Hazel Hannell was a longtime area resident and founding member of the Association of Artists and Craftsmen of Porter County. She helped launch the Chesterton Art Fair, and was a charter member of the Save the Dunes Council.
Hazel was born in LaGrange, IL and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a prolific painter and potter who, along with her artist husband, Vin moved to the Furnessville area in the 1930’s from Chicago. Their studio in Furnessville allowed them the opportunity to be able to live and create near the Indiana Dunes they loved. Hazel’s passion for the dunes was well reflected in her paintings of the various plant life and flowers found there. Hannell worked in many mediums – she painted in both watercolor and oil, she made woodcut prints, and was also very well known for her work in ceramics.
The show, which ran the entire month of February, 2010, was largely a collection of privately owned works. “The Chesterton Art Center has received a tremendous response to the call for her artwork,” says Judy Gregurich, Director. “We were thrilled to have so many pieces in so many different mediums. We had paintings, in watercolor and oil, along with woodblocks and prints, Christmas cards she created, drawings, and a wide range of her pottery pieces- including personalized baby cups. We have even been loaned a real lemon tree that belonged to Hazel,” says Gregurich.
After her husband Vin’s death Hazel Hannell spent her later years in Oregon with her artist friend Harriet Rex Smith. Hazel Hannell died in February of 2002, shortly after her 106th birthday.
Guest speaker at the standing-room only opening reception was Gregg Hertzlieb, Curator/Director of the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University. Those in attendance who knew Hazel were encouraged to share stories and reminiscences, and they did.