PAF HISTORY

The Polish Art Foundation was set up towards the end of the year in 1977, in Melbourne, Australia.


Its spiritual founder was an artist and painter Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz. A group of his close friends decided to organise a show of his works, this in fact instigated the foundation’s birth. Dutkiewicz was ill at the time and his fellow artists and friends wanted to assist in a practical way.

The aim of the new foundation would be simple: to promote Polish artists among the Australian community and vice versa, to promote Australian artists to the migrant community living in Australia. The group also wanted to obtain a collection of works which would become a permanent collection for the foundation and could be enjoyed for generations to come.

The financial assets of the foundation were extremely limited at first, with funds raised through membership and commission sales of works, with occasional grants obtained from various organisations. This turned around a little when one of its founding members and artists Tomasz Ostrowski left the Polish Art Foundation a generous bequest. This amazing gift bears fruit to this very day.
Our finances continue to be a priority today, and the foundation is always looking to sponsorship and grant opportunities to enable us to deliver more projects and more activities.

Today, three decades on, the Polish Art Foundation hosts a range of thematic exhibitions, workshops for artists and social functions. It also conducts arts auctions, produces a quarterly bulletin and ensures that member artists have an opportunity to participate in its annual calendar of events.

In 2001, the foundation established a special bi-annual event dedicated to the memory of its generous donor Tomasz Ostrowski, namely the International Drawing Biennale to emphasise the significance and role of drawing as an art form among both established and emerging contemporary artists in today’s society. This event, open to both local and international entries provides a unique window into the exclusive world of drawing in all its forms, enabling an exchange of ideas and trends among artists from all corners of the globe.
Polish Art Foundation - Key Milestones 
April 2017 - A long awaited Open Air Studio Weekend was held in Healesville and attended by several of our artists and friends.  

March 2017 - The Polish Art Foundation held another successful fundraising auction, this time at the home of Mr and Mrs Steinberg. All funds raised go towards covering the operational costs of running the foundation.

November 2016 - A miniature form exhibition “Impressions” was held at the Victorian Artists Society Gallery, East Melbourne.

June 2016 - A great fundraising auction was hosted by artist Gabriela Rovski at her home studio.

December 2015 - PolArt Visual Arts Program- the Polish Art Foundation took lead in managing two exhibitions showcasing the work of 40 artists from across Australia and Poland as part of the 13th
Polish National Arts Festival, held in Melbourne over the course of 7 days. Two exhibition spaces had over 150 works displayed with almost 1,000 patrons visiting the exhibitions.

October 2015 - 8th International Drawing Biennale- this time we exhibited 49 works, the exhibition was well attended and many comments made about the high artistic value.
  
October 2014 - Taboo, a highly successful exhibition providing our artists with a risqué theme generating some interesting and unique work.

August 2014 - The Retrospective exhibition celebrated 35 years of the foundation and allowed us to showcase some of our permanent collection art works.

August 2013 - 7th International Drawing Biennale was a great success. The drawings recveived for the exhibition were of very high standard and the opening night was attended by many patrons.

April 2013 - The 3D Perspective exhibition will be held at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery in Melbourne.

August 2012 - Urban Spaces exhibition held at Steps Gallery, Carlton. Over 150 patrons attend Opening Night, Mr Marcello D’Amico – Board Member, Multicultural Arts Victoria, and Mr Damian Smith, Director Words for Art are some of the presenters on this highly successful evening.

November 2011 - The Power of Colour, a truly vibrant and joyful exhibition held at Federation Square as part of the Polish Festival.

September 2011 - Sees another Biennale staged in Benalla and Carlton, great works on display and many patrons comment favourably on yet another highly successful drawing competition. Mr Daniel Gromann, Consul General for the Republic of Poland, is one of the many VIP’s attending the Opening Night. The Grand Prix Prize goes to an Australian artist based in Brisbane.

July 2011 - A Group of 8, a special exhibition held in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery in Melbourne, showcases the diverse works of eight artists.

2010 - A thematic exhibition entitled My Country. My Home. This unique subject driven exhibition allows artists to interpret their unique expression of the Australian landscape and meaning of home. Held at the Steps Gallery in Carlton, the Opening Night is attended by 100 patrons including VIP’s.

2009 - Another Biennale and another great success. The exhibition is becoming a permanent feature of the Bennala Art Gallery’s arts calendar, with schools and locals looking forward to the special event.

November 2007 - The foundation hosts its Andrzejki event, a social get together and opportunity to fundraise.

2007 - The fourth International Drawing Biennale is held, this time 45 artists are represented from 15 countries. 55 works were selected for the exhibition, the excellence and diversity of works improves with each Biennale.

