, it’s to support my Purr-fect Pair,” she replies with a wink.

You shake your head curiously and then realize that this could be you if you bid in the Bra Art online auction to raise money for breast cancer research. 2009 marks the inaugural year for Bra Art, a unique fund-raiser designed to capture the imagination and the hearts of Coloradans. Over 40 artists, celebrities and community leaders created one-of-a-kind bras that will be exhibited and auctioned off as works of art.

The Bra Art exhibit opened on Oct. 2 with a reception at Studios 11 and 12 in the ArtDistrict on Santa Fe in Denver. All of the bras were unveiled that evening and will be on display in seven galleries in the Santa Fe ArtDistrict throughout October.

“The reception was packed. I was amazed at all of the different ideas that people came up with,” said Pat Woodard. Pat and his wife, Anne, are longtime Evergreen residents and created for the auction the Purr-fect Pair bra designed to look like a black cat.

Woodard is the business editor for Newsradio 850 KOA and does freelance television work. Anne Woodard works in the front office at Evergreen Internal Medicine. The Woodards were asked by longtime friend Joni Goheen to create a bra for the event. Goheen’s husband John worked in television with Woodard for many years in Seattle, and they eventually came to Colorado as a photographer/reporter team in the 1980s.

The Goheens created Bra Art to honor their three nieces, all of whom are battling breast cancer and are between the ages of 18 and 22. One niece’s breast cancer fight started when she was 13 years old. The Goheens wanted an event that would honor the positive attitude of their nieces but also help to raise funds for breast cancer research.

“Joni based the event off of a similar one in South Carolina. Let’s just say, it was the second most fun I’ve ever had handling a bra,” said Woodard. “I created the concept, and Anne had the skill to put it together.”

The Woodards found fuzzy black fabric, glass beads and a feather boa to create a quirky cat. The Purr-fect Pair is in good company with other bras such as Twin Peaks, Check Out These Puppies and Boob Tube, a silver bra decorated with computer circuit boards and television parts.

All 43 bras will be sold in an online auction that ends on Nov. 1. All of the profits will be donated to the Denver Metropolitan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Interested bidders can visit www.BraArt.org. Bidders may also visit the bras in person during October. Each individual bra will have a link on the website listing the gallery at which the bra is being displayed.

“The bras look phenomenal on the website, but they are so much more amazing in person. Each one is so multi-dimensional,” said Goheen.

Multi-dimensional is an understatement. Those skiers on Twin Peaks and the pipe cleaner whiskers on Purr-fect Pair probably won’t fit under your most fitted shirt. Is it wearable art? Probably not. Is it art with heart? Definitely. Bra Art is the best excuse for people to be talking about your undergarments. For more information, visit www.BraArt.org.