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Karen Abada Wins Art House Productions' Online Art Competition

originally published: 05/26/2020

Karen Abada Wins Art House Productions(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Art House Productions has announced the winner and honorable mentions for their first Visual Art Competition sponsored by Mack-Cali Realty/Harborside JC: “Pressing Pause: Living Life While Staying Put”. The winner is “An Invincible Summer” by Karen Abada. Honorable mentions include “Zoom with Friends” by Donna O’ Grady, “The Opposite of Confinement” by Dorie Dahlberg, and “Organisims l” by Robert Burger. The winner was selected from 170 works of art from a total of 74 New Jersey Artists based on creativity, artistic excellence, and relevance to the theme. 

The selection panel included Andrea McKenna, Artist and Art House Gallery Director; Loura van der Meule, Artist; Miguel Cardenas, Artist and Arts Educator, and Cheryl Mack, Owner and Director of Bridge Art Gallery. 

The winning piece is “An Invincible Summer” by Karen Abada. Karen is an artist and freelance Creative Director from Montclair, NJ. She says, “I created this painting to express the hope that our shared journey will lead us out of this nightmare into better times. The title comes from a line in an essay by Albert Camus, who also wrote The Plague: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.”

Karen Abada will be awarded a $500 cash prize, her work will be featured on the Art House Productions’ website and social media for one month, and the winning piece will be displayed as part of Art House’s group show for the 30th Annual JCAST in October 2020. 

“‘An Invincible Summer’ speaks of healing and hope. It resonates a feeling of freedom during a time when we feel like we have none. We dream of better days, we reminisce of what we had and look to the future for what will be.” says Andrea McKenna, the Art House Gallery director. 

“As a first time juror in an art competition, I found that it wasn't easy to select a winner but, at the same time, I was delighted to see so much good art from artists I did not know,” says panelist Loura van der Meule.

“It was a pleasure to have acted as one of the judges. Seeing all the amazing entries gave me a sense of connection, a glimpse of hope and the time to contemplate on how our creative community is responding to and expressing the sense of resigned isolation we are all collectively feeling during this ‘pause,’” says panelist Miguel Cardenas.





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The Honorable mentions are:  

“Zoom with Friends” by Donna O’ Grady. Donna was born in Jersey City, currently resides in Hoboken and has her studio in the Neumann Leather Building.  

“The Opposite of Confinement” by Dorie Dahlberg. Dorie currently resides in Long Branch less than a mile from the beachfront. At present, Dorie is the co-president of Pro Arts Jersey City, an all-volunteer artist-run organization. In the fall of 2019, Dorie became an adjunct professor in the art department of New Jersey City University, Jersey City NJ. 

“Organisims l” by Robert Burger. Robert is an award winning artist from Stockton, NJ.



Art House is working creatively to deliver digital content during this pandemic. While the doors to our physical space might be temporarily closed, we are here in the digital space as a source of strength, creativity, humor, and light when you need inspiration and affirmation.

In the coming days, weeks, and months, Art House is planning artist features & profiles, performance videos, online galleries, and livestreaming community events! For information about upcoming digital events and features, please click here, along with their Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for more information.  

Art House Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization committed to the development and presentation of the performing and visual arts in Jersey City, NJ. Art House Productions produces and presents theater, visual arts, adult and youth arts education classes, festivals such as Your Move: New Jersey’s Modern Dance Festival and the Jersey City Comedy Festival, and the free city-wide arts festival, JC Fridays. Art House Productions is located at 262 17th Street in Jersey City and is a 5,500 square foot facility with elevator access, accessible bathrooms, and wheelchair ramp accessibility.  

IMAGE: “An Invincible Summer” by Karen Abada


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