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LIBRARY TO OFFER POLISH MUSIC PROGRAM, WORKSHOP IN TRADITIONAL EGG-DECORATING

Although it involves the intricate decoration of eggs using a stylus and heated and colored wax, the Polish art of pisanki was traditionally practiced around Christmastime, not Easter.

So much for tradition.

It's spring, and the annual visit by that sweet-toothed bunny is right around the corner, so what better time for an egg decorating workshop?

The Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main St., will host the session -- featuring renowned local artist Alice Wadowski-Bak -- at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The special themed program will also include singers, some in traditional Polish dress, performing a medley of Polish folk songs and street music. The music begins at 3 p.m. in the library auditorium.

Both programs are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required for the egg workshop by calling 286-4902.

Ms. Wadowski-Bak, a well-known artist, teacher, counselor and writer, has exhibited throughout the country. Although she is perhaps more recognized for her accomplishments in papercutting, she is equally talented in the art of egg decorating, having practiced extensively at the Polish Community Center in Buffalo.

"The Polish form is simpler than others," she said of the craft. To further simplify things for the workshop, she'll hollow out the eggs in advance.

"I wanted to use plastic eggs," she said, "but the library wanted authenticity, so I've been blowing them out."

After the egg workshop, the Holy Trinity Polish Folk Group and the Echo Society Choir will sing under the direction of Al Kania, who will also provide accompaniment on the accordion.

"We'll sing some traditional Polish folk songs, do some Easter songs and different songs from different regions of Poland," Kania said. "We'll try to make it fun for the kids and entertaining for everyone."

Although the groups usually do not perform in costume, some members will wear original dress representing the Zakopne (mountain region) and Krakowiacy (Krakow) areas of Poland, Kania said.

Historically, singing and merry-making was frowned upon during the Lenten season, Kania said. Weddings and other festive events were usually eschewed during the traditionally somber, 40-day religious observance.

Holy Trinity Church, located on East Falls Street, is viewed as "the mother church of Polonia in Niagara Falls," Kania said.