Karen Walanka, z”l (1946-2018)

Karen was a long-time member of the AGJA and the Guild’s president in 2015. In 2007, Karen founded the Judaic Arts Fair in Chicago, one of most highly regarded biennials of Jewish art and culture in the United States, sponsored by Moriah Congregation. The AGJA’s annual Karen Walanka Online Exhibition is a way for us to honor Karen’s memory, her love of beauty and her life-long ambition to bring it to us all.



The world is wrapped in darkness. More wars are starting than ending.  But one candle disperses a lot of darkness.  And are we Jews not called a light for the nations and lamplighters?

The situation in Israel looks bleak, although a Jew never must give up hope. Tikvah, hope, was the theme of the Walanka Exhibition in 2022. This year it is LIGHT.

October 7 was ink black, but does that mean that the light has extinguished?

No. We will go on.  And artists do so by creating art.

We invite all artists and especially our AGJA members  to participate in our online exhibition and send us works related to LIGHT.


Deadline to Submit: June 16, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. (in your time zone)
Notification of Acceptance: First Week of July 2024
Exhibit Opens: August 5, 2024


The online exhibition is open to all professional artists, including current and Chaverim members of the American Guild of Judaic Art, as well as non-members. It is expected that this exhibit will run for one year online on our website.

As a benefit of membership, the $15 submission fee is waived for our members and Chaverim members.

Non-Guild members will be charged a submission fee of $15, which will be applied to your membership dues if you decide to join the AGJA by June 16th, 2024, the date that the call for art ends.

No commission will be taken by the AGJA from any sales made during this exhibition; all proceeds will go to the artist.


All professional artists at any stage in their career are invited to submit.

Work should be created within the last five (5) years.

Images: Artists may submit up to three (3) digital images of their work. 2d and 3d work in any medium (traditional and non-traditional) will be considered. Please only send JPEG or PNG. Please label your images as follows: lastname.firstname.title.

Image Size: Images should not exceed 10 MB per file. A title list with the artist’s name, title of artwork, creation date, medium and dimensions must accompany the images. If the work is for sale, please indicate a price.


  • Your CV/Resume
  • A short bio
  • A paragraph (100 words max) describing how each piece you are submitting relates to the theme.
Click Here To Submit
NOTE: This year the AGJA will create a free downloadable online catalog available to all accepted participants.
Benefits of Guild membership include:
  • A professional artist profile page (general members only – not available at the Chaverim/Circle of Friends level)
  • Ability to apply for fiscal sponsorship and grant funding for your projects by partnering with the Guild and it’s fiscal sponsor JCI – (see the AGJA grant section on our website for more info.)
  • Ability to apply for AGJA yearly grant funding (four awards yearly, two $1000 grants artist and artisant grant; an educators grant of $750; and an emerging artist grant of $750 – see the AGJA grant section on our website for more info.)
  • Opportunity to promote your work and events in our quarterly newsletter Hiddur
  • Opportunity to expand your audience through exposure on AGJA’s social media sites
  • Free and exclusive listings for our teaching artists to promote your workshops and lectures on our Educational Resources Directory
  • Free entry to the annual Karen Walanka Online Exhibition


Questions? Email us at: [email protected]