Zofia Nędza-Kubiniec


Category I. Plastic arts, ornamentation, handicraft and folk crafts, music and dance folklore

Field of activity:
Glass artist


Zofia Nędza-Kubiniec – glass artist, embroiderer, folk costume designer/manufacturer, poet – daughter of the poet Stanisław Nędza-Kubiniec. Founder of the ‘Leśniki’ ensemble. For many years, she worked as director of a folk theatre and prepared highlander-style Nativity plays (jasełka). Member of the Związek Podhalan (Polish Highlanders Alliance) in Kościelisko.

Kościelisko, Małopolskie Voivodeship, Podhale

 Whereas she has been writing poems for more than 60 years now, Zofia Nędza-Kubiniec has never produced an anthology claiming that her own works do not match up to what her father wrote. Fortunately, she will be eager to recite her poems whenever someone visits her welcoming home.

The artist has made several hundred paintings on glass with themes that were inspired by her father’s poetry (highlander robbers, Tatra Mountains people, landscapes and musicians) or by religious motifs, such as highlander-style Virgin Mary.

Nędza-Kubiniec can also call on her seventy years’ experience of embroidering. She has produced regional costumes, spreads, tablecloths and tapestries (makaty).

After the end of the war, she organised cultural-supportive activities helping the children escaping from the ruins of Warsaw, who lived for two years in Kościelisko. She also travelled to the capital to work as a volunteer on removing the debris and then rebuilding the Royal Castle. She additionally raised funds for the castle’s reconstruction.

For about a dozen years, she managed the local community centre, where she taught how to make tissue paper decorations, traditional Christmas decorations, and how to paint, embroider and crochet. Despite the hardship and difficulty in obtaining the materials, her exceptional personality attracted crowds of children flocking to her classes. She is an expert at the Tatra Mountains folklore – its music, dance, song, poetry, dialect and handicrafts, always willing to share her expertise with the younger generations. 

The artist was an active member of the Polish Highlanders Alliance. She organised poetry evenings, night sessions, ritualistic gatherings and All Souls’ Day festivities, and prepared theatre plays for which she wrote her own scripts with the aim of cultivating the traditional culture of the region of Podhale.           

Zofia Nędza-Kubiniec’s lifelong activities were noted in her local community, where, in 2017, she was given the Wójt of Kościelisko Award in recognition of her cultural work for the benefit of the commune (local municipality).