This diverse group of artists bring their individual styles and life experiences to create works of art for this year’s Art Bra® Austin! One is a design student at the University of Texas. The other two are students at Avenue Five Institute, a local beauty and massage training school. One is young artist just starting out. One is a new mother just beginning her adult life. One is a grandmother embarking on a new career. All have a loved one who has faced cancer. They have come together in the hopes of contributing something to be appreciated and enjoyed by breast cancer patients, survivors and their supporters! Collectively these artists use adjectives like amazing, inspiring, strong, beautiful, bold, and enduring to describe women forced to face this terrible disease. The same descriptions seem to apply to these artists, as well!
Alexandra (Lexi) Hill
Lexi lived in many different towns before “landing in the great city of Austin.” She is a student at the University of Texas studying textiles and apparel design while working part-time at a clothing store. As an artist, Lexi describes her style as simplistic, symmetrical and calculated. This is her second-year participating in Art Bra Austin. She says the event gives her the perfect opportunity to blend two of her passions—designing and helping others. According to Lexi, participating last year allowed her to meet a number of truly amazing women who have inspired her. Lexi’s grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, as well as her partner’s mother.
Lexi says the people who consistently surround are her biggest artistic influences. “I observe personalities, lifestyles, talents and art from others…and find ways to deviate from all of it to create something not quite obvious.”
Inspired by the people who have put up the fight against cancer, “Hardwear” is comprised of “hardware”. Lexi says, “…it represents the enduring strength these people show! They are tough as nails and strong as steel—similar to nuts and bolts…manipulated into different shapes, being put under pressure without weakening. These fighters undergo transformations when battling cancer with unyielding and unbelievable toughness!”
Lexi began her industrial-styled creation by doing her own ink printing of a diamond steel plating pattern on cotton fabric which she draped onto the bra using stitching glue and cotton thread to secure it. Stylizing the addition of brass, zinc and steel screws to accentuate the printed fabric, she attached the zinc-plated cap nuts and hex nuts to surround both cups. She then draped gold-plated and silver-plated curb chains across each cup while extending the gold chain around the sides. With this truly striking and thoughtful creation, a woman with a hardhat is ready for everything!!
“Shine Bright like a Diamond”
Sydney is a 22-year-old, new mother, who is studying at Avenue Five Institute to be an esthetician. Sydney considers herself an artist in the sense that she loves to create, and make stuff with her hands. She says, “I make people beautiful—that’s art!” Sydney decided to participate in Art Bra Austin because her great grandmother battled breast cancer at 92 years of age and because she loves the “vibe the event gives.”
With the Broadway musical “Chicago” a favorite of Sydney’s, she created her art bra to reflect the glamour of 1920’s burlesque! She embellished a silver bra with a mélange of large sparkling crystal gems. These gems cover most of the bra cups and allow a small amount of gorgeous blue satin to peek out. She also accented one cup with a splash of jeweled black lace! Sydney continued her theme by allowing a plume of brilliant blue, green and black feathers to burst above the satin. She completed the ’20’s vibe by trimming the bra with lush rhinestone fringe. Yes, it sparkles which reminds us that we are bold and can shine through anything…And All That Jazz!!!
Lisa is a recent Austin transplant, a mother, grandmother and professional face painter. As a student at Avenue Five Institute, Lisa shares, “I am on a new journey in life, and I am excited to see where it takes me.” She says her artistic style is whatever her clients need it to be. A first time participant in Art Bra Austin, she wants to help bring awareness to breast cancer as her grandmother, aunt and a close friend have battled it. She hopes whoever wears her bra feels beautiful. Lisa says her late dad always encouraged her with her art. “He passed from cancer when I was a teenager so my mom gave me all of his art supplies. I still have them (and) I use them as inspiration.”
The elephant medallion which adorns this creation, front and center gave Lisa the idea for her design. It evokes the strength a woman must have to meet the challenge of breast cancer and emerge even stronger! The name “Ella” means light, and this outstanding bra certainly reminds us of that! Lisa’s many hours of meticulous work brings forth that light with the thousands of bright glass beads placed in swirls to completely cover both cups of her bra. She enhanced her design with profusions of colorful feathers and draped chains. She edged the bra with lace—adding more light with gold metallic disks and complementary ribbon on the straps. Light, but strong as an elephant makes this piece perfect for Art Bra Austin.
Lisa created this art bra in honor of her aunt, Betty Blackerby, whom she says is “an amazing woman and won the fight against breast cancer – five years and holding strong.” If you’d like to learn more about the artist, Lisa Eklund, visit her website, or follow her on Instagram.
ART BRA AUSTIN
All art bras will be auctioned off at BCRC’s signature charity event to raise funds to support local women affected by breast cancer. To learn more about Art Bra Austin, visit www.artbraaustin.org
Art Bra photography generously provided by Flashbax23.