Art for an excellent cause, the annual Box Art Auction benefitting East End Hospice, returns as a highlight of the late summer season on August 27 at St. Luke’s Hoie Hall in East Hampton.
Comprising 90 prominent local artists, works are created from donated cigar and wine boxes. Proceeds from the auction will benefit East End Hospice, an organization that provides care for terminally ill patients and their families on Long Island’s North and South Forks.
“The works are made specifically for Box Art, and are 100% donated to the event,” says Arlene Bujese, Chair of the Box Art Committee, the event’s curator and a member of the East End Hospice board.
The Box Art Auction will specifically benefit residents of the Town of East Hampton. “This is the one event that is primarily for the East Hampton community,” says Gabrielle Bamberger, the auction’s spokeswoman.
For 16 years, this event has helped East End Hospice continue to serve families during times of grief. The Hospice’s message is, “You are not alone.”
“We want to make the community aware of hospice care and what we do to maintain our patients’ quality of life,” Bujese says. “Eighty-five percent of every dollar raised at the event will go to patient care. Additionally, attendees go home with a very beautiful, portable work of art.” Bujese encourages all to come to the preview on August 24 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., or a preview reception on August 25 from 5 p.m.–7 p.m., and see the boxes. If you aren’t able to attend the auction itself, you can bid online at eeh.org/events.
“The artists’ generosity can’t be taken for granted. We don’t wish to be remiss in expressing our profound gratitude for their crucial support over the years. To say we couldn’t do this without them is an understatement of major proportions,” Bujese says.
Many of the artists have personal reasons for contributing to the cause. Bridgehampton abstract artist Fulvio Massi says, “East End Hospice was wonderful with my mother-in-law, and I thought this event was a great way of giving something back for al the support they gave her. I’m proud to be part of an event that provides the possibility of acquiring a piece of art by a local artist for a good cause.”
Massi’s box, titled “Ecco” (photograph at bottom of page) was created very much in the moment. “My inspiration is always an impulsive, spur of the moment reckoning. I hope the box incites some curiosity and brings some happiness to whoever owns it.”
Embroidery artist Christa Maiwald’s box is titled “Duchamp in Stiches” (above), and her reason for participating in the Box Art Auction is that “it’s good for the spirit!” She credits the inspiration for her box to the art and artists with whom she’s crossed paths during her life. “I was inspired by Duchamp’s last piece, the installation “Étant donnés.”
Maiwald is looking forward to this event, and the attendees, are necessary for the work to be complete. “It’s a really interesting show, all the imaginations that have gone wild with a box—big artists, little artists—we just need an audience to complete it!”
This will be fiber artist Tracy Jamar’s third year participating in the auction. “I had heard of the Box Art Auction, but it wasn’t until I was invited to participate that I realized what an important event this is, and what fun it is to create a box and see what others have created.”
Her box, “Paisley Park,” was named for the home of the musician Prince. One of the many materials Jamar used was an antique paisley shawl. “The box was finished the day Prince died, and so I named it ‘Paisley Park’ in his honor.” The Box Art Auction has become even closer to Jamar’s heart recently, “Last year a good friend’s husband died and she told me how wonderful and helpful the people from East End Hospice had been to her family. I was very pleased to know that my box helped provide the funds to help her and others.”
The 2016 Box Art Auction will take place Saturday, August 27, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Hoie Hall, 18 James Lane, East Hampton. The Meet the Artists preview reception, which is open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, August 24, from 5–7 p.m. The boxes can also be previewed at the Hall the same day, as well as on August 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and to preview some of the 2016 Box Art Boxes visit eeh.org or call East End Hospice at 631-288-7080.