Press Release – Kozak’s "Authentic Africa" at Alpha Art Gallery

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Press Release

Ottawa – September 3, 2015

Ottawa’s Alpha Art Gallery owner Edith Betowski has an eye for passion. That really sinks in when you stand before one of Urszula Kozak’s spectacular series of African wildlife prints, “Authentic Africa”, showing at the Byward Market area gallery between September 9 and October 4, 2015.

Urszula Kozak’s passion for animals shines through in every one of her African wildlife portraits. The images are not just photographs of African animals in their habitat, but windows into the souls of each of these majestic creatures.

Kozak’s passionate eye is well served by her mastery of black and white photography, which shines throughout this exhibition. Standing in front of her crisp, sometimes stark but never dark images, you are hit with a newer understanding and deeper feeling of “lionness” or “elephantness” than you have ever experienced.

Urszula Kozak’s prints are graphic masterpieces, with well-defined central characters and sharp patterns often set out against subdued, out-of-focus backgrounds. Everywhere, light and shade vie for your attention, which may be caught by sometimes surprising compositions and points of view. As Edith Betowski says: “In Urszula Kozak’s mind, there is no image of Africa as the “Dark Continent.”

Prepare to be surprised by this out-of-the-box portrait of Africa’s wildlife, at Alpha Art Gallery from September 9 to October 4, 2015. Vernissage: Saturday, September 12, 2015, 12 to 5 pm. The Gallery is located at 25 Murray Street, Ottawa, K1N 9M5.


Born on September 8, 1975, in Brenna, a small village in the south of Poland, Urszula’s deep connection with animals was quite apparent as her childhood was spent surrounded by farm animals, as well as 14 dogs and cats. This intense connection with animals at an early age shaped Urszula’s distinctive ability to capture portraits of wildlife in the same way a portrait photographer captures the essence of a subject in the studio.

Upon immigrating to Toronto, Canada, in 1984, Urszula was captivated by the magic of photography through interaction with family and friends. Her passion for photography grew as she received her first camera at the age of 12 and spent countless hours photographing any animal she could find. Urszula continued formal photographic education through high school, university, workshops and various courses throughout her career. Her natural desire to reach deeper into her subject has always set her apart.

Urszula is an award-winning portrait and fine art photographer currently residing in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, where she operates a fine art and portrait studio in the ByWard Market area. Urszula’s African Wildlife images have been published in various national and international publications, including National Geographic magazine. Urszula is currently represented by Alpha Art Gallery in Ottawa.

While on her first visit to Africa, Urszula realized she had an opportunity to capture the beauty of these majestic animals that could allow people to build deeper connections with them. Photographing their fragile and often changing environment was her opportunity to bring more attention to drought, global warming and poaching issues.

Urszula is saddened by the real possibility that future generations might only experience these animals in films and on photographs. This looming reality spurs Urszula to capture the essence of these magnificent creatures in photographs for those who may never have the chance to see them in person.

When she’s not lugging a couple of cameras over her shoulder, Urszula likes to participate in sporting activities, explore fine dining experiences with friends and family, and planning another inspiring travel adventure.


1st Place Applied Arts Photography Awards – Limited Edition/Gallery Prints (Single)
2st Place Applied Arts Photography Awards – Limited Edition/Gallery Prints (Series)

Published Works (Print and/or Online) in:

National Geographic
Men’s Journal
Applied Arts
The Black Journal – Cover & 2 Page Spread
Ottawa Business Journal
BC Business
Ottawa Technology
South Asian Connection
CIS Magazine
Canada Top Employers 2012
First Nations College Guide
2013 Education Guide
Options Carrieres
Ethical Entrepreneurship – Book Cover

Images used for Wildlife Charity Organizations:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust