Bust of Steamboat returns | SteamboatToday.com

Bust of Steamboat returns

Luke Graham

— Sandy Graves always starts with an emotion or what she calls an attitude.

From there, the ideas flow, and the bronze statues start to take shape.

Although her normal work deals with wildlife, Graves’ life-long techniques again will be on display at the 12th annual Bust of Steamboat.

After winning “Bust of Show” in 2012, Graves crafted a torso titled “Offering” for this year’s fundraiser.

“In this case, it was about being a women and being proud of that,” she said of the emotion that inspired her latest creation. “It’s about the pride of womanhood, which is appropriate for something like this. It’s very sensual. It’s a giving of self. It’s an offering of self — mentally, physically and emotionally — to the people you’re around.”

The Bust of Steamboat, a fundraiser helping women fight breast cancer in the Yampa Valley since 2001, returns on Friday and will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at Three Peaks Grill. Cost is $30 and includes hors d’oeuvres and one drink.

Tickets are available at All That Jazz, Off the Beaten Path and the Steamboat Pet Care Clinic. Those attending are encouraged to wear pink.

“I had no idea it would progress like this,” said Deb Curd, who founded the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project 13 years ago and followed with the Bust of Steamboat a year later. “The very first year definitely surprised all of us. After the first year and (after) we raised that amount of money, we were staring at each other going ‘wow.’ You don’t think beyond the first year, and all of a sudden it takes a life of its own. It kind of has its own energy.”

At the inaugural event, the Bust of Steamboat raised more than $10,000. Throughout the years, the fundraising has varied, but last year, the event raised more than $45,000.

In 2013, the event will feature 24 artists contributing to the event with each of their pieces going up for auction.

The fundraiser started with artists using varied mediums to create designs in bras, but it quickly progressed to full-fledged art projects.

“There are no rules to follow or any guidelines sent to the artist,” Curd said. “The only one rule is they have to have an image of a bust or bra in their piece. It’s any medium they want. We’ve had aquariums. We’ve had large chocolate busts.”

Since its inception, the local Breast Cancer Awareness Project has distributed more than $300,000 to women and families throughout Northwest Colorado, helping cover costs for mammograms, annual wellness exams, biopsies, wigs, treatment costs, travel costs and childcare among other things. All of the proceeds stay in the Yampa Valley, Curd said.

A preview and showing of the artwork will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday. During that time, there will be sheets in front of each piece where people can bid on them. Starting at 6 p.m., the live auction begins.

People can also vote for their favorite art pieces as “Bust of Show.”

Last year, Graves won “Bust of Show,” her first year contributing art for the fundraiser. She said Bust of Steamboat is becoming an annual tradition, allowing her to do different art for a good cause.

“This is a way to make money for people who need money to take care of themselves and their family,” Graves said. “It’s a social thing going on that makes me feel more complete in my life.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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