Alice Wadowski-Bak received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the Albright School of Art, University of Buffalo. After graduating, she moved to New York City and worked as a textile designer; an illustrator of books, magazines, and greeting cards; and as an art teacher at several colleges. The U.S. State Department invited Bak to represent the US Council of the Arts in Poland. While there, the artist met and married her husband, Andre Bak. The couple returned to New York and made their home there for several years. After the birth of her two children, (Gregory, b. 1968; Kenneth, b. 1969), Bak moved back to Niagara Falls, New York, where she continued her artistic career.
In the 1970s, Bak's reputation as an artist and generous teacher of Polish-American tradition grew enormously. She served as Artist-in-Residence at the Polish Community Center in Buffalo for over ten years. In this capacity, Bak presented numerous programs on drawing, painting, and Polish folk arts such as wycinanki (Papercutting), pisanki (wax-resist eggs), reverse drawing on glass, and straw arts. During this period, she also offered classed through ArtPark, the Albright-Know Art Gallery, and other venues including Columbia University. Actor Vincent Price collected a number of the artist's works.
Through the 1970s and 80s, Bak received many significant commissions for her work. A Toronto-based group purchased a Bak painting that depicted Polish unions, and later presented the artwork to Lech Walesa as a gift. The Blue Army commissioned Bak to produce a painting Christianity in the Americas. The painting featured Our Lady Of Guadalupe and over 200 saints, holy persons, places, and events in North and South America. History of the Church in the Americas was presented to Pope John Paul II when he visited Toronto in 1990 and is on permanent display at the Vatican. Wigilia, perhaps the most well-known work was commissioned in 1985 by Milan Slahor, the founder of the Christmas Wafer Bakery and CWB Press in Lewiston, New York. The painting depicts Wigili, the traditional Polish Christmas Eve feast. For decades, this painting has served as the cover art for packages of oplatek, the wafer bread shared by family and friends at the wigilia feast as a sign of reconciliation and renewal.