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The Three Magi by Muriel Hanor, acrylic on canvas

On March 9, 1984, the arts community of Hot Springs, Arkansas was saddened by the death of local painter Muriel Hanor. When friends suggested that a memorial be set up in the Hanors' name, Stella Westfall immediately formed a committee of six fellow artists to raise funds for that purpose. Within two days of Muriel's death, contributions had already been received.

Westfall, a potter and teacher at the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs, then wrote "As both she [Muriel] and her husband Bert, who had passed away a year ago, took an active part in all Fine Arts activities, it is fitting that such a memorial be set up in both their names. However, as Muriel and Bert's special interest was in the Visual Arts section, it is appropriate that a memorial in their names should be used for that branch of the Fine Arts."

Under Westfall's leadership, the Bert and Muriel Hanor Memorial Fund was formally established on May 10, 1984 to encourage visual art activities in Hot Springs. She and two members of her committee, artist-teacher Heidi Means and painter Mike Michaelis, became trustees of the fund as it continued to accept donations. In November of the following year, the fund presented its very first Hanor Award to a deserving local artist during the Fine Arts Center's annual membership show.

The Hanor Fund marked its twentieth year with the appointment of three new trustees. Among them is Jim Few, a professional photographer and long-time friend of the Hanors. A life-time member and former president of the arts center, he considers it an honor to now become a trustee of the fund bearing their names. "Bert and Muriel Hanor were generous, kind and gentle people. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have known them hope that this fund might perpetuate the memory of their lives and their interest in the development of the arts in Hot Springs."

Upon retiring as trustee after twenty years of service, Michaelis recalled how the mild-mannered Westfall was "the main driving influence" for the visual arts at the art center during the mid-eighties. Michaelis stated that, not only did Westfall initiate the fund, she "was also the one who, unselfishly, took on the tasks of record-keeping, solicitation and investment of the Fund's resources. Her name deserves to be commemorated in this manner with that of her dear friends and fellow artists, the Hanors."

Retiring trustee and painter Betty Jones concurred. On May 10, 2004, the Hanor Fund - created for artists by artists to commemorate artists' lives - formally changed its name to The Hanor-Westfall Memorial Fund for Artists.

For further information about this memorial fund for artists, please email the fund's trustees at akasii@aol.com or write to: Hanor Fund c/o AKAS II, P O Box 123, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71902-0123.

Courtesy of AKAS II - because there's more to Art than meets the Eye! (sm)
Copyright 2004-2009 AKAS II. All rights reserved.