Jeanne Elliott is no newbie to Art Bra Austin. While not a native Texan, this New Jersey-born gal has lived here for most of her life and feels very connected to the Austin community, especially the breast cancer community supported by BCRC. She’s been a client of BCRC ever since being diagnosed two-and-a-half years ago and served as an Art Bra Model in 2014 and 2015. Last year, Jeanne decided to design her first art bra for the show and her overall look was an absolute show-stopper on the runway (see pictures below). This year, Jeanne has decided to up her game by creating two art bras – both of which come with a powerful message about women’s breast health. She credits her artistic inspiration to three people in her life – her mother, stepfather, and middle school art teacher…
My mother because she was never afraid to try something new, my stepfather because he good see the beauty in simple things and my teacher because she pushed me to experience new ways of creating art.
Jeanne is a staunch believer that no one should have to face breast cancer alone. For this reason, the BCRC is fortunate to be considered “one of the most important organizations she’s ever been personally involved with.” And, boy, is she involved! When Jeanne’s not busy designing art bras for the show, she’s leading the charge for model fundraising as BCRC’s Art Bra Model Fundraising Coordinator. Under her leadership, the 2016 group of Art Bra Models are breaking fundraising records – raising over $70,000 so far and the numbers keep climbing! One thing is for sure – the Breast Cancer Resource Center is very lucky and grateful to have Jeanne Elliott in its corner!
“Springing Past Awareness”
When asked about the inspiration behind this delicately beautiful art bra, Jeanne explains how she feels that “making people take notice [about breast cancer] has, for the most part, been achieved, but it’s time to push past just awareness, and do it delicately and with grace.” She now wishes to increase local awareness about the important role the BCRC plays in our community. Jeanne is continually encouraged by the fact that BCRC provides all of its programs and services – Guidance, Education, and Assistance – free of charge to anyone affected by breast cancer regardless of income, ethnicity, education level or social support.
The design of “Springing Past Awareness” is as intricate as it is feminine. Look too fast and you might miss one of the many creative accents that give this art bra its character, such as the delightful little butterflies that lay atop of mixed jewels and brightly-colored flowers. To create this piece, Jeanne embellished the bra with sparkling crystals and gems and elegant imported fabrics – all of which invoke the strong potential of a fresh spring morning. She finished her design by attaching bedazzled butterfly wings. Jeanne dedicates this piece to Kim Kokes Jones, a breast cancer survivor and the sister of Jeanne’s good friend and volleyball mate, Tamie.
“Time for Change”
In this piece, Jeanne is asking the cancer community to embrace each person’s uniqueness. Breast cancer is not one disease; it is many diseases. Because of the recent strides made in understanding breast cancer, women have more options than ever before. Treatments differ based on the unique cancer biology of each person. Jeanne is asking us all to support each woman in her effort to make decisions that are right for her, based on the advice of her physician, and her own personal beliefs and life circumstances.
Jeanne created this art bra to honor her friend and BCRC client, Jan Owen. Jan will also be the lucky woman to model this steam-punk’ed art bra on the night of Art Bra Austin. Jeanne began the piece’s design by making a corset using a sturdy leather and microfiber fabric. She then adorned the corset with assorted metal notions to evoke the mechanical clockwork of time. The look is completed by a hand-made skirt that bustles in the back for dramatic effect. The finished product is a powerful combination that would allow Jan to tackle reality head-on, in a no-frills manner!
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.