April 2007 - The Polish Art Foundation hosts another of its annual art auctions at the home of Mr and Mrs Steinberg.

October 2006 - An exhibition entitled My World is held at Steps Gallery in Carlton, mixed forms exhibited.

November 2005 - An exhibition of works held at Federation Square.

2005 - The third International Drawing Biennale held at Steps Gallery in Carlton followed by a 4 week exhibition period at the Benalla Art Gallery, 51 artists and 21 countries are represented in the works received.

2003 - The second International Drawing Biennale takes place, with special weekend workshops run by the Foundation for its member artists.

2001 - The Tomasz Ostrowski International Drawing Biennale is launched by the Polish Art Foundation; a unique drawing competition open to artists worldwide; 128 submissions are received from 14 countries - a new tradition is established for the foundation; Opening Night is attended by Ms Penelope Hutchinson, Director of Arts Victoria.

1997 - The Polish Art Foundation becomes a major contributor to the POL-ART Festival being held in Melbourne, with a major exhibition at the State Gallery of Victoria, and five other exhibitions held during the two week event.

1993 - Jan Matejko 100th anniversary – this special event was attended by Ms Agnieszka Morawinska, Polish Ambassador to Australia.

June 1990 - A group exhibition held by artist members of the Foundation and their friends, incorporating a book launch of Boleslaw Korpowski’s Smiglem I Piorem, the publication of which was funded by the Polish Art Foundation.

1986 - An exhibition is held by the Polish Art Foundation coinciding with John Paul II’s visit to Melbourne.

1984 – 1985 - The Foundation supports dedicated stage productions, presented at the Polish Marian Shrine in Essendon, Melbourne, the play is produced by Maciej Staniewicz, stage design by Kajetan Fiedorowicz.

1985 - The Polish Art Foundation participates in an exhibit as part of the Begonia Festival in Ballarat, a focus on ceramics works.

1984 - The foundation hosts a poster competition, linked to the 150th Anniversary of the State of Victoria.

July 1984 - An exhibition hosted by Contal in Melbourne City.

June 1984 - The Foundation organises a bus trip for members and art lovers to Canberra to a preview of a major French impressionists exhibition held at the National Gallery, more than 100 individuals participate in the event.

1982 - Fundraising auctions are held to raise funds for Help Poland Live.

October 1981 - An exhibition as part of the Help Poland Live campaign, dedicated towards supporting Solidarity in Poland. A group exhibition is held at the Architects Institute in South Melbourne.

September 1980 - An exhibition is staged in Sydney, the works of Maksymilian Feuerringa, Krzysztof Lesniak from Copenhagen and Feliks Topolski from London, are on show.

May 1979 - The Folklore Art of Poland exhibition is held at the Hawthorn City Art Gallery and becomes a travelling exhibition, which visits Ballarat, Ararat, Bendigo, Adelaide, Launceston, Hobart and schools along the way.

October 1978
- An exhibition dedicated to ‘knitted sculpture’ by Ewa Pachucka takes place at the National Gallery of Victoria.

October 1978 - An exhibition dedicated to ‘knitted sculpture’ by Ewa Pachucka takes place at the National Gallery of Victoria.

June 1978 - Polish Art Foundation’s second exhibition takes place at the South Yarra Library.

20 December 1977 - The first formal meeting of the Polish Art Foundation takes place and a board is appointed, members include Dr Maria Luk-Kozika, Tomasz Ostrowski, Czeslaw Berezowski, Marzena Brinberg- Balicka, Krystyna Gruzewska. Other parties who work closely with the first Board include Christopher Lancucki, Irena and Franciszek Gomolka and Mira and Szymon Meysztowiczowie.

December 1977 - The first exhibition dedicated to Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz is held, the exhibition is officially opened by Dr Eric Westbrook.

November 1974 - First meeting of a group of friends and colleagues of artist Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz takes place to consider organising a special exhibition to support the ailing painter.



Anna Maciajewska and Jan Szuba addressing the audience at the opening of PolArt 2015  Visual Arts Program.
Green Godess, Bolek Markowski
3D Perspective Exhibition, 2013
Federation Square, Bozena Wiszniewski
Urban Spaces Exhibition, 2012
Face II, Sena Yoon, Belgium
Honorable Mention, 4th International Drawing Biennale, 2007
City of Memories, Abel Marquez, USA
Grand Prix, 2nd International Drawing Biennale, 2003
Delays on the Porter Line, Bruce Gerlach, USA
Honorable Mention, 1st International Drawing Biennale, 2001
PAF original members