The annual Box Art Auction benefiting East End Hospice is returning for its 19th year this week. The auction will take place in East Hampton on Saturday, August 24 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (18 James Lane) from 4:30-8 p.m. It features the work of East End artists who have transformed donated cigar and wine boxes into unique and interesting works of art. The decorated boxes will be available for viewing during two preview periods at St. Luke’s, on Wednesday August 21 and Thursday, August 22.
The Box Art Auction was founded in 2000 by David and Marion Porter, who had the idea to raise money for East End Hospice with the help of local artists. This year, the auction will feature the work of more than 90 artists, including 11 artists participating for the first time. Each of their boxes will be included in either of the two auctions, one silent, beginning at 4:30 p.m., and one live, conducted by East End poet and auctioneer Lucas Hunt, at 5:30 p.m.
Each artist is encouraged to design the box how they wish, and with nearly 100 artists from the South and North Forks working in a wide array of styles, the auction is filled with eclectic creations. “Unlike an exhibition, it doesn’t matter that it’s a real potpourri,” benefit chair Arlene Bujese says. “It’s a very wide variety, and each year I’m surprised because the artists never seem to run out of ideas. I think I’ll know what to expect from some of [the artists], and then they’ll turn around and surprise me.” The compositions at this year’s auction include a range of ceramics, sculpture, painting, collage, mosaic and weaving.
Bujese also explains that community support has been integral to the success of the event for almost two decades. “The enthusiasm of the artists is just tremendous,” she says. “We actually have small statements written by artists that we put up during the event on the screen simply expressing what hospice has meant to them or how they’ve observed over the years the work of hospice. It’s very positive and they’re just very supportive.” All of the works of art featured in the show are designed and donated specifically for the auction to support East End Hospice.
Frequent participant and long time supporter (and Dan’s Best of the Best Hall of Famer) Daniel Pollera is one of many artists with the honor of giving back to East End Hospice in the auction. “It’s hard to put into words the service East End Hospice offers to the community,” Pollera said in a statement. “If you have never experienced their help, which I have, imagine you or a loved one facing their last days. It can be a very emotional time for all, but knowing someone cares enough, and is able to help get through this with compassion, is a blessing for all.”
A few artists designing boxes for this year’s auction include Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Eric Dever, Terry Elkins, Janet Goleas, Carol Hunt, James Kennedy, Christa Maiwald, Louise Peabody, Dan Rizzie, Randall Rosenthal, Toni Ross and Hans Van de Bovenkamp.
East End Hospice provides care and comfort for terminally ill patients. Founded in 1991, they have provided hospice care to over 7,500 patients and families on the North and South Forks since their inception. Donations from the Box Art Auction allow East End Hospice to continue their mission of providing end of life care with dignity and respect. The proceeds from the event will fund the continuation of services, including palliative care, pastoral counseling, a bereavement center and extensive home care. While raising funds is necessary for nonprofits like East End Hospice, Bujese explains that the main focus of the auction is to “generate awareness of EEH so that the community knows that we are there for them when they need it.”
For more information about the Box Art auction, visit East End Hospice’s website at eeh.org.