50 Years of Art: Artists of the Modjeska Club is an exhibit of artwork by five eminent Polish American painters and artists (here listed in chronological order, below by last name): Stanislaw Szukalski, Leonard Konopelski, Zbigniew Nyczak, Slawek Wisniewski, and Janusz Maszkiewicz.
50 Years of Art at Modjeska Club - Exhibition Opening at Vienna Woods
When: opening reception will take place on Saturday, 23 September 2023, at 6 pm (on view from September 23 to October 22)
Where: Held at Vienna Woods Gallery, 351 South La Brea Blvd, Los Angeles 90036
to 20 September 2023.
A BIOGRAPHY (ŻYCIORYS) poetic monodrama based on texts by Zbigniew Herbert; sscreenplay, direction and execution: Wojciech Wysocki; live music: Piotr Kajetan Matczuk; performed in Polish, no subtitles.
Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club invites all members and friends of the Club to a theatrical performance directed and performed by the Polish actor Wojciech Wysocki with live music by Piotr Kajetan Matczuk.
The performance will take place on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 6:30 (from 7:00 pm no one will be able to enter the auditorium) at Illusion Magic Theater (formerly Magicopolis), 1418 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401, free admission, RSVP email@example.com. The seating is limited and seats are not numbered. RSVP early.
The event is part of the Spring of Polish Culture in the Western United States, supported by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles.
The Consulate supports three projects of the Club with grants:
1) a lecture by Katarzyna Winnicka,
2) the Hybrydy Theatre,
3) the Wojciech Wysocki Theater with the play
Życiorys/Biography and music by Piotr Matczuk. The grants pay for the venue rental and AV technician costs. Since these events are supported by the Consulate, they are free to the general public.
ABOUT THE PLAY
Wojciech Wysocki, in addition to stage work in drama and comedy theaters and on the radio, is a popular television and film actor, especially popular thanks to the series Ranczo, in which he played the role of doctor Wezół. As a lover, expert and promoter of poetry, he is also the creator, screenwriter, director and performer of the monodrama Biography. The monodrama is a presentation of carefully selected works by Zbigniew Herbert, combined by the artist into a scenic whole, which have been selected to create and tell the story of a person's life from birth to death.
In a way that is very characteristic of Zbigniew Herbert's work, the monodrama Biography combines various universal problems and existential questions with small, metaphorically and allegorically expressed observations and stories about the good and bad in life, about various people, animals and objects that surround us. The monodrama is performed with live music composed by Piotr Kajetan Matczuk.
Życiorys - A Biography, a Play about Zbigniew Herbert
When: Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 6:30 (from 7:00 pm no one will be able to enter the auditorium)
Where: Illusion Magic Theater (formerly known as Magicopolis), 1418 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Free admission, limited seating. RSVP early.
On the occasion of Easter and Passover, we would like to wish all Club Members and friends of our Club the best of health, joy, peace and prosperity. Let the Easter holiday be happy, sunny, and colorful - we've had enough of this rain, cold and grayness - both literally and symbolically. Enclosed are Easter eggs painted in onion skins, and the Resurrection images by Giotto and Malczewski. Pure joy! Additionally, a brief poem by Joanna Kulmowa:
On Easter, white foam flies out of windows.
The white foam pours out into clouds.
The windows shine - so clean, so joyous.
And the wide-open sky rest in comfort.
This - the deepest, bluest Easter sky.
And in this sky - the Sun - Sun -
Sun is swinging, singing, and twirling
Like a copper bell for Alleluia.
Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club presents the Hybrydy Theater of Warsaw University in the performance entitled Life is Theater and given in Polish, without English subtitles. The performance will take place on Sunday, April 2, 2023 at pm at the Illusion Magic Theater (formerly known as Magicopolis), 1418 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Free admission, limited seating, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with RSVP and date of event in the subject line, send replies to March 25, 2023.
The event is part of the Spring of Polish Culture in the Western United States, supported by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles.
Życie to jest teatr / Life is a Theater is a concert of hits by the masters of Polish song, Agnieszka Osiecka and Wojciech Młynarski, graduates of the University of Warsaw and co-founders of the Hybrydy Theatre, whose lyrics are hummed and listened to by subsequent generations of Poles. The most beautiful hits in new, energetic arrangements will be interspersed with funny literary cabaret sketches from pre-war and post-war Poland. The program will also feature retro hits by excellent Polish composers in a cheerful, lively mood, as well as more lyrical and nostalgic pieces. Starring: Magdalena Rossowska, Dominika Świątek, Maciej Dzięciołowski
Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club invites members and friends interested in the history of Poland, its heroes and secrets to an interesting meeting with the former Consul of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, writer and editor Mariusz M. Brymora. The topic of the meeting will be the newly published book by Romuald Spasowski, entitled Ambassador's Confession, which was edited from over 3,000 pages down to 750 pages by Mr. Brymora.
