CEDAR GROVE, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. congratulated 33 Essex County artists who received awards in the 2020 Essex County Senior Citizens Juried Art Show. Seven were from Maplewood or South Orange. This year’s contest was conducted virtually because of coronavirus. All the winning entries can be viewed by visiting https://www.artworkarchive.com/rooms/essexcountyparksandrecreation/3bb954.

“We are proud to have been able to conduct this year’s Senior Art Show virtually, which enabled us to highlight the creativity of our senior artists. The talent displayed by our senior artists is truly amazing and the artwork is inspiring,” DiVincenzo said. “Essex County has a thriving fine arts community and our Senior Art Show allows our older artists, both professionals and non-professionals, with an opportunity to display their work. This is an excellent event for us to promote the arts and inspire our residents to use their talents,” he added.

Artists, and the awards they received, are as follows:

Sign Up for SOMA Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.


  • Peter Astor received second place in the non-professional acrylic category for “Undertow.”
  • Mary Franklin received first place in the non-professional acrylic category for “Hope.”
  • Nikki Pusin received first place in the professional sculpture category for “Quurtle.”
  • Arlene Silva received second place in the non-professional mixed media category for “The Wedding.”
  • Jill Vondervor received first place in the professional watercolor category for “Atlantic City.”

South Orange

  • Gail Gardella received second place in the professional oil category for “The Flower Station The Way it Was.”
  • Annette Kushen received first place in the professional digital category for “Untitled.”

The Essex County Senior Art Show and Exhibit was open to all professional and non-professional artists ages 60 and older. Artwork was judged on originality, composition, style, quality and creativity. Seniors whose artwork was awarded first place are automatically entered into the NJ Senior Citizens Art Show.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, two miniature golf courses, golf driving range, five off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.