Arts and Entertainment

Art show is a bust

Artist Dogpaw Design’s cement, wood and barbed wire brassiere, titled “Now Implosion,” doubles as the Kingdome. - ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Photo
Artist Dogpaw Design’s cement, wood and barbed wire brassiere, titled “Now Implosion,” doubles as the Kingdome.
— image credit: ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Photo

Victoria has no secrets at “The Bra Show.”

It’s lingerie for laughs – though the fund-raising is serious – as videographers film artists’ witty mammary make-overs on Bainbridge June 8.

“The Bra Show” was conceived by Seattle sisters Patti and Ellen Southard in 1998 after they lost a close friend to breast cancer. The series of shows, which feature creative renditions of breasts auctioned off to benefit the Breast Cancer Network, has been held in Washington State and Montana venues.

“It began as a creative project that would help those of us who have lost family and friends to this horrific disease,” Patti Southard said.

In the first year, the Southards received 57 pieces of art which were dedicated to 79 women living with or lost to cancer.

The art ranges from wild to wacky, with offerings that range from a pair of breasts depicted as the Kingdome before and after implosion to lacquered coconut shells to a Picassoid collage with hinged breast that opens to reveal the Cubist rendition of a heart.

“The Bra Show” organizers hosted six weeks of free events to kick off their first campaign, including seven fashion shows for breast cancer survivor groups and the general public. The artworks were shown not only in art galleries, but in community centers, oncology and mammography clinics and clothing boutiques throughout Puget Sound.

“On the final day of our six-week celebration, the bras were auctioned,” Southard said, “raising $25,000.”

The group also established a permanent collection of brassiere sculptures.

Fashions filmed

Since then, the group has disseminated information packets to women in homeless shelters and established a program to pair five-year cancer survivors with women who are newly diagnosed with the disease.

Now, the documentary film will help the word spread further, Patti Southard said.

The film will not only document the artworks, but will record how artists, volunteers and audiences have been affected by “The Bra Show.”

“We hope people will support the film so we can make the film and distribute it nationwide,” said Southard.

Bainbridge film-makers Ann Mendenhall with Steven Stolee and Tom Fowler, who have been taping at the Seattle events, will continue filming the short documentary on Bainbridge at the June 8 closed event.

“Since the art show is held in a private home, we can’t invite the public to the auction,” Southard said, “but the way to participate is to help make the film.”

* * * * *

“The Bra Show” – will be distributed internationally to benefit the Breast Cancer Network. Information: 329-5387 or

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