Music concert inspired by Frank Sinatra and art exhibition by Janusz Smulski and Beata Szpura

On April 13, the Polish-Slavic Center hosted a concert by Mr. Janusz Smulski and the art exhibition by Ms. Beata Szpura. The event was led by Jakub Polaczyk, an employee of the Polish-Slavic Center, and representatives of the board of directors of the Polish-Slavic Center were also present at the meeting: Marian Żak – president, Bożena Konkiel – secretary and Zbigniew Solarz – treasurer. The gathered guests could admire the paintings of Mrs. Beata Szpura with newly written Polish-English lyrics to the music of Frank Sinatra.

“Frank’s Drinks at Java” by Janusz Smulski. Regardless of our role, we all participate in mainstream culture. Some of us may be active recipients and creators of art at the same time. Our likes and dislikes arise not only from conscious discussions, but also from various factors in our daily lives.

Most of us see things through the prism of our ethnic, social or economic background. The show “Frank’s Drinks at Java” takes its name from the Polish tradition of gossiping over coffee. The theme of Frank Sinatra’s favorite songs are with new lyrics written by Janusz Smulski. The author sung and accompanied himself on the piano in a traditional jazz style, but the lyrics to each song were changed, inspired by daily life, differing opinions, prejudices, social media pressures and his own imagination. The words written by the Polish-born songwriter reflect how Hollywood stereotypes from Sinatra’s era apply to our modern life about love and women. The exhibition of Beata Szpura’s illustrations and paintings were part of the representation of Janusz Smulski’s musical ideas. Her works are so inspiring that when presented together with a musical performance, they take listeners to the magical world of Sinatra’s melodies.

Beata Szpura is an illustrator, painter and teacher of painting and graphics. She started studying architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology, but after emigrating to the USA she changed her major to illustration. She graduated with honors from Parsons School of Design in New York. Later, she also completed the Masters of Arts in Media from New School University. Shecurrently teaches Fashion Design Communication and Hand and Computer Drawing at Parsons School of Design, and Drawing and Illustration at Queensborough Community College. During a teaching career spanning over thirty years, she has taught painting, drawing, illustration, collage, graphic design, fashion drawing, and color theory. Her illustrations often refer to life and entertainment in New York. They have been published in the New York Times’, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Daily News, Business Week, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, Wine and Spirits, New Yorker, Town and Country, Business Week. She also collaborated with, among others, Gray Advertising, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt Publishing, Scholastic and Harper Collins. Mobiles designed by Beata were issued as holiday cards by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She also participated in the DOG NY program. This program commemorated the dogs that saved people after the  World Trade Center attacks 9/11. Painted sculptures of wolfhounds were placed on many New York streets and squares and then sold at auction. Her painting works have been exhibited in the USA, Poland, France and Ukraine. He is a long-time member of the Emotionalists group in New York and often creates illustrations for Kurier Plus.