ADVENTURE LAND GALLERY PRESENTS
“AN IMMIGRANT’S DRAWINGS: COMING TO AMERICA”
BY: JOZEF HASIEWICZ
Joseph Hasiewicz was born in 1922 in the quiet little town of Slawatycze, Poland. His childhood was shattered by the blitzkrieg. As a teen, he was taken by the Nazis as forced labor. He was shipped to the Rhine valley where he was put to work growing food and bottling Riesling for the German troops and citizens. It was his deep faith in God that helped him through these difficult years. After the liberation in the spring of 1945, Joe spent the next few years doing odd jobs. It was during this time that he was able to start enjoying his love of art by painting backdrops for theatre performances and painting for enjoyment. It was in Germany that he met the lovely Helene, who would become his wife of 60 years. Having equal loathing for both Stalin and his communist regime as he did for Hitler and Nazism, Joe knew he could not return to Poland. He decided to immigrate to the US in 1950 along with his childhood friend John and good friend and romantic interest, Helene. Once in the US, Joe made a good living painting, the then in vogue, hand painted shower curtains and later designing window displays for a department store on State Street. In 1954, Joe and Helene were married and settled on the North side. They had two children , Joe’s namesake in 1959, and Elizabeth and 1962. Joe, later, enrolled in school and became a draftsman. The company that hired him moved to the suburbs and Joe and his wife built their dream home in the suburban town of Lombard in 1968. It was then that a lifetime of thoughts and ideas took shape as sketches and the sketches came to life in his paintings. “Painting helps ease the pain of the things I have seen and that have happened in society during my lifetime”, Joe was once quoted. Joe now lives with his daughter and her family in New Hampshire. Although his sight is affected by macular degeneration, he still continues to paint. Joe will soon celebrate is 92nd birthday.