First Edition

Within the framework of the grant awarded in the first edition of the "Wena" competition, students from the High School of Fine Arts in Krosno carried out an educational and artistic project that consisted of creating and equipping a ceramics studio. The original idea was for selected students from the High School of Fine Arts in Krosno to attend ceramics, casting, and stone workshops at the Center for Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. Unfortunately, it was impossible to carry out this project due to the pandemic.

The teacher in charge, Mr. Paweł Leszega, together with project participants, decided to modify the project and implement it locally at school. Despite resigning from learning stone carving, ceramics, in the context of a given topic about the soothing nature of the Podkarpacie region, turned out to be an equally interesting idea.

The project went into full swing in 2021, during remote education, the project team focused mainly on reactivating ceramics as a subject, transforming one of the school classrooms into a professional ceramics studio. A kiln for firing ceramics, various types of clay, glazing tools, and paints were purchased.


"The studio will be a permanent and invaluable place for art education, significantly enriching its base. It will serve such subjects as sculpture, space arrangement, designing artistic products, thanks to it we will be able to organize additional ceramics classes and take part in ceramic competitions for many years. The results of the works shall have a permanent character and constitute a valuable substantive and technical achievement of the school. Thanks to the project, our high school is equipped with a ceramics studio and offers a richer educational offer".Paweł Leszega


Despite the prevailing pandemic and the closing of schools, Mr. Leszega began his remote classes with students by seeking inspiration in the surrounding fauna and flora of the Podkarpackie region. This resulted in many interesting sketches of simple animal silhouettes. As soon as the pupils returned to school, they made clay designs, experimented with glazing and ceramic firing. By trial and error, they made dozens of very interesting and impressive-looking ceramic forms. An impressive "animal kingdom" was created, consisting of ceramic figurines of insects, amphibians, reptiles, predators, birds, and mammals; bison, deer, elk, and bears from the Carpathian forests and mountains.


The results could be admired at an exhibition of the students' works in the newly opened modern Ethnocenter of the Krosno Region. A representative of the Starak Family Foundation, Agata Bańkowska, met with the artists and could admire the exhibition.


Along with the creation of the exhibition, a catalog „Crisscross hands in clay" was published, documenting all of the presented works. We would like to add that the publication was created with the own funds of the teachers in charge. It is proof of their personal involvement in the artistic education of their proteges and their actions for the benefit of their school. Thank you very much and we appreciate this tangible initiative.


The Starak Family Foundation invited our grantees from the Horizons Program, who are day students at the Mikołaj Kopernik High School No. 1 in Krosno, to an exhibition of the „Crisscross hand in play" project and an exhibition of stone sculptures by Mr. Grzegorz Tomkowicz at the Ethnocenter. During the meeting, the scholarship holders also visited the ceramics studio at the art school and had the opportunity to learn a bit more (in theory and practice) about ceramics by participating in a workshop together with the „Crisscross clay in hands" project team. The Horizons scholarship holders also had the opportunity to meet teachers from the art school - professional sculptors and artists, and see firsthand what an entirely different kind of education looks like, one that is different from the one they know on an everyday basis, where art is the main platform for shaping young people. We hope that it was a new and valuable experience for high school students from Krosno from both schools. 

Paweł Leszega - sculptor, teacher leading the project, teaches typesetting at the school. Mr. Leszega's pupils can boast of many successes, including an award at the Wood Sculpture Biennial in Zakopane.


Below is a brief account of the grant presentation at the Starak Family Foundation headquarters:

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