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Local artists paint molds for charity

Wren Wertin

At a private gathering, women in town for the Snowboard World Championships bared their breasts.

In an effort to raise funds for breast cancer prevention and education, several professional boarders met with local artist Jill McHugh and had molds made of their upper torsos. McHugh and other local artists then painted the molds, which will be on display at La Bottega Wine Bar in Vail for the next two weeks. They will then travel on to Lake Tahoe to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. All money will then go to the Boarding for Breast Cancer Foundation (B4BC).

3We1re going to have them on display and give people here a chance to see them, and they1ll be able to bid on them, too,² said McHugh. 3There1s going to be a silent auction sheet, and then they will travel to the event in Tahoe. If they get a phenomenal bid here, they1ll sell it right away. We wanted to keep them in the community for a little bit.²

McHugh got involved because she knew professional snowboarders Megan Pischke and Barrett Christy.

3They asked me to participate and help organize the artists and the display, because those girls are traveling a lot,² she said. 3I was more than happy to do it. It1s a great cause and a fun event.²

It1s not as risque as it sounds. The sculptures are made by applying

plaster of Paris strips, which come on a roll, to the body.

3Once you layer it up with strips, you lose some of the detail,² she said. 3It1s actually really easy; anybody could do it.²

McHugh is joined in her artistic endeavors by three other artists: Ryan Sutter, Hoyt Hottle and Eric Schmidt. Some of the artists painted more than one.

3It1s a little more challenging to paint on a surface that isn1t flat,² said McHugh. 3I usually paint on flat stretched canvas. I really had fun with this because I could play with the shape of the body, and then use other shapes and have them work together, play off each other.²

McHugh was unable to choose a favorite from the three she created. She wanted them to represent her, as well as the girls who modeled for them.

3I used imagery that I1ve traditionally used in my paintings,² she said. 3I1ve had so much fun doing them, and have friends who like them so much, that I might do more pieces like this to have on display for myself as an artist.²

B4BC is marking its seven-year milestone as the most prominent breast cancer organization targeting young people. Their mission is to raise awareness about breast cancer through education and fund-raising.

During the past decade, there1s been an increase in the number of cases discovered in women in their 20s. According to the B4BC web-site (www.B4BC.com), it1s estimated that one in every eight women is affected by the disease. One of the things B4BC has done is teach many women how to perform a self-exam for early detection of breast cancer.

3This is all going for a very important cause,² said McHugh. 3When you buy one of these pieces, you1re not just getting a great piece of art. You can also write it off, because it1s going to a charity.²

The painted breast molds will be on display at La Bottega Wine Bar beginning through the next two weeks.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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