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March 28, 2024 2:00–4:00 pm
Duke Arts Annex
In Partnership with the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Say the Thing


Taught by Nina Fontana

Our registration system has changed!

Going forward, registration for all Duke Arts Create workshops will now be processed through the Duke University Box Office. To streamline this transition, we have prepared a user guide that will walk you through the new registration process. Watch the video here.

About the Workshop

Join us for a journey into the vibrant world of pysanka, the traditional Ukrainian art of decorating Easter eggs. Pysanky, today’s cherished Ukrainian Easter eggs, have roots that trace back many thousands of years. The word “pysanka” (plural: pysanky) originates from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty,” meaning “to write.” Each pysanka is a symbolic gift of life, with designs and colors imbued with deep meaning.

Led by Nina Fontana, this workshop offers participants the opportunity to delve into centuries-old techniques and symbolism while creating their own stunning pysanky. Discover the process of wax-resist dyeing as Nina shares her expertise and passion for this cherished cultural tradition.

From learning about the history and symbolism of pysanky to mastering the delicate art of applying beeswax designs, participants will gain hands-on experience in crafting their own beautiful eggs.

No prior artistic experience is necessary – all skill levels are welcome! Come immerse yourself in the timeless art of pysanka and leave with a handcrafted treasure to cherish for years to come.

This is a community workshop open to all.

About the instructor

Nina Fontana, PhD, conducted her research in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine.

Nina Fontana spends her majority of her time as an ecologist. However, when spring arrives each year, she eagerly embraces another passion: creating pysanky. This tradition was passed down to her by her mom, who, as a war refugee from Ukraine, shared language, song, food, dance, culture, and traditions. Nina, along with her siblings, learned the art from her mom, and now she is excited to share its rich history and traditions with others. Join Nina in discovering the beauty and significance of pysanky during her workshop!

In addition to her Ph.D. in ecology, Nina also holds a B.A. in studio art.


About this location

Mural Durham transformed the satellites at the Duke Arts Annex. Learn how.

This workshop will meet in the Duke Arts Annex: get directions.

Address: 404 Gattis St, Durham, NC 27701

About Duke Arts Create

Duke Arts Create is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help all Duke students, including graduate and professional students (including Duke Health), as well as Duke faculty and staff develop a variety of creative skills in the visual arts, dance and movement, creative writing and more. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most workshops are held in the Duke Arts Annex, the Rubenstein Arts Center or the Duke Arts Office 2101 and are typically held weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

Registration for the following week’s workshops go live on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. – sign up in advance to guarantee your spot. Didn’t get a spot? No problem! We always reserve space for walk-ins. Email if you have any questions. Sign up for the monthly newsletter here, which includes the full list of classes offered during the following month.

Duke Arts Create is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (Duke Arts).