A beloved Hamptons summer tradition will return to the East End on Wednesday, August 22.
Nearly 20 years ago, East End Hospice (EEH) called upon a group of 100 well-known local artists, asking them to use a small, ordinary unadorned box and transform it into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that would be auctioned off in support of EEH. The unique works of art were a hit and the extravaganza attracts a bevy of notable names each year.
“So many artists on the East End have once again contributed their time, talent and singular creativity to produce these unique works of portable art for this most worthy cause,” Benefit Chair Arlene Bujese noted.
Of the 85 artists that have created works for the 2018 auction, ten have participated every year since the event’s inception and there are also ten who will be showcasing their mastery for the first time. The Box Art Auction includes a variety of styles that vary from traditional landscapes to abstract art, and even incorporate elements like collage and needlework on fabric.
“I have been involved with the Box Art Auction since the year it began, both as a contributing artist and as a collector,” participating artist Jennifer Cross explained. “It is a wonderful event that brings together the artist community for a good cause.”
Prior to the actual Auction, the public can preview this year’s creations on Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be a “Meet the Artists” preview reception on Wednesday, August 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.
For many, the cause is very personal. “It’s hard to put into words the service East End Hospice offers to the community,” participating artist Daniel Pollera noted. “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.”
“What love I experienced when my wife, Siv Cedering, was in the last stages of Parkinson’s disease,” noted participating artist Hans van de Bovenkamp. “Total strangers who came to attend to her became temporarily a family of love. For the past 15 years or so it has been a joy to donate art and contribute to such a compassionate cause. I learned a lot from the total experience. It changed my life.”
Participating artist Casey Chalem Anderson is also among the artists that have been personally touched by EEH. “It’s been many years that I have been creating a painting on the top of a cigar box. In the early years, it was a pleasure and a compliment to be included in this wonderful creative event. I love to see all the beautiful art and to marvel at the various approaches to making art out of a cigar box,” she noted. “Then about five years ago, East End Hospice visited my home to help me care for my Dad. The hospice worker that arrived at 11 p.m. in the night was an angel who taught our family what to do and what to expect. She helped frame the experience so beautifully. She brought understanding, peace, and calm to a situation that was filled with anxiety.”
Now, when she creates a box for the Auction, she’s reminded of that kindness. “These days when I make a new painting on a cigar box for the event, I feel deeply connected to the incredible work that East End Hospice does. It is truly an honor to be involved,” Chalem Anderson said
In addition to raising funds for EEH, the Auction will also celebrate Reverend Denis C. Brunelle, Rector of St. Luke’s Church, who will receive East End Hospice’s 2018 Spirit of Community Award.
“The hospice care for my father during his final illness was so positive that I wanted to find a way to become involved with the program. Ultimately, I signed up for training as a hospice volunteer with East End Hospice, and co-founded a chapter of the Threshold Choir, with the mission of providing comfort through song at the bedside of patients in hospice and palliative care,” participating artist Claire Watson noted. “I was really pleased to be invited to participate this year in the Box Art Auction, and the piece I’m contributing is made with love and gratitude.”
The Box Art Auction will take place on Saturday, August 25, kicking off with a silent auction at 4:30 p.m. The live auction, led by auctioneer Lucas Hunt will begin at 5:45 p.m. The evening will also include wine and hors d’oeuvres.
All proceeds from the Box Art Auction will support East End Hospice, which provides care for terminally ill patients that reside on the North Fork and South Fork of Long Island.
Admission to the Box Art Auction is $75. The preview, reception and Auction will take place at Hoie Hall.
Hoie Hall at St. Luke’s Church is located at 18 James Lane in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.eeh.org.