30 Days of Artists: Support from Far & Away

Carolyn Jackson, Cindy Westbrook, Theresa Yaneck and Linda Walsh – these returning artists have one thing in common: none of them live in Austin, yet they understand the importance of the BCRC and feel the long reach of Art Bra® Austin.

Carolyn Jackson
“Rhapsody in Blue”
Giddings, Texas-based Carolyn Jackson is a 12-year breast cancer survivor who established the Lee County Area Cancer Resource Center, a rural, medically underserved area east of Austin. “The day I was diagnosed, my surgeon suggested I talk with the ladies at the Breast Cancer Resource Center,” she says, adding, “It was a life-changing day for me in many ways, but most importantly, I knew that day I would change my career from education to working with survivors, similar to the work being done at the BCRC.” Carolyn has submitted art bras for the last few years and attributes her sewing skills to her mother and her clothing and textiles professors at Texas State University, where she completed a degree in home economics and certification in early childhood education. Carolyn views creativity as one of her gifts and she likes to share it to help others.

Carolyn Jackson’s art bra is a “Dancing with the Stars”-inspired piece that evokes the glamour and glitz of Hollywood. While very few people will become TV stars, Carolyn —herself a breast cancer survivor — recognizes every survivor is a star in his or her own life story. This piece shines in a unique way with aqua sequined knit fabric, coordinating sheer-ribbon edging, glass pearl and crystal beads, and fabric petals with a pearl flower-shaped button at its core.

Cindy Westbrook
“The Girls”
Cindy Westbrook of Sugar Land, Texas, a self-taught decorative-arts artist, works in a variety of mediums, calling her style “eclectic.” Having participated in Art Bra Austin every year since 2009, Cindy says, “I consider it an exciting challenge each year.” She has owned her own business, Faux Art by Cindy, for 16 years, and says her greatest inspirations are her father and grandmother, who have encouraged her to tell her own stories through art.

Cindy Westbrook’s playful piece takes you back to “the good ol’ days,” when playing with your dolls was the highlight of your day — no stress, no worries, just unlimited possibilities. Featuring paper-doll cutouts, Barbie shoes, hand-sewn beads and colorful ruffles, this art bra is sure to take you back to simpler times. You can relive your childhood with this feel-good piece, and let your imagination run wild!

Theresa Yaneck and Linda Walsh
“Cruella DeFluff”
Theresa Yaneck and Linda Walsh are a sister pair who developed art bras individually in 2009 and 2011 respectively before collaborating for the first time on a single bra in 2014. Theresa is a retired fashion instructor from Chicago, Illinois who is addicted to traveling overseas. The experiences she has encountered while traveling abroad have inspired a sense of adventure and stimulated her creative designs. Although Theresa still sews in her spare time, she finds more pleasure from using her creative talents for humanitarian efforts. “You are on this world for a short time. If you can, make a difference, even if it is a small one,” says Theresa. Both sisters have had family and friends diagnosed with breast cancer, which is why Art Bra Austin is so important to them.

This mixed-medium bra by sisters Theresa Yaneck and Linda Walsh features a combination of fun-fur yarn and fabric. Inspired by Cruella DeVille from “101 Dalmatians,” the fun-fur yarn’s color and texture were used to bring out the softer side of this infamous villain, while still evoking her power with the neck-collar design. This piece is dedicated to the artists’ friend Karen, a knitter who was diagnosed with breast cancer and found herself facing not just knitting needles but medical needles.


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.

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