Artists lead the way to ‘Paint the Town Pink’ and support Bust of Steamboat |

Artists lead the way to ‘Paint the Town Pink’ and support Bust of Steamboat

Solar Flare Glasswork & Design.
Courtesy photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Art and artists have been at the heart of Bust of Steamboat since its inception in 2001 when its founders started auctioning off decorated bras.

So, it’s no surprise that many of the art galleries in town are dedicating a portion of their sales to the Bust of Steamboat and the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.

At the relatively new Solar Flare Glasswork & Design, owners Kirk and Caitlin Whitten have blown little pink glass ribbons that can be hung up in windows or on Christmas trees.

“We suggest a donation of $10 or more, and we’ll also donate the money from the sale of pink Christmas decorations as well,” said Kirk Whitten.

At Gallery 89, several artists have donated pieces of their work in a silent auction that will keep going even after the October campaign ends.

“We ran last year’s silent auction until the end of the year and sold every single piece,” said gallery owner Rufina Tegeder.

One of Gallery 89’s most unique pieces is actually plugged into the stage at the neighboring bar, The Press. It’s a 6-foot glass and metal woman with lighted boobs and can be used to hang up jewelry, scarves and wigs. The piece was donated by artist Kathryn Fresques.

Gallery 89 has “Happy” on display at a nearby bar, The Press, as part of its silent auction for Bust of Steamboat. Donated by Kathryn and Gary Fresques.

And at the Pine Moon Fine Art Gallery, you’ll find Tibby Speare’s pink-themed jewelry in the glass case. Pine Moon’s other artists will also be donating a portion of their art sales to the Bust of Steamboat. Just look for Bust of Steamboat stickers on certain art pieces hanging in the gallery.

Participating galleries/artists

• Pine Moon Fine Art
• Solar Flare Glass and Design
• Young Bloods Collective
• W Gallery
• Off the Beaten Path book store
• Gallery 89
• Wild Horse Gallery
• Imagine Building – Jen Mendez
• Windfall Fine Art
• Steamboat Art Museum

“We absolutely love the Bust of Steamboat. I’ve been on the steering committee for years,” Speare said.

“We’re the ‘breast kept secret’ in Steamboat,” laughed Speare about the nonprofit that donates 100% of its fundraising to support breast exams and families suffering from breast cancer.

In fact, it’s Speare who has been this year’s “art wrangler,” serving as a go-between for the Bust of Steamboat and the art community.

“All of the galleries are excited to participate in their own way,” Speare said. “It’s been powerful for the artists to create pieces over the years. Artists themselves have been moved and transformed during the process.”

Speare said she’s watched how breast exams have evolved since she was a young mother and had to watch four of her friends suffer through the process.

“The biggest development is the technology,” Speare said. “It has transformed early detection, and we (Bust of Steamboat) can help with that cost.”

Susan Ernst Corser’s “Allium” at the Pine Moon Fine Art Gallery.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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