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Hamptons Life

Aug 10, 2018 11:19 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Annual Box Art Auction For East End Hospice Touches The Hearts Of Local Artists

Box art created by Daniel Pollera COURTESY EAST END HOSPICE
Aug 15, 2018 3:23 PM

The annual Box Art Auction is an anticipated event every summer for local artists who wish to express their creativity and give back to the community.

The event benefits East End Hospice, which provides care for terminally ill patients on the North and South Forks of Long Island, and has become a tradition for supporters of the organization for nearly two decades.

The idea came about in 2000 from 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. Ms. Porter came across a purse made from a cigar box and found the concept of turning a simple, unadorned box into a unique work of art to be an interesting format for artists to create works to auction off.

Over the past 18 years, the event has garnered support from nearly 100 artists on the East End, including many who have been involved the cause since the beginning.

“It has become a spirit of camaraderie,” said Arlene Bujese, the chairperson of the Box Art Committee and a member of the East End Hospice board of directors. “A lot of artists each year are returning and all know each other. The new artists come and are very excited about it, and then you have those who are not involved and are looking to become a part of it. It’s a nice community.”

Of the 85 artists participating this year, there are 10 artists who have participated every year since the event’s inception.

Casey Chalem Anderson, a Sag Harbor oil painter who has exhibited at galleries like Ille Arts in Amagansett, Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton and Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor, is one of the artists who continues to support East End Hospice year after year.

“It’s been many years that I have been creating a painting on the top of a cigar box,” she said. “In the early years, it was a pleasure and a compliment to be included in this wonderful creative event.”

Ms. Chalem Anderson, like many other Box Art Auction artists, also has personal connections to the cause.

“About five years ago, East End Hospice visited my home to help me care for my dad,” she explained. “They brought understanding, peace and calm to a situation that was filled with anxiety. 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.”

In addition to the recurring artists, there will also be eight newcomers to the Box Art Auction, including Claire Watson, a longtime sculptor from Water Mill. She was invited to participate this year and, after a wonderful experience with the hospice center, was more than happy to create a box to donate.

“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,” said the artist, who volunteered for East End Hospice as well as co-founded a chapter of the Threshold Choir to bring comfort through song to patients in hospice and palliative care. “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.”

Other featured artists include Carol Hunt, Dennis Leri, Dan Welden, Gabriele Raacke, Christa Maiwald, Fulvio Massi, Daniel Pollera and Hans van de Bovenkamp, who has donated boxes to the auction for the past 15 years after experiencing the generosity and love that he said hospice care gave his wife, Siv Cedering, during her final stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Styles range from traditional landscapes to abstract art, and the art forms incorporated range from ceramic, sculpture and painting to collage, assemblage and needlework on fabric.

During the auction on Saturday, August 25, the 2018 East End Hospice Spirit of Community Award will be given to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church rector, the Very Reverend Denis C. Brunelle, for his work to help bring dignity and respect to all people of the East Hampton Community.

The silent auction and reception will be held Saturday, August 25, 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 22 and 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A free “meet the artists” reception will be Wednesday, August 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 631-288-8400 or visit eeh.org.

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