Keep-A-Breast raises thousands

Art Walk for Breast Cancer event features painted busts, helps a cause

By Marella Flynn |

The Casa Monica was busting at last week’s Art Walk for Breast Cancer, pun intended.

Rob Depiazza, owner of Screen Arts on West King Street, together with the Keep-A-Breast Foundation, brought 23 painted bust molds into the Casa Monica on Oct. 5 for the art walk for Breast Cancer. Former burlesque sensations Candy Caramelo and Shana were also present for the occasion.

The Keep-A-Breast Foundation is a national, non-profit organization that uses unique art events like this to raise not only funding for breast cancer research, but also to raise awareness among young people about the dangers of breast cancer. An important element in the organization’s mission is getting younger generations to understand the need for early screening and detection.

“If this will bring funds to help the cancer association so women can keep their bust, then it’s important,” Caramelo said.

Celebrity artists who painted busts for the local show included Iggy Pop and Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame.

The voluptuous 46DDD Caramelo is considered to be the “Biggest Show Girl in the World.” Her bust took five men, and several hours to mold. The bust-cast painted by Casey Weldon, is primarily pink and adorned with images of cats, much to the dancer’s delight.

“It just goes with my personality because I’ve always been a pussycat, and pink is my favorite color,” she said.

Shana, who only goes by her stage name, is a former Las Vegas showgirl and burlesque dancer. Her bust sold to an anonymous buyer at an alarming $10,000, with all of the proceeds going towards the Keep-A-Breast foundation. The bust was sold at a private auction on Thursday prior to the show.

Artist Derek Hess, who has work on display in the Louvre, kept the bust simple — black and white, with a lone heart in the middle of the chest that held an angel inside of it. Shana agreed to have her bust molded primarily because her fiancée lost his former wife to breast cancer.

“She never went to the doctor or had a mammogram,” Shana said. “To me it’s very important that the young people from the time they’re young, educate themselves to know that this is a disease that could be controlled and hopefully one day eliminated. That was the reason I did the cast.”

Caramelo and Shana are still performing today. Caramelo is a dancer, choreographer and comedienne. Shana is part of a dance group for women 60 and older.

Artist George Long, who currently has a display at Screen Arts, also presented a bust he decorated. Long’s bust had an array of fruit-like apples and oranges with small pictures of breasts in similar shapes close to the fruit.

The busts will be on display at Screen Arts for the rest of the month before traveling to Los Angeles and then Las Vegas, where they will be auctioned off.

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