The meeting will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 6:30 pm at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga; 10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042. Admission free, RSVP to email@example.com During the meeting the audience will be able to buy books and get an autograph with the editor's dedication. After talking with Mr. Brymora, we invite you to join us for refreshments.
Lecture by Katarzyna Winnicka of Poland
Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club presents a lecture by Katarzyna Winnicka from Sanok Historical Museum in Poland. It is a presentation of the most important examples of icons, which are part of one of the largest and most beautiful collections of Orthodox church art in Poland and all of Europe. Icons are sacred paintings (Marian, Christological or Hagiographic), painted on wood boards, and collected from former Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches in south-east Poland. The second part of the presentation will cover the work of Zdzisław Beksiński (1929-2005) - one of the most famous contemporary artists. In his paintings, one can see the features of visionary Romantic and surreal painting, or inspirations by Eastern mysticism. In 2001, Beksiński bequeathed his entire artistic output to the Historical Museum in Sanok, to which he donated about 300 works during his lifetime. Currently, the Museum has the largest collection of the artist's works, including several thousand paintings, reliefs, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs.
Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club proudly presents the 2022 Modjeska Prizes, named after the patron of the Club, actress Helena Modjeska (1840-1909), to two of its own, a Club member and Vice President, eminent actress Katarzyna Smiechowicz, and a great friend of the Club and frequent performer at its event, distinguished actor Marek Probosz.
The award presentation will take during a dinner reception at the elegant and artistic residence of fiber-artist Monique Chmielewski Lehman and her husband retired NASA manager and Naval Officer, David Lehman in Pasadena. The event is scheduled for the afternoon on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 4 p.m. with the presentation at 5pm and dinner at 6 p.m. We had to reschedule the event due to the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of our most faithful members scheduled for February 18, our original date. The event, held in a private residence is open to Club members, their guests, and VIP honorees' guests.
ABOUT THE MODJESKA PRIZES
In 2010, to honor its patron and recognize acting talent of Polish actors, the Modjeska Club created the Helena Modjeska Prize for the Most Eminent Polish Actor. The prize was first presented to Jan Nowicki in 2010, then to Anna Dymna in 2011, and to Barbara Krafftowna in 2012. The prize was discontinued in the years 2013-2017 ; the 2018 prize was presented to Jadwiga Baranska, in 2019 the honorees were two emigre actress of the Polish Theater in Toronto, Maria Nowotarska and Agata Pilitowska, in 2020 the award was presented virtually to Andrzej Seweryn and in 2021, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Modjeska Club, the awards were presented in person to Californian actress Beata Pozniak and virtually to Director of Warsaw's National Theater, a legend of Polish film and tv, Jan Englert. In September 2022, Jan Englert came to California to personally receive the 2021 award, and perform "Kwiaty Polskie" in Beverly Hills and Vista, San Diego County with his wife, talented and beautiful actress Beata Scibakowna.
KATARZYNA A. SMIECHOWICZ sometimes acting as Kasia A. Leconte is a Polish actress who has been working in Poland and the USA. Katarzyna started her artistic career as a teenager studying acting with many excellent teachers. Initially, she was involved in ballet and theater; over time film and television have become the closest to her heart. Her passion for ballet and poetry turned to acting when a respected Polish actor, Wirgiliusz Gryn, discovered her acting talent and convinced her to pursue acting as a profession.
Residing in Los Angeles since 2000, she studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and at the Margie Haber Studio. Throughout her career, she has appeared in over 30 feature films and television series having worked with such directors as Steven Spielberg, Krzysztof Krauze, Jacek Bromski, Tomasz Konecki, Andrzej Saramonowicz, and Olaf Lubaszenko.
Beyond film and television, she has portrayed many great parts on stage, including Katharina in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew", and Roza in Juliusz Slowacki's "Lilla Weneda." Kasia's U.S. theater debut was in the leading role of Carrie in "Cafe Hollywood."
