Danuta (Dana) Michalska was born on 3 August 1933 in Lublin, Poland. She grew up and started her artistic career in Poland. She arrived in Australia in 1985 where she continues her passion for Fine Arts.
Dana completed the renown High School of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Poland 1949–1951), graduated with Master Degree of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Poland 1951–1966) and later also received Postgraduate Diploma of Advertising (Warsaw, Poland 1966–1968).
She is an active member of several professional artists organisatons, which include Association of Polish Artists, ZPAP (Poland), Victorian Artists Society (Australia), Five Plus Group (Melbourne, Australia) and Contemporary Artists Society (Melbourne, Australia).
Over the years, Dana has worked as a free-lance artist, graphic designer (e.g. AGPOL, Poland), fashion designer (CPLiA, Poland), and advertising consultant (FSO Car Industries and Polish Airlines LOT, Poland).
Dana’s favorite medium is oil and gouache painting, and graphic art. At the same time, she has considerable experience in drawing, portrait and poster design, china and fabric painting, engraving, glass painting and lead lighting, cinematographic animation, commercial graphics, exhibition arrangement, fashion design, and sacred art.
In the past, her artistic travels took her works to Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, England, Belgium, Russia, France and Middle East, and more recently also to Thailand, Singapore and Israel. As a result, Dana’s oil paintings and prints are held in private and public collections in Poland (including Polish National Gallery), USA (including Museum of Modern Art in Miami, Florida), Australia (including Carrol Foundation and Ian Potter Museum of Art), as well as, England, France, Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Libya, Iraq, Sweden and Belgium. An internet collection of her selected works can be viewed at the Aristoberry Gallery.
Dana’s work has been exhibited at over 25 individual and 40 group exhibitions. For her work, she received grants, awards and honours, which include Honorary Award V.A.S Signatory Member Melbourne for Contribution and Services to the Arts (Melbourne 1995), Artist Awards from the Victoria Artists Society (Melbourne 1994, 1992), Contemporary Artists Society (Seymour 1989), Polish Ministry of Culture (Warsaw 1966), and an Artist Grant from the French Ministry of Culture (Paris 1965).
Polish and Australian radio and TV have discussed Dana’s art and life. Book authors praised her work, e.g. Maria Wronska-Friend (in “Roses and Red Earth, Polish Folk Art in Australia”, MacMillan, Australia, 2000); her work features in arts dictionaries and encyclopedias, e.g. Max Germaine’s “A Dictionary of Women Artists of Australia” (Craftsman House, 1991) and “Dictionary of Polish Artists” (Warsaw, Poland, 1972); and, daily press articles mention Dana, e.g. “Ktoś Musi Trzymać Drabinę” (Tygodnik Polski, 2001), “Triumph Over Horror and Sadness” (The Age, 30 January 1995) and “War is Over” (Northcote Leader, 1994).