DISPATCH - SEPT 7, 2012 (10:07 a.m.)

EAST HAMPTON, NY

When is a box NOT a box? When it's art with a box at its core and made for the annual Box Art Auction. Gazing at this year's contenders, it's clear that the well of creativity runs deep. It's also clear that this year's participating artists have pushed themselves to make the best work possible.

All of the boxes go up for auction during the 12th annual Box Art Auction. It will take place on Saturday at Ross School Center for Well-Being in East Hampton, NY. The silent auction begins at 4:30 p.m. The live auction will be held at 6 p.m. Admission is $75.

Proceeds from the Box Art Auction benefit End Hospice (EEH). The non-profit organization provides care for terminally ill patients, their families and loved ones living on the East End and in Brookhaven Township on Long Island. A preview was held on Aug 29 at Hoie Hall at St. Luke’s Church in East Hampton, NY. The event committee chair is curator and artist Arlene Bujese.

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Artwork by Stan Goldberg.

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Box Art artist Marcel Bally and Arlene Bujese, chairperson of the Box Art Auction Benefit Committee.

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This year's fundraiser includes boxes transformed into memories of international voyages, into turtles and into a chess set. Some boxes contain hidden surprises--a few which remain cloaked until purchased. Others use the box as jumping point for sculptural works that may or may not even resemble the humble rectangle of its birth.

Around 80 artists supplied work for this year's fundraiser. They include Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Darlene Charneco, Stan Goldberg, April Gornik, Connie Fox, Tracy Harris, Eric Ernst, John Haubrick, Carol Hunt, Priscilla Heine, Bill Kiriazis, Reynold Ruffins, Don Saco, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Frank Wimberley and William King.

Contributing artists range from art stars to emerging. Each object has something intriguing going for it.

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Artwork by Hans Van de Bovenkamp.

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Artwork by Fulvio Massi.

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Box art artists Jim Gemake and Judy Clifford.

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For many artists, plying extra effort into making their box arises from gratitude and appreciation for East End Hospice. The non-profit organization provides caring and services to help usher loved ones toward ease during their final days.

Many contributing artists have personal experience with East End Hospice. Some have friends or family who experienced the services provided by EEH. Other artists received support while a spouse or family member was dying.

Contributing artist Judy Clifford lost both her parents and East End Hospice was there to help. "It means a lot to me to be a part of this," she said. "It felt like a compliment to be invited. It really is an honor."

This is the second year Clifford has contributed a box. This year's box is called "Sketching Shells." Inside the box are original artworks, large shells and a blue pencil. The box inspired a new series which took her art in a new direction, she said.

Contributing artist Joan Kraisky recalled the support provided by East End Hospice in the days before and after the passing of her husband Michael Knigin (1942-2011). Knigin had contributed boxes to the Box Art Auction for years, said Kraisky.

"East End Hospice would come and visit me for around five months afterwards, at my request," said Kraisky. "They were just amazing. It's such an important organization. The volunteers are there 24/7, if you need them."

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Artwork by Stephanie Reit.

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"Distant Dreams" by Marcel Bally.

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Being invited to make art from a box is considered a privilege, said many artists interviewed. Making boxes is a way for the artist community to show its appreciation for the support and services provided, said artist Marilyn Church.

"It's really worthwhile," said Church, who has made art boxes since the event's beginnings. "I'm glad to have a chance to be a part on the artistic end. It's a fantastic organization."

Marcel Bally said "I feel honored to be in the company of known artists. East End Hospice is a most worthy cause and I'm happy to be able to support it."

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Box art artists Marilyn Church and Joan Kraisky.

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Long-time contributing artist Jim Gemake summed it up this way. "What East End Hospice does is important," he said. "This is what it's really all about. We can come together as a community and support them. It's a great event every year."

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"Box Art Whimsey" by Jim Gemake.

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BASIC FACTS: The 12th annual Box Art Auction will take place on Saturday at Ross School Center for Well-Being, Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton, NY. The silent auction begins at 4:30 p.m. The live auction will be held at 6 p.m. Admission is $75. Boxes can be previewed here: www.eeh.org/boxart2012/welcome2012.html

East End Hospice provides home health care, with short term hospital stay when needed, for residents of the East End and surrounding Long Island towns. Services are provided by health care professionals and volunteers. For information, visit www.eeh.org.

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved. Text excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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