of The ABCs of Paradise Found
KAREN AMANDA TOULON
Karen Amanda Toulon is an award-winning multi-platform journalist and host who covers global business, economic and cultural news. She has worked with Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC and CBS Radio. Karen received a Gwen Ifill Award from the International Women's Media Foundation and a Pegasus Award from the Newswomen's Club of New York for leadership in diversity and mentoring. She reported on Black-owned small businesses for Bloomberg’s Businessweek earning a Society for Advancing Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Team Reporting Award.
Karen’s parents moved from the Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean to London, where she was born. Raised in NY, Karen earned her BA from Dartmouth College and a masters from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Karen and her husband, artist Eric Rhinehart, have two daughters, and live in New Jersey.
“I’ve traveled around the world, but Dominica holds a special place in my memories,” Karen said. “I spent summers there as a girl. It’s where Eric and I held our second wedding celebration at my cousin’s home just a few days after our New Jersey church ceremony. It’s where we’ve enjoyed holidays with our daughters, my sister and her family, and our parents.”
Inspired by the stories told by her parents and extended family, as well as by her own Caribbean experiences, The ABCs of Paradise Found is Karen’s first collaboration with her husband Eric, who created all of the original paintings used to illustrate the story.
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) – Board Member
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Board of Visitors
The GroundTruth Project – Board Member
Overseas Press Club Foundation – Board Secretary
Economic Club of New York – Member
Newswomen's Club of New York – Member
National Association of Black Journalists – Member
Eric Rhinehart is a painter, photographer, and graphic designer. His watercolors capture the characteristics and cultures of the people and places he visits. His travels have taken him to South Africa, Ghana, several islands in the Caribbean, England, France, Spain, New Orleans, and New England.
Eric has worked as an illustrator and art director for corporate clients for more than 30 years while pursuing his personal painting and photography. He has also taught watercolor classes at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and the Hunterdon Art Museum. His works have been exhibited in solo and group shows in galleries in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and his hometown, Detroit. Eric attended Parsons School of Design in New York and lives in New Jersey with his wife, journalist Karen Toulon. They have two daughters.
Eric clearly loves the West Indies, but his first memories of the sea were from his childhood. He grew up spending summers at Highland Beach, Maryland, a historically Black American beach community near Annapolis, that was founded by the son of abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass in the late 19th century. “My grandparents had a house at the beach,” Eric recalled. “So, my mother grew up going there as did my brothers and I. Karen and I continued the tradition by bringing our own daughters to the beach.” One of his favorite memories? Crabbing off the pier.
Eric tapped into his own travel moments when painting all of the illustrations for The ABCs of Paradise Found—his first collaboration with his wife, Karen. “I wanted to embrace the wonder, the magic of seeing the natural beauty of the Caribbean.”
American Institute of Graphic Designers
African American Graphic Designers
Black Artists & Designers Guild
American Watercolor Society
InSource - the professional association for in-house creative ledership