DISPATCH – October 15, 2011 (Saturday; 11:20 a.m.)

Southampton, NY

It may not be wise to miss tonight's Birdhouse Auction. Hamptons Art Hub has it on good authority that this will be the last one.

"Dream of Flying" by Tom Kochie. Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

The 7th Annual Birdhouse Auction will be held tonight (Oct 15) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 4 North Main Gallery in Southampton. The event features creative and unusual birdhouses auctioned to benefit an area organization assisting those with breast cancer.

This year's event benefits the Coalition for Women's Cancer at Southampton Hospital. Admission is $25. The event features a silent and live auction, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

The Honorary Chairs for the event are actress Renee Zellweger, designer Betsey Johnson and event founder and art dealer Karyn Mannix.

Birdhouse contributors include artists Mary Abbott and David Salle, architect Preston Phillips and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman. Around 60 individuals made boxes for the event.

Mannix started the event after surviving breast cancer. Wanting to help those who helped her, Mannix called on the area art community to make unique bird houses to raise money for a Southampton Hospital-based organization in the cancer trenches. Cancer survivors, celebrities, designers, architects and builders answered the call. So the annual event has gone on.

The economy has impacted the event's ability to raise substantial funds for charity, Mannix said. Last year, ticket prices were decreased to $40. This year, tickets dropped to $25. After careful consideration, Mannix decided the time has come for the Birdhouse Auction to soar into the skyline.

"It's time for the birds to fly south," Mannix said. "It's been a great event and people were generous with their time and talent in making birdhouses for us but it's time to move on. I think auctions like this have run their course for raising money. It's time for other ideas."

What hasn't changed is the effort and creativity that's poured into making the birdhouses, said Mannix. Every year, the boxes continue to surprise and delight. Most boxes can be viewed online at http://karynmannixcontemporary.com. Absentee bids will be accepted there or by calling 631-329-2811.

Here's a quick peek at some of the boxes in this year's event:

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"EGGSistentialism" by Michael Lownie. Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

"Transcendence" by Pat Kochie. Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

"BIRD Day Cake" by Stephanie Reit. Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

"Untitled" by Mary Abbott. Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

"Housecloud" by Monica Banks. Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

"Rebirth" by Georgia Griffin (detail). Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

"Freebird" by Eric Ernst (detail of the birdhouse-speaker). Courtesy Karyn Mannix Contemporary.

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BASIC FACTS: The 7th Annual Birdhouse Auction takes place tonight (Oct 15) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 4 North Main Gallery, 4 North Main Street, Southampton. Tickets are $25. To purchase, call 631-726-8715.  For information or online bids, visit www.karynmannixcontemporary.com.

The 2011 Birdhouse Auction benefits the Coalition for Women's Cancer at Southampton Hospital. It's being held in memory of Karyn Mannix's mom, Silvia Mannix, who died on September 3, 2011.

Birdhouse contributors include Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Arlene Bujese, Sara Nightingale, Maeve D'Arcy, James DeMartis, Kimberly Goff, Janet Goleas, Carly Haffner, Dennis Leri, Paton Miller, Mae Mougin, Camille Perretot, Gabriele Raacke, Kris Warrenburg, Pamela Willoughby, Athos Zacharias, Evan Zatti and more.

4 North Main Gallery: http://4nmaingallery.com/

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© 2011 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub LLC.

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