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“Remind ourselves, we are creative people and manage to find artistic community”: how Ukrainians make painting workshops in Krakow.

Two Ukrainians have been organizing weekly painting workshops in Krakow for 6 months already. In publication we are sharing the story of creating RanokArt, who are the participants, why it’s important and what Ukrainian paint there.

How the RanokArt was created

Manager of culture from Chernivtsy Oleksandra Priymak and Oksana Petrichenko, a graphic artist from Dnipro, met each other during the organization of a British art project for Ukrainian children in Krakow.

Oksana met the war in Dubai during her stay for art contract. She moved to Krakow in May 2022. Oleksandra has been living and working in Poland for six years — she organizes events, managing social networks.

Oksana says: “From the very beginning we felt the connection with Oleksandra. I have always been dreaming about the club where we could paint. I was thinking of this idea since pre-war life, and when Oleksandra proposed it, I was delighted – the puzzles were solved! She is very energetic and knows how to organize high-quality events, as for me art is my life, so I took the responsibility on the creative part of the project. I have a lot of artistic ideas and experience, but managing stuff is more difficult for me.”

Oksana Petrychenko.



Oleksandra remembers how was her idea was formed: “When I lived in Ukraine, one of my friends was organizing painting meetings on the sunset. We decided not to be so radical and organize workshops in more comfort time.”

This is how RanokArt was created, which works for six months already.

Morning meetings

The format of the meeting is unusual. These are not regular workshops or classes of painting. 

“When you do workshop, you should teach people to paint, accompany them during the lesson and follow their results, – Oleksandra continues. — I want to meet semi-minded people and paint together in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere”.

Every Tuesday 10 a.m. members of RanokArt are gathering in one of the cafes in Krakow and making art. At the beginning the organizers were doing experiments – tried different formats, made meetings on Saturdays – but members didn’t like such a version. So they decided to keep meeting on Tuesdays. 

“It’s not easy to explain, but on weekdays more people are joining than on weekends. And during the lunchtime people have another mood and energy. 

In the morning, we are energizing each other with positive energy and share the great mood.”, — says Oleksandra. 

Oleksandra Priymak.

It’s important that we have people with different levels on our meetings: some have graduated from art school or courses, and some dared to pick up a brush for the first time.

“We do not evaluate and is not building frames – every person is painting like she wants. Women who were scared to paint all their life, were exhausted with work and children are visiting our meetings to discover a new form of leisure and creativity. Watch them happy after the workshops, holding their artworks – is a great pleasure, – shares one of the organizers. — Business people, who grow children, do volunteering, turn into artists on our meetings.”. 

A different cafe is chosen for every new meeting in order to create a new atmosphere and open more of Krakow’s places. “The girl from Ivano-Frankivsk proposes us cafes. All the time she finds a unique place with a special atmosphere. It is very inspiring, because we combine pleasant things with useful!”  – Oleksandra continues.

“We want creativity to dominate”  

Painter Oksana invents the themes. She says: „Sometimes topics come immediately or accidentally, on the way to a meeting. Sometimes you have to think. But I always try to tie our meetings to actual events and feelings.”

This is how love was painted on Valentine’s Day – everyone imagined it in their own way. We have also painted a solar eclipse, the last day of summer, the feeling of autumn and our fears at RanokArt.

“Since the year of the rabbit has begun and this Chinese sign came into force, I offered to draw it at our meeting. The works turned out to be very different!  Someone drew a meditating rabbit, someone had it fluffy and soft, and I got a black hare that is rapidly running somewhere. Even such a banal topic as a rabbit gave completely different results,” adds Oksana.

Drawings by members of RanokArt.

Sharing materials – is one of the main ideas of RanokArt

Different people come to RanokArt meetings – professional artists with a large arsenal of tools and people who have never held a brush or pencil in their hands.

Oleksandra says: „Everyone puts their materials on the table, and everyone can use them freely. Someone brings cool paints that haven’t dared to paint with for a long time, someone brings markers, someone completely unusual materials that are little known to people who are not from the field of painting. In this way, everyone tries themselves in different techniques and styles.”

Materials for painting are usually quite expensive, so not everyone is ready to buy them just to try another technique. “Personally I, as a professional painter with years of experience, thanks to Oleksandra and RanokArt tried to paint with ink and ink pen for the first time. Before that, I used to draw with a liner, markers and black pens, but for a month already I’ve been using only a metal pen that needs to be dipped with ink — now it’s my favorite technique,” says Oksana.

Drawing for donating 

Currently, our meetings are free of charge — everyone could join our Tuesday meetings. RanokArt has its own chart where permanent visitors are connected, sharing experience and ideas.

However, in the future artists are going to gather donations during the meetings in order to support Ukraine.

We made Instagram page for RanokArt. To connect with the organizers you could write here.

Oksana emphasizes the importance of such meetings: „This is art with elements of therapy, because everyone leaves their fears and experiences on paper. Also, personally for me, this is a way to remember that we are creative people and to find our community.”

Meetings of RanokArt.


Text: redaction of 

Photos: RanokArt,

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of UA in Krakow and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of UNHCR. For more information on UNHCR and assistance available in Poland: 


Fundacja Instytut Polska-Ukraina

Klub Ukraiński w Krakowie - Fundacja Zustricz

The Jewish Community Centre of Krakow

Salam Lab, Laboratorium Pokoju.

Szlachetna Paczka -Pomoc potrzebującym - ubogim, dzieciom, seniorom, chorym i niepełnosprawnym.

NIĆ. Kawiarnio-księgarnia.