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Buffalo Art Project To Support Local Cancer Charity Cause

Some of the purses made from bras on display during ARTpurse Initiative breast cancer awareness project at Artspace Buffalo Lofts. Submitted photo

The ARTpurse Initiative asked Western New York-based artists to use their creative vision to explore the human spirit, and the strength those exemplify during times of struggle, especially when faced with breast cancer.

ARTpurse, the breast cancer awareness project, was started by Buffalo-based talent Susan Marie Borden, who works out of Artspace Buffalo Lofts, the venue that ultimately displayed the end-results of the wearable art fashioned by every-day objects — purses made from bras.

Earlier this month, nearly 50 Western New York artists submitted and displayed their purses in downtown Buffalo. The show, which opened Sept. 6, featured 49 original works crafted specifically for the event, with the goal of raising money for Hope Chest Dragon Boat Rowing Crew — a health and fitness group for local breast cancer survivors of any age.

Of the more than 40 artists, four are employees of Great Lakes Physician Practice — Jennifer Hewson, Lynn Ouellette, Carrie Fearman and Kelly McDonald. In addition to these women, renowned Chautauqua County artist, Medis Kent, displayed her work at ARTpurse 2019.

Each participating artist donated their purses with the intention to have it auctioned off to raise money to a Western New York cancer charity. Their hopes are that purse purchasers will display the art in areas where conversations about breast cancer, survivorship, resources, healthcare opportunities such as doctors’ offices, mammography centers and hospitals can be started. Some of the purses can be worn and carried with their owners to begin the conversations necessary to bring awareness about the fight and resilience of breast cancer survivors.

The pieces are now on display and available for auction and purchase through September. They can be viewed any Saturday for the remainder of the month between 1-4 p.m. at the Artspace Buffalo Lofts, and private showings can be arranged by calling Borden at 982-5947. After viewing the display in person or visiting the Facebook page associated with the event, ARTpurse Initiative 2019 (facebook.com/ARTpurse2019), individuals and healthcare providers alike are invited to purchase their favorite works to support this cause, and decorate their practice lobbies, offices, and homes, while raising awareness of the impact this disease has on local women.

The last day to view the ARTpurses will be at the show’s closing reception on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1-4 p.m. at the ArtSpace Buffalo Lofts, but even after the event, the purses will be displayed online via the event’s Facebook page where both art and cancer research supporters will be able to purchase the one-of-a-kind pieces.

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