This painting by local artist and Steamboat Tattoo owner Neil Downs is one of 17 works depicting a bra or bust that will be up for auction at the eighth annual Bust of Steamboat, a benefit for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project. Downs said his painting, on display at Vectra Bank downtown, is inspired by art owned by the Gossard family.

Photo by John F. Russell

This painting by local artist and Steamboat Tattoo owner Neil Downs is one of 17 works depicting a bra or bust that will be up for auction at the eighth annual Bust of Steamboat, a benefit for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project. Downs said his painting, on display at Vectra Bank downtown, is inspired by art owned by the Gossard family.

Bust of Steamboat to kick off its 8th year

Art auction and event helps fund exams, breast cancer services

Video

Bust of Steamboat

Help fight breast cancer by participating in the 8th annual Bust of Steamboat.  Debbie Curd chats with Harper Louden about this event happening at 5pm on Friday October 30th at Three Peaks Grill.

Help fight breast cancer by participating in the 8th annual Bust of Steamboat. Debbie Curd chats with Harper Louden about this event happening at 5pm on Friday October 30th at Three Peaks Grill.

If you go

What: Eighth annual Bust of Steamboat, presented by the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Three Peaks Grill, 2165 Pine Grove Road

Cost: $30; tickets available at All That Jazz and Epilogue Book Co.

Call: Debbie Curd at 846-5696,

All That Jazz at 879-4422 or Epilogue at 879-2665

Online: See busts from 2003 to 2008 here.

For the past three years, the Bustsellers book club has contributed a decorated, themed shelf filled with donated books to the annual Bust of Steamboat.

Following the rule laid out by Bust of Steamboat organizers - make something that includes some depiction of a bra or a bust - Bustsellers members have done a collage called "The Bustseller" and a patriotic one called "Supporting America."

The group's 2009 contribution, "Back to Basics or Bust," will be up for auction with 16 other locally crafted pieces at this year's Bust of Steamboat. Presented by the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, the eighth annual Bust of Steamboat auction is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Three Peaks Grill. Tickets are $30 and are available in advance at All That Jazz and Epilogue Book Co.

Proceeds from event tickets, $1 votes for favorite bust, merchandise and auction items including a season ski pass help provide services for women in Routt and Moffat counties, event organizer Debbie Curd said.

In the past year, the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project has spent $34,000 to help local women get mammograms, biopsies, annual exams and cancer support services such as wigs, insurance payments and child care assistance, Curd said.

In 2008, the project donated $15,000 toward the purchase of digital mammography equipment at Yampa Valley Medical Center. The hospital auxiliary group holds an open house for that equipment from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at YVMC.

The Bustsellers' "Back to Basics or Bust" is an antique breadbox stocked with donated titles from Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. A clothesline of bras is painted on a ceramic canister on top of the breadbox, said Denise Gardner, book club member and breast cancer survivor. Gardner was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and finished treatment in spring 2006.

Her book club's nine members got involved in the Bust of Steamboat in 2007 after talking about their appreciation for the event's help with "the day-to-day process of getting through breast cancer," Gardner said.

"It takes a tremendous amount of resources of people and time and money to get through a breast cancer treatment," she said.

Curd founded the volunteer-run Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project in 2000. Bust of Steamboat came along in 2001.

"I lost a close friend to breast cancer after a six-year battle," Curd said. "I could see how much she spent and how difficult it was and decided to take some of that emotion and apply it and use it toward something constructive."

The art auction's one rule leaves room for creativity. Through the years, Curd has seen busts in paintings, photos, jewelry, metal, chocolate and clothing from local business, as well as artists sponsored by businesses.

"It just keeps morphing. We just have that one rule, and it kind of takes on its own life," Curd said. Several of this year's pieces are on display at local banks; "Back to Basics or Bust" is at Vectra Bank on Resort Drive.

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