Sunday, October 25, 2009

boise state women's center bra project 2009

last friday was the sixth annual bra project put on by the women's center. this year proceeds went to st. luke's MSTI mammography fund for uninsured and underinsured idaho women. i don't know how much money was raised, but it seemed quite successful.

the format was both silent and live auction--31 pieces in the silent auction and 18 peices that were either carried around or modeled for the live auction. i was not expecting my sock monkeys to be part of the live auction, but there they were...

the crowd went wild when radica and doodica hit the runway. lindsey (who works in the women's center) said they'd had it on display, and everyone who came in made a big fuss about it. someone else from the women's center asked if i'd be willing to make another one for her to buy. after the auction a writer from the arbiter interviewed me about my "inspiration"--it was so cute.
the bidding started at $70 but didn't stay there long--paddles were waving all over the place, i think it was the most active bidding of the night. i was absolutely flabbergasted by how much money it ended up going for: $190! one hundred ninety goddamn dollars for something that cost maybe ten bucks and took six or seven hours to put together. the only live auction bra that went for a higher bid was woman-of-steel zella bardsley's metal masterpiece, "heavy duty bra":
which took in about $25 more. it's a total work of art.

my knitted bra was in the live auction as well, bringing in $50 (about average for the live auction ones). i thought it looked really nice on the model, she wore it well.
i'm completely thrilled to have been able to help raise $240 for such a great cause...i wish boise had more community art projects for charity. i wish the mend project would throw another recycled toy event, but i don't know if mend is even around anymore, their website has vanished and i haven't heard anything.

^"beautiful" by ginger vogt.

^this is "hooters" by fran finkbeiner. i met fran at the women's day poetry reading last march. she wrote a long, funny story about the hooters using more boob-related puns than i could count.

^"the beauty in beads" by esther ceja. some jerk in the audience shouted out that he would bid if the model came with the bra on this one...rocci johnson was emceeing this year and she made a joke out of it, but if that had happened last year when mel wintrow (my gender studies prof last semester) was hosting, she would have totally said something about how inappropriate and stupid that was (but in much more tolerant, "i'm-trying-to-educate-you" words than i just used).

^this bra was called "no war in MY rack!", by brandi benson, made out of the artist's old military uniform.

^"save second base" by brandi benson.

^"innocence" by brandi benson.

^"june is busting out all over" by christine howard.

"bra-barella and/or metal form" by kay seurat. i love this one. the artist photoshopped the bra into a couple of old movie posters for barbarella. this bra was bought by the person modeling it.

"tickled pink" by kay coughran.

"flowers, buttons and bows" by sarah crawford.

and now the silent auction pieces...

^bethany and sienna's bra totally should have been in the live auction, since it's wearable and awesome...but some lucky bidder got it for a steal at $15.

speaking of being way undervalued, this magnificent piece ("heirloom" by janie gates) went for only about $20. it looks like the artist constructed it entirely from scratch. the artist statement mentions tatting, so i assume she even tatted the lacework. i came very, very close to bidding on this one but i really didn't want to spend any money, and i didn't know what i would do with it if i bought it.

as usual, a lot of artists got extremely creative with their materials. this is "better than chocolate," a bra cake by amanda peña.

^"white orchid acrylic dimples," by ashley kennedy, made out of the dry paint from a tray liner.

^"growth" by paige weber. when i first caught a glimpse of this one at the women's center i thought it was made out of wood, but it's actually a pair of painted ribbon spools. very clever.

^"straining out breast cancer" by alan beckett.

^"it's not all black and white" by julie gerrard. the artist wove this fabric herself.

^"fischertechnic" by richard mussler-wright, made out of "a common children's manipulative found in germany" called fischertechnic. in the artist statement he writes:
Fischertechnik is a hobbyist manipulative used to design manufacturing and robotic systems. It tends to be very functional in form. Most Fischertechnik components are limited to red and black colors, and there are few decorative components. The bra calls attention to the sometimes indifferent and mechanical ways we look at breast cancer, forgetting the person inside.

^another of my favorites, "wooden this be luverly" by sandra schow. the artist statement is very clever as well, advertising the features:
Hefty wooden half-cup assures great support for the full-figured woman. Rigid material will not sag or slip. Wooden band definitely will not roll. Eliminates embarassing nipple show-through. Promotes excellent posture. Not least, a bra should be beautiful. What better than a lovely natural wood-grain finish, with delightfully feminine scalloped trim on the front of the cup and attractive brass detailing.
^"mardi party" by chris zahn. intentional avoidance of obvious pun "mardi bra"?

^"support" by rita abraham.

^"women of hope, courage and strength" by sarah crawford.

^"boise state broncos" by sarah crawford. i thought this one was truly hideous. it looks like it should be hanging in someone's RV at a tailgating party.

^"unyielding construction" by kyla heller.

^"american beauty" by the prolific brandi benson. i think she made a total of five bras. most of her artist statements have to do with something awfully depressing, like having cancer twice, her daughter dying at three months old, fighting in iraq... intense.

^"beauty" by adriane bang. she's the current director of the women's center, and she made a bunch of bras--seven total. most of them were little polymer clay pieces.

^"cowgirl up" by bonnie patrick.

^"groovy for your boobie" by lindsey evans and katherine mills.


Frannie said...

Hi. I enjoyed your blog on the Bra Project. I'm sorry that I don't remember meeting you at the poetry reading, but I wish I did.

be said...

the lady who made the cowgirl up bra, bonnie patrick, was my doula at turi's birth!!!