Women's Resource Center contest highlights breast cancer struggle
For the past two years, Jennifer Densing has witnessed her aunt struggle to conquer breast cancer.
A contest to turn bras into works of art sponsored by the Women's Resource Center for Breast Cancer Awareness month gave the UH School of Art student the opportunity to salute her loved one.
"I am proud of the battle she has fought and participating in this contest gave me an opportunity to honor her fight against breast cancer," Densing said. "Rosie the Riveter was my inspiration because she is a symbol that women can do anything, including fighting for your life."
The entries in the bra art gallery will stay on display in the Women's Resource Center, 279A University Center, as the center continues its observance of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Women's Resource Center Director Beverly McPhail said she got the idea for the contest earlier this month from a competition she heard about in a Louisiana hospital.
"We were really pleased with the response," McPhail said. "They are so clever and creative and range from poignant to fun. My favorite changes daily."
McPhail, who said one in eight women is affected personally by breast cancer, said her plan is to expand the contest next year to all of Houston.
"Although breasts get a lot of attention in our society, often the focus is other than health," she said. "This campaign encourages women to take back their breasts from the public domain and emphasize breast health."
To encourage entries in the bra art competition, McPhail contacted School of Art painting professor Rachel Hecker, who invited her students to participate.
"Art has a particular ability to draw attention to serious issues through the use of visual languages, including metaphor and symbolism, and it has the ability to be deeply and viscerally resonant," Hecker said. "Activism is an antidote for apathy."
Densing, whose work is titled "Fight Like a Girl," won second place in the contest, with first place going to Jessica Davis for "Ctrl-Alt-Delete Cancer." Katie Mulholland and Josh Davis tied for third place for their works "Andromeda" and "Untitled, 1 Arm for Every 100 Breast Cancer Deaths Each Year" respectively. Winners received a Barnes and Noble gift certificate.