• 2020 -“BEZ SKRUPULOW”, dir. Jacek Bromski, TV series (Wanda)
• 2019- “SOLID GOLD”, dir. Jacek Bromski, Film (Wanda Szulc)
• 2018- “DR. SUGAR”, dir. Paul Saleba - Film (k.m.) (Boo Boo)
• 2015 - “ANATOMIA ZŁA”, dir. Jacek Bromski, Film
• 2015 - “BILET NA KSIĘŻYC”, dir. Jacek Bromski, Film (Donata KRUGER)
• 2012 - “PARADOKS”, dir. Borys Lankosz, TV series
• 2011 - “WYGRANY”, dir. Wieslaw Saniewski, Film
• 2009 - “U PANA BOGA ZA MIEDZĄ” dir. Jacek Bromski, Film (Ludmiła Niedbałko)
• 2009 - “U PANA BOGA W OGRODKU", dir. Jacek Bromski, Serial TV (Ludmiła Niedbałko
• 2007 - “TESTOSTERON” dir. Tomasz Konecki & Andrzej Saramonowicz Film (Barbie)
• 2003 - “SZPITAL NA PERYPETIACH”, dir. Krzysztof Jaroszynski Serial TV (Monika)
• 2001 - “WIELKIE RZECZY”, dir. Krzysztof Krauze - GRA (odc.2), Serial TV
• 2000 -“ CHŁOPAKI NIE PŁACZĄ”, dir. Olaf Lubaszenko, Film
• 2000 -“ BARDZO OSTRY DYŻUR”, dir. Wojciech Mann & Krzysztof Materna, Sitcom TV
• 1989 - “MDM”, dir. Wojciech Mann & Krzysztof Materna Program TV
• 1998 - “TALK SHOW JERZEGO K”, dir. Jerzy Kryszak., Program TV
• 1997 - “CIEMNA STRONA WENUS”, dir. Radoslaw Piwowarski, Film
• 1996 -“ EKSTRADYCJA 2”, dir. Wojciech Wojcik, Serial TV
• 1996 - “GRY ULICZNE”, dir. Krzysztof Krauze, Film
• 1996 - “PRZECIĄG” dir. Maciej Zak & Jacek Kecik, Program TV
• 1995 - “DZIEJE MISTRZA TWARDOWSKIEGO”, dir. Krzysztof Gradowski, Film
In addition to acting in many critically acclaimed roles, Smiechowicz has written scripts and worked as a voice-over actor. She is the President of the Film and Television Studio Kasia Films, through which she aims to create international productions. She is also known for her charity work for the sick and those in need. Katarzyna constantly supports and promotes Polish culture in the USA. With a home on both continents, but a husband in the U.S., she spends most of the time in Los Angeles, but works both in Europe and the States. Her husband Dominik J. Leconte is an executive at Sony Pictures. On July 3rd 2010 Kasia and Dominik welcomed their identical twin boys, Antoni and Fabian at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The multi-talented 12-year-old sons are gaining recognition as child actors and models.
Ms. Smiechowicz became a member of the Modjeska Club in 2018, and was elected its Vice President in June 2022. She has appeared in many programs as a interviewer or being interviewed about her career highlights and artistic interests.
Marek Probosz, a Polish-American actor, director, screenwriter, author, and producer, has about 60 film roles to his credit. Many of these films have won awards at prestigious film festivals, such as, Cannes, Berlin, San Sebastian, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles, and Houston. Probosz emigrated to the U.S. at the peak of his career in Europe, invited by The American Cinematheque in Los Angeles in 1987, as the “Idol of his generation.” His film and television career spans roles in Polish, Czech, German, French, Italian, and American productions and co-productions. He has guest starred on the popular CBS TV series “Scorpion”; ABC’s “Scandal”; CBS’s “Numbers”; NBC’s “JAG” and USA’s “MONK”. Probosz had excellent reviews in The New York Times, Hollywood Reporter i Variety for his portrait of Roman Polanski, a world cinema legend, in the film “Helter Skelter” by Warner Bros. TV 2004. The film “Once Upon A Time in November” directed by Andrzej Jakimowski, in which Probosz played a doctor of law, opened the International Film Festival in Warsaw. It received the main award at the International Film Festival in Taormina, Sicily in 2018.
In 2006, he starred in an unforgettable role as the Polish World War II hero and legendary volunteer to Auschwitz, Witold Pilecki, in the film “The Death of Captain Pilecki”, directed by Ryszard Bugajski. The film won the Special Jury REMI award at the 2007 WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival. Probosz has toured the globe with the film, participating in many international film festivals, screenings, and discussions at Universities, museums and embassies around the world.
In 2012, he recorded the critically acclaimed audiobook “The Auschwitz Volunteer. Beyond Bravery” for audible.com, which is a collection of Pilecki’s reports from Auschwitz. The project received the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award in 2013 and the Best Prose Award in 2012.
