Recently one of our Coming Together events transformed a gloomy, ordinary afternoon into an angelic Sunday at Niles-Maine District Library. We hosted a Polish Folk Art Painting workshop presented by painter Dorota Tomczyk, the owner of Art Painting & Decorating Inc. Dorota runs wonderful painting workshops for adults and children. Their instructions are easy to follow, even for someone without any art skills or prior experience; proving all it takes is a willingness to try. Dorota and her PR manager, Sylvia Lisiecki, demonstrated how to paint angels on a reclaimed wood. It was my privilege to watch the amazing creations taking shape.
At the beginning of the program, everyone started with the same instructions: sketching the heads and shoulders, painting faces, and working on a shadow technique. The shadow technique is quite a difficult task, but this group dealt with it beautifully. This event was very special because the participants created a sense of wonderful energy by working together. For instance, when it came to choosing colors for dresses, people were so friendly and focused on each other that it seemed like they had been best friends for many years. It truly demonstrated how Coming Together allows people to enter the room as strangers and leave it as friends!
The language of art united four generations and seven different cultures, including Assyrian, American, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian. The final results were absolutely stunning. With the same beginning instructions, we all reached different, breathtaking results.
The participants all came with their own unique backgrounds. The youngest attendee, Clara was only 6 years old. She came with mom and spent a lovely afternoon painting an angel for her collection.
Pat, a retired fighter pilot, was 97 years old. He became such an inspiration for all of us when he shared that he had no idea where his wife was taking him but he tagged along. Pat decided it wouldn’t hurt to learn a new skill even when you are 97 years old. He set his eyes on one angel and tirelessly worked for 2.5 hours. We all, from children to adults, admired his patience. In no time, with a steady grip, the silhouette of angel appeared on the wood.
There was another mother with her daughter Aga, an extremely talented 8 years old. She managed to change her angel’s dress three times, because every time she tried different color she was not entirely happy with her decision. First the dress looked like a colorful and rich fabric from the painting by Gustav Klimt “Kiss”. The second dress was plain green on a background she experimented with shadows. In the end, the dress was green with pink flowers and the angel looked like her self-portrait!
Another participant painted an angel in the same colors as the outfit she was wearing. One participant shocked the group when she asked for a vibrant red paint for her angel’s hair.
Dorota Tomczyk, not only generous with her talent, also donated a gift for a raffle prize for the participants. It was the sweetest moment when a toothless Clara presented a wooden heart to Pat, warming all our hearts in return.
People left so happy and enriched because of the value of making art in unison. One student commented, “The warm and welcoming atmosphere made us feel like we knew each other forever. Thank you”.
As a matter of fact, one person invited a couple to a party later that day.
Don’t miss your chance to create memories during events going on for Coming Together. The programs are free, appealing to all ages, with ample parking that allows everyone to find something unique to experience. The events and programs are hosted at different venues around the Township, letting you enjoy various neighborhoods as well! You don’t have to have a drop of Polish blood in you to attend them, as all programs are in English. But if you want, you can learn a Polish word or two; we will gladly teach you!
If the weather keeps you from attending any of the programs, you can read a variety of books chosen specifically for their Polish origin. These books are available in multiple formats so you can listen to them or read them on your Kindle.
Don’t wait, visit us at www.comingtogether.in for a list of programs to attend.
Be our guest! Zapraszamy
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
– Edward Everett Hal