|Place of Birth||Portland, OR, USA|
|Place of Death||Portland, OR, USA|
|Birth Name||Hazel Hanson|
Hazel Hanson was born in Portland, Oregon, the third of four children. Her parents were blue-collar laborers, her mother a laundry folder and her father employed in various industries like meat processing, milling, and construction.1 In 1947, Hanson enrolled in classes at the Museum Art School, then based at the Portland Art Museum (the school is now independently affiliated as the Pacific Northwest College of Art), and she graduated with a four-year certificate in May 1951.2 She received a Tiffany Foundation Award in 1952 for her work in printmaking, and this grant likely supported her residency in New York City where she studied briefly at Atelier 17 in the fall of 1952.3 While living in New York, she also married Ray Chilstrom, son of an artistic family from Oregon and fellow classmate at the Museum Art School.4 After returning to the Pacific Northwest, the Chilstroms had three children, and she continued to work as an artist, exhibiting at the Oregon State Fair in 1958 and at the Salem Art Museum with the Chilstrom family in 1958, among other venues. Her work was mostly representational, but executed through the lens of modernism seen in her expressionist and symbolist inspired prints. In the 1960s, the Chilstroms both gave up their careers in the visual arts and moved to Southern California where they became involved in community theater, co-founding the Horizon Players in Simi Valley. Chilstrom died in Oregon in 2002.
“Author’s Play to Be Produced.” The Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1975.
“Chilstroms Exhibit as a Family.” Statesman Journal. October 12, 1958.
Hall, Carl. “Chilstroms’ Exhibit at Bush Varied.” Statesman Journal. October 26, 1958.
———. “Printmaker Exhibition Discussed.” Statesman Journal. April 3, 1960.
Stone, Jerry. “Amateurs, Professionals Present at Fair Art Show.” Statesman Journal. September 9, 1955.
- Information about Chilstrom’s family comes from the 1920 census (Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: T625_1503; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 183) and 1930 census (Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0275; FHL microfilm: 2341685). ↩
- Thank you to Serenity Ibsen, Interim Director of Library Services, Albert Solheim Library at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, for confirming the attendance records. ↩
- Student ledger book, p. 10, Allentown Art Museum/Grippe Collection, Allentown, Penn. For biographical information about the artist, see “Chilstroms Exhibit as a Family,” Statesman Journal, October 12, 1958, 21. ↩
- Ancestry.com, New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018. Lehi, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017. ↩