When a cigar box is more than a cigar box

Little Boxes Bring Big Benefits




It’s been almost 20 years since friends of East End Hospice — which provides compassionate care for the terminally ill, their families, and loved ones on the Twin Forks and beyond — first approached some 100 artists and asked them to turn small boxes into great works of art for an auction.

But now, the Box Art Auction is a summer favorite, and it’s back at St. Luke’s Church’s Hoie Hall on Saturday, August 24.

Artists are given small donated cigar and wine boxes — using the box inside and out as a canvas or base. With styles ranging from traditional landscapes to abstract art, the art forms incorporated this year are ceramics, sculpture, painting, collage, assemblage, and needlework on fabric.

“This year, some 90 East End artists have contributed their time, talent, and singular creativity to produce these unique works of portable art for this most worthy cause,” said benefit chair Arlene Bujese.

Artists for 2019 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.

“When I make a new box for the event,” said longtime participant, artist Casey Chalem Anderson, “I feel deeply connected to the incredible work that East End Hospice does. The hospice worker who arrived at 11 PM to help me care for my dad was an angel who brought understanding, peace, and calm to a situation that was filled with anxiety.”

Leading up to the benefit the boxes can be previewed at Hoie Hall on Wednesday, August 21, and Thursday, August 22, from 10 AM to 4 PM. On Wednesday from 5 to 7 PM, the public is invited to a “Meet the Artists” preview reception at Hoie Hall.

“I’m so impressed how each year the artists create more new inventive works,” said Bujese. Among this year’s artists, many have participated every year since the event’s inception; 11 are participating for the first time.

At the benefit on Saturday, August 24, a silent auction will begin at 4:30 PM with the live auction following at 5:45. Lucas Hunt will act as auctioneer. Wine and hors d’oeuvres are included in the $75 benefit ticket price.

The East Hampton Lions Club will receive East End Hospice’s 2019 Spirit of Community Award for their generosity to East End Hospice and other vital resources in the community.

“Each year East End Hospice provides expert end-of-life care to nearly 700 terminally ill patients,” said Mary Crosby, president and CEO of East End Hospice. “We support families and friends who have lost a loved one through our adult and children’s bereavement programs, which now include equine, pet, and music therapy. Because we receive generous support from donors, we are able to ensure that no patient or family ever receives a bill for the excellent care we provide.”

The 2019 benefit’s Honorary Committee includes Ruth Appelhof, Very Reverend Denis Brunelle, Theodore Conklin, April Gornik, Sheldon and Margery Harnick, Jack Lenor Larsen, Barbara Layton, Mayor Paul Rickenbach, Cantor/Rabbi Debra Stein, Donald Sussis, Sandra Wagenfeld, and Susan Kennedy Zeller.

Completed boxes can also be viewed on the Hospice website, www.eeh.org.

bridget@indyeastend.com