Ab-BRA-cada-Bra! 

Sheryl Hibbs has 43 bras hanging up in her Artreach Gallery in Germantown. She hasn't gone crazy, nor is she catching up on her wash. She's helping to fight breast cancer. 

"Bralapalooza," an exhibit featuring decorated brassieres and sponsored by the women's organization Hadassah, concludes Saturday, October 29th, at Artreach with two judgings for awards: People's Choice and Best in Show. Forty-three artists submitted brajets d'art for a great cause. 

"Instead of burning their bras like people did in the 1960s, we encouraged the artists to glitz them and glam them and make them as crazy imaginative as possible," says Marion Bessoff, the project coordinator for "Bralapalooza."

With entrants bearing titles such as Old Jugs, Busted, Hang Em High, Steel Magnolias, Merci BeauCUP, and Ab-BRA-cada-Bra, the artists — or "bratistas" — are taking Bessof at her word. But the event has a serious purpose.

Hadassah funds breast cancer research in Israel. Locally, they administer the CHECK IT OUT program to raise awareness of breast cancer among women of all ages.

"We train women to go into the schools and youth groups to educate young girls about how to do the exams. We have a plasticized card that they can take into the shower. But the hope is that they are taking it home to their moms and grandmothers. We're hoping to hit multiple generations. The truth is that breast cancer can strike at any age," Bessoff says.

"People can take them home for whatever decorative reason," she says of the bras featured in "Bralapalooza." "They really are incredible works of art," she adds.

Bralapalooza, Artreach Gallery (2075 exeter, germantown), Saturday, October 29th (759-9119). bralapaloozamemphis.org

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