For fifty years I have painted, photographed, printed, and drawn the Spirit Tree, a four hundred year-old cedar tree that grows out of a rock in Lake Superior and is a spiritual icon for the Ojibwe people. I have studied it in every season, every time of day, every day of the year. For me it is a personal symbol of survival. --- Hazel Belvo.
More portrait than landscape, these trees move and transform, suggesting an enormous range of dynamic human states of being: anguish, solitude, and attitudes of ecstasy. The tree transforms in each painting to take on character traits that Belvo acknowledges in titles such as “The Poet,” and “Guardian,” while at the same time remaining true to the iconic form of the actual cedar, still revered by the Ojibwe people who protect it on their tribal lands.
Hazel Belvo has been an exhibiting painter for over fifty years. She grew up in southern Ohio and after attending the Dayton Art Institute, she moved to New York City, went to the New School for Social Research, was a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Harvard for two years, taught at Quaker Schools and Rhode Island School of Design and maintained a studio in Provincetown MA. Her work can be found in numerous private, public and museum collections across the country and internationally including the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis College of Art ￼and Design, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Walker Art Center.