Library open house to honor Hanson

by nathan oster

Few in the community have done more philanthropic work than Ann Hanson, the Shell artist whose paintings have appeared on magazine covers and hang on the walls of prestigious art galleries around the world.

Always willing to give of her time and talent, Hanson and her contributions to the community will be celebrated during an open house set for Saturday, Oct. 10 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Big Horn County Library in Basin.

The Big Horn County Library Foundation, which is organizing the event, wrote this about Hanson in a letter announcing the open house: “Ann has gained an enviable reputation among Western artists and her work has been prominently featured in publications and galleries throughout the world of Western art. She is noted for frequently donating her wonderful works of art to local charities and organizations. In appreciation and recognition of her generousity, we hope you will join us (at the open house).”

Several of Hanson’s works will be on display, including an original oil painting that she recently donated to the Foundation. Called “Life is Good,” it is beautifully framed and valued at $5,000. It measures 31 ½ inches by 19 inches. The painting will be on display at the county’s three branch libraries and is featured on the county library’s Facebook page as well as on its website.

The Foundation is offering the painting for sale through a closed bid auction that ends Dec. 15, 2015. To submit an offer for the painting, you need only send a written offer to the Foundation at its mailing address (Big Horn County Library Foundation, Box 231, Basin, WY 82410).

Proceeds from the sale will be added to the Library Foundation Endowment Fund and will be matched 3:1 by the state’s Matching Funds Challenge. The Foundation is a 501 c 3 nonprofit.

Hanson’s recent donation to the library just scratches the surface of her philanthropic work.

She has donated works of art every year for Hands Across the Saddle, a charity that benefits people in need throughout the Big Horn Basin. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised. Hanson’s various contributions to the HATS effort have probably generated close to $50,000, according to spokesman Scott Good.

“There are a group of individuals and businesses in this town that donate money or talent in this case to every worthwhile event that comes down the pike,” said Good. “She is always right there. If she isn’t the best in town, she’s right in that elite group of people who give.

“In fact, she has already stopped in and shared her plans for next year’s HATS event. That’s just Ann Hanson. She just gives and gives some more.”