Oksana Hrytsey (1915-1988) — an unsurpassed master of portrait, an artist of unique genre — pokerwork. She was the first in Galicia to use this new unique technique. She made portraits and figured compositions, decorated them with geometric tracery. She also used carving and inlay with glass beads and brass nails.
Oksana was born in 1915, May 11, in Dolyna city in the family of Yosyp Vynnyk, a court constable. Her father was the first to pay attention to his daughter's appeal for painting. He bought her watercolours and oil paints though he wanted her to become a doctor. When a pupil, Oksana painted the portraits of her teachers and schoolmates. That's why they called her "Mateyko" (Jan Mateyko, a well-known Polish artist). When in senior high school, she became an active member of Ukrainian Nationalists organization. As an activist, she spent some time in Zolochiv prison (1936-1937). Since 1938 she lives in Lviv — center of art and political life.
After hard afterwar years Oksana returned to Dolyna and stayed there for the last part of her life. Her creative work began in 1950s. She participated in various exhibitions in Lviv and other cities. There her wooden boxes and portraits made by technique of poking appeared. Later her talent was highly appreciated. In 1970 O. Hrytsey became a member of Ukrainian Artists' Union. In 1980 she got the Title of Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine.
Nowadays the masterpieces of Oksana Hrytsey are kept in many museums of Ukraine, Cuba, Canada, USA, Poland, India and Germany.