Maria Dudek was born in a highlander family in Groń. She graduated from the Leather Industry Technical School in Nowy Targ, and from the Academy of Physical Education in Kraków. She is a well-known social activist, dance and singing instructor in the Podhale region, and initiator of many folklore events in the Bukowina Tatrzańska Commune. Maria is the founder and manager of the Children’s Highlander Song and Dance Group „Zawaternik”, and the manager of the Highlander Song and Dance Group „Ślebodni”. Maria Dudek has enjoyed painting since her childhood, particularly flowers and portraits. She has been painting on glass since 2002. She is self-taught and she says about herself: “What I paint flows from the heart and soul.” The artist’s favorite sacred motifs are renditions of Madonna and Child. She also likes to paint angels and Jesus. When inspired by everyday life, Maria Dudek creates genre scenes, paints dancing couples, robbers, and highlander gatherings with local folk musicians . The artist’s style is characterized by vivid colors and highlander ornaments appearing in details of the paintings and in representations of nature. Since she started painting, Maria Dudek has participated in many exhibitions of folk art in Bukowina Tatrzańska during the occasion of the „Sabałowe Bajania” festival and Highlander Carnival celebrations. The artist conducted glass painting workshops during the “Meeting of National and Ethnic Minorities” in Dobrodzień in 2006 and 2007. She has taken part in many group exhibitions in addition to holding her own individual exhibitions. She is a laureate of many prestigious awards and distinctions, and in 2013 she received the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage – Gloria Artis.

photos: Adrian Krawczyk