Aniela Stanek was born in the historic village of Chochołów in 1934. She comes from an old highlander family, and one of her ancestors was the legendary Zakopane storyteller and musician, Sabała. Self-taught, she started painting as an adult woman. At first she became interested in painting on canvas, then she discovered painting on glass. After years of painting with poster paints and gouache, eventually she embraced painting with acrylic paints. The artist paints sacred and genre scenes typical of Podhale’s art. As sacred motifs she mainly chooses Madonna and Child, but also Nativity scenes, saints, and angels. When painting life scenes, she focuses on vanishing professions, as well as old and contemporary highlander customs. She is inspired by memories from her childhood and youth. Aniela Stanek’s style is characterized by a black, delicate contour, a large range of colors, sparing use of gold and silver, precise strokes, and saturation with minute detail. The artist has been actively creating for several decades now. Throughout this time, the so-called „Cheerful Madonna” remains a hallmark of her art. The artist takes part in exhibitions and competitions of folk art throughout the country, and has won numerous awards and distinctions. She exhibited her works in, among other locations, Myślenice, Kraków, Sopot, Warsaw, Zakopane, Nowy Targ, Jordanów, Bukowina Tatrzańska, Poronin and Wilkowice. The painter is often inspired by invitations to participate in exhibitions, where the organizers define the exact subject of the exhibition. She enjoys and participates in competitions and exhibitions in which she can show her works depicting angels. The work of Aniela Stanek can be admired in a charming gallery located in her house in Chochołów, built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

photos: Adrian Krawczyk