- Friday, October 21, 2011, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Three Peaks Grill, 2165 Pine Grove Road, Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs The reason Rebecca Bailey put more than 100 hours into two pieces of furniture artwork this year was a simple one. It was displayed right on one of the Adirondack-style chairs she decorated for this year’s Bust of Steamboat fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
“It’s because of them,” she said, pointing at the photograph of her mother, aunt and grandmother, all of whom were affected by breast cancer.
“This is my past and the past of the event.”
The two chairs were like a functional scrapbook of breast cancer in the Yampa Valley. Bailey — who claims she’s no artist but is on the Breast Cancer Awareness Project committee — decorated the chars with photographs of past Bust of Steamboat art pieces, pictures of local survivors and thank-you notes from those who benefited from the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
The chairs will be auctioned off Friday along with 22 other art pieces to raise money for Northwest Colorado women with breast cancer.
“This year has, by far across the board, the strongest submissions we’ve ever had,” said Debbie Curd, Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project founder. “It’s just one after another, artistic and creative pieces.”
This year’s Bust of Steamboat art exhibition and auction takes place Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Three Peaks Grill. Tickets are $30 per person.
In its 10th year, the event includes unique pieces of art ranging from decorated bras and paintings to lampshades and baked goods. The only thing the pieces have in common is the depiction of a bra or a bust — and usually plenty of pink.
Curd, a Steamboat resident who has seen many women in her life struggle with the disease, launched the volunteer-driven Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project 11 years ago, and Bust of Steamboat became its largest annual fundraiser.
The event will feature a live auction for the one-of-a-kind art items, including a wall-size quilt, a painted Western saddle and a stained-glass window created by Christine Lee and inspired by an illustration by the late Joe Eula.
The Bust pieces are on display this week at banks across Steamboat.
Local photographer Kim Keith’s piece, printed on a silk banner, depicts abstract black and white photographs of women who have had mastectomies.
Among those women showing their vulnerable and scarred sides is Karen Schulman, also a photographer and a 4 1/2-year breast cancer survivor.
But she doesn’t call herself that.
“I would call myself more of an excited-for-life-er,” she said.
When Schulman had breast cancer, she said she received aid from the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
“The Bust of Steamboat is very important,” she said. “When I was in treatment, I had to live in Golden, and they helped in a small way pay for that.
“It all goes to a good cause, and it goes to help people who can’t afford mammograms and things like that.”
Since last year’s Bust of Steamboat, the organization has doled out $32,800 in funds for local women fighting breast cancer. Of that, $15,000 went to help pay for mammograms and diagnostics, and $12,800 went to help patients with treatments, including support for gas money to get to Vail or Denver. The rest went toward wigs, prostheses and alternative treatments like acupuncture.
Curd said that while Bust of Steamboat once raised $45,000, the group is aiming for $35,000 this year.
Every little bit helps, she said, because during a recession, requests for funding go up.
“The last couple years have been smaller amounts, but the whole point is that whatever we can raise, we give back to the community,” Curd said. “Whatever we can bring in, we’re going to turn around and give it back.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com