Polish Cultural Foundation hosts art gallery exhibit in Clark

Photo by Jennifer Rubino Majka Nowak stands beside her piece, ‘Jezus,’ whose teardrop appeared miraculously after three months.
Photo by Jennifer Rubino
Majka Nowak stands beside her piece, ‘Jezus,’ whose teardrop appeared miraculously after three months.

CLARK, NJ — The Skulski Art Gallery of the Polish Cultural Foundation in Clark hosted the opening of an art gallery titled, “Wood and Grain,” with reliefs by Jerzy Chojnowski and grain compositions by Majka Nowak on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The work will be displayed until Dec. 2. The opening including a musical performance by Dorota Huculak, who sung poetry accompanied by the guitar.
Majka Nowak is a painter, sculptor and stain-glass artist. She uses a very unique technique in her work which gives texture, and also a signature unlike any other. Nowak uses different grains to create her work.

“I shop for things like bean and seeds in stores such as ShopRite and Walmart to make my pieces,” Nowak told LocalSource in an interview.

One of Nowak’s most amazing works of art is her piece “Jezus” which is created using brown, black and white sesame seeds. The piece is amazing because it has a teardrop dripping from the eye, which appeared unexplainably.

“The teardrop appeared three months after I completed the piece,” Nowak told LocalSource in an interview. “It’s really miraculous.”

Religious influences were revealed in the artwork of both Nowak and Chojnowski. Nowak’s first piece, “Pope John Paul,” was a request made by a priest in Poland. It was her first work in grains. Another piece, “Pope Francis” was displayed but not for sale, as Nowak plans to give it to the Pope one day. The work is created with beans and seeds and stands four by five feet. Other pieces of hers include “Little Angel” and “Angel.”

Chojnowski’s first piece, “Mother of God Nursing,” was how he discovered his woodworking ability. Some of his other pieces include “Mother of Jesus,” “Mother Mary with Child,” and “Molther Divine,” which depicts Mary surrounded by rays of light. In his piece, “Holy Trinity,” he carves the faces of the father and son of God along with a dove. Chojnowski was unable to attend the opening, but his son, Daniel, attended instead.

Animals and nature were the subjects of the remaining works by both artists. Chojnowski’s “Thoroughbred Horse” and, “The Bear,” were on display as well as Nowak’s “Daylight” and “Dusk.” The grains gave the work of Nowak an earthy vibe, as did the wood on which Chojnowski’s work was carved.

Both artists were born in Poland. Chojnowski’s favorite subjects include animals, emblems and religion. During his 30 years of working as an artist, he’s created more than 500 reliefs, using mostly basswood and linden wood. His work has been featured in New York Times magazine.

About 30 of Nowak’s grain compositions were on display at this exhibit. She exhibits extensively in galleries in New Jersey and New York. Both artists’ work can be found in private collections in Poland and the United States. Nowak’s work can also be found in private collections in France and Sweden.