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Hamptons Life

Aug 10, 2017 5:00 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

17th Annual Box Art Auction Will Feature Unique Works By 93 Artists

A work by Denis Leri. COURTESY EAST END HOSPICE
Aug 13, 2017 11:15 AM

In the summer of 2000, supporters of East End Hospice asked 100 local artists to take a small, unadorned box and tranform it into a unique work of art to be sold in an auction to help benefit the organization that provides care for terminally ill patients and their families on the North and South Forks.

It all began with Marion Porter and her husband, David Porter, who was one of the original board members of East End Hospice when it was founded in 1991. When Ms. Porter came across a purse made from a cigar box, the idea arose to use old cigar and wine boxes as a format for artists to create works to auction off.

“The boxes work in terms of material, which is usually wood, and size,” said Arlene Bujese, chairperson of the board of directors at East End Hospice. “They can be painted, deconstructed, used for building a work within, serve as a platform for sculpture, be hung on the wall; any number of approaches, and we have seen this carried out so well over the years.”

Seventeen years later, the annual Box Art Auction is still bringing in East End artists to contribute. This year’s auction coincides with the first anniversary of hospice’s Kansas Center for Inpatient Hospice Care in Quiogue, where staff and volunteers provide 24-hour acute care as well as social, emotional and spiritual support to patients and families. The auction will honor Ruth Appelhof, who retired last year after serving as executive director of Guild Hall in East Hampton for 16 years. She will be presented with the hospice’s Spirit of Community Award.

There will be 93 artists participating in the event on Saturday, August 26. While many of the artists have been involved in the Box Art Auction since its conception, there will also be 10 new artists debuting boxes this year. Participating artists include April Gornik, Gabriele Raacke, Carol Hunt and Hans Van de Bovenkamp. Art forms incorporated range from ceramic, sculpture and painting to collage, assemblage and needlework on fabric.

“East End Hospice is one of the most loving organizations when the light dims near the end of living,” said Sagaponack artist Hans Van de Bovenkamp. “To help through donating, such as artists do with their work, or through volunteering, is one of the most profound and satisfying acts.”

The silent auction will be held Saturday, August 26, at St. Luke’s Church in East Hampton at 4:30 p.m. followed by a live auction at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are $75. Leading up to the event, boxes can be previewed at St. Luke’s Church on Wednesday and Thursday, August 23 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A free “meet the artists” reception will be Wednesday, August 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 631-288-8400 or visit eeh.org.

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