In 2018, Probosz directed the monodrama “Volunteer to Auschwitz: Captain Pilecki”, in which he once again transformed into one of the greatest war heroes of the 20th century. This spectacle, which he performed multiple times on Broadway for a sold out audience, won the Best Documentary Show Award 2018 at United Solo NYC Festival (best of 130 shows).
In 2022, Probosz was honored by a prize for the Best New York Premiere at the United Solo NYC Festival for his performance in a play by Kazimierz Braun "Norwid's Return" (Powrot Norwida) based on poetry and life of a great Romantic poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid. The world premiere of this play was staged with music by Anna von Urbans and first presented in Poland at the Pola Negri Film Festival in Lipno. At the same festival Probosz received a lifetime achievement award POLITKA 2022 andhis name was inscribed on the Pola Negri Avenue of Stars.
In 2008, Probosz played Odysseus in a classic play by Sophocles, "Philoktetes" playing along Henry Goodman at the Getty Villa Theater in Malibu. Another main role in a theater play was in "The Tower of Babel" at the Mark Taper Forum Theater in Los Angeles in 1990. He directed and performed in his contemporary adaptation of the classic "Salome" by Oscar Wilde, this performance received an Award from Chech Critis as the best theater performance of 1986.
Some of the acclaimed films which Probosz is most known for include: “End of the Lonely Farm Berghof” (Main Award at Karlovy Vary 1984); “The Shadow of the Ferns” (San Sebastian International Film Festival 1985); “Ferdydurke” (Venice Film Festival 1991); “Horizontal 8” (Main Award for Independent Film Venice Film Festival 1991); “Reverse” (Golden Lion Award Gdynia Film Festival 2009); “Janosik: The True Story” (Gdynia Film Festival 2009); “Boxer” (Golden Eagle Award at Los Angeles Film Festival 2011); “Closed Circuit” (People’s Choice Award Toronto 2013, Humanitarian Society Award Chicago 2013); “I Love Cinema” (KMTF Award Turin 1988); “Our God’s Brother” (Nominee at the Japanese Grand Prix Festival in Tokyo 1997, MFF Award Teheran 1999); “Players” (Gdynia Film Festival 1995); “Time of Maturation” (Special Jury Award San Sebastian 1984); “No More Dreaming” (Bronze Lions Gdansk Film Fetival 1982); “Moth” (Silver Medal MFF Figuiera de Foz 1980, Moscow Film Festival prize in 1981).
In the world of documentary films, Probosz has directed the feature-length “Jan Kott: Still Alive”, about the world famous Shakespeare specialist, Jan Kott. His short film “Rebel”, a psychological drama delving into the problem of suicide among American youth, was a precursor to his U.S. feature debut, “Y.M.I.”, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in (People’s Choice ABBOT Award, Los Angeles – 2004). Probosz is an Adjunct Professor at University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA, where he has taught theater and film acting since 2005. He taught at Emerson College in Los Angeles from 2000-2005, at Edgemar Center For The Arts in Santa Monica from 2008-2011, and at the Theater Academy of A. Zelwerowicz in Warsaw in 2016. As an acting expert, he has also been invited to teach film acting at the prestigious Williams College in Massachusetts in 2021.
The actor, director, and professor is also a writer, an author of two books: Eldorado (Pub. Stentor, 2009) and Call Me When They Kill You (Latarnik, 2011). His publications include 11 original and adapted feature-length screenplays, such as “AUM, or the Torturing of Actors,” “Y.M.I.” (People’s Choice Award at The Other Venice Film Festival, Los Angeles 2004), or “Cruel Story.” He is the author of two theater play "AUM, or torturing of actors" and "Auschwitz No. 432" as well as six screenplays for short films, and dozens of essays, book chapters, and articles. Since 2018, Probosz is a regular contributor to literary artistic quarterly, Afront. Frequently invited to serve on festival juries and give Master Classes worldwide, Probosz received his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and Acting in 1984 from the Polish National Higher School of Film and Theater of L. Schiller, Łódź. He also earned a MFA degree in Directing from The American Film Institute – AFI, Los Angeles, in 1993. In 2018 he received the "Oscar" of Polish Diaspora -the "Golden Owl" for lifetime achievement in the category of film, presented in Vienna, Austria. In 2011 he received the medal Mortui Sunt ut Liberti Vivamus in London, and gold medal Witold Pilecki - Faithful to the End in Oświęcim.