30 Days of Artists: West Coast Artists Lend Their Talent and Support

When these two West Coast artists learned about Art Bra® Austin, they knew they wanted to get involved. Barbara Bryn Klare and Betsy Brandt-Kreutz may live miles and miles away from Texas and BCRC, but that did not stop them from lending a helping hand – er, bra. Barbara and Betsy support causes that affect communities, near and far, and their art bra inspirations and designs reflect it. From a couple thousand miles away, each artist has given of their time and talents to create amazing works of art to share with our community and support BCRC and it’s clients.

Barbara Bryn Klare
“Ice Cream and Cake”

Barbara Bryn Klare is a fiber artist at Marin MOCA (Marin Museum of Contemporary Art) in Novato, California. Influenced by her mother, who championed Barbara’s love for drawing and painting at an early age, she now holds a BA in geology and studio art/art history from Oberlin College. Barbara works primarily with rescued fabrics. She uses rope and knotting techniques to wrap fabric that she rescues from thrift stores, free boxes, and designer houses. She has used over 100 items of clothing, sheets and fabric remnants in her art that would otherwise have been discarded. She also curates the modernboro collection of recycled rescued pieces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

This is Barbara’s first art bra for BCRC.  Her inspiration for its fun design was the song, “Ice Cream and Cake” by the Buckwheat Boyz, which often gets played whenever Barbara’s Zumba instructor wants to encourage the class to work harder. Many in the class are older women who struggle with body issues, and several are breast cancer survivors. The song reminds Barbara how much the instructor believes in them, and that they can all up their exercise no matter their level.

Barbara started her design by making about 26 feet of twine from rescued fabric in several shades of pink, using strong metal wire. Then she wrapped the fabric “twine” around a cone, and attached it to the base bra. She decorated the base bra with rescued fabric that she sewed using the Japanese-style “boro” technique (handmade, simple running stitch) and added strategically placed pompoms that she recycled from Christmas gift wrap. The finished design is whimsical in appearance but should also remind us to step up to the challenges we face.

To see more of Barbara’s art, please visit her website, and check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!

Betsy Brandt-Kreutz

“Let’s Make Breast Cancer Extinct”

Betsy Brandt-Kreutz is an art quilter who enjoys experimenting with various media. She uses hand-dyed fabrics, commercial fabrics, sewing machines, paint, beads, and anything else that lends itself to creating a visually interesting art work. Betsy grew up in a creative environment. She loved going to the Museum of Fine Art and enjoyed the work by the Impressionists and the quirkiness of much of the Modern Art movement. Currently, Betsy lives in Olympia, Washington, and has been swept away by the beauty there.

This is Betsy’s first art bra design. Her daughter, Chase Kettl, volunteered at the event in 2015. Chase encouraged her mother to enter this year – which Betsy was thrilled to do – and provided feedback and moral support. Personally, Betsy had a close friend who died in her early 40’s from breast cancer and has met several women who have been affected by this disease. She admires their strength in battling cancer.

Betsy has a keen interest in the preservation of wildlife. She is concerned about how so many species have become extinct during her lifetime. She began thinking about how great it would be if cancer, not wildlife, could become extinct. With that thought in mind, Betsy chose the brightly colored cheetah print because it jumped out at her. This became the foundation fabric for the piece. She also added a variety of glitzy fabrics to make the piece sparkle. Betsy hand gathered each ruffle and attached them in layers to a sheer material. She continued the ruffles along the top and used them to make “sleeves.” Betsy made the round ornaments by cutting three different sizes of circles, hand gathering each, stacking them, and hand sewing them together. She used narrow feather boas for trim and two sparkly Swarovski crystals in the center. To add some movement to the bra, Betsy attached handmade fringe to the front and back ornaments. Over 120 well-worth-it hours went into the creation of this piece and Betsy enjoyed the process knowing it was going to such a great cause! Check out Betsy’s other great works in quilting, pictured below!


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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