Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 1
In the face of COVID-19, Artblog is hosting an open call, non-juried, first come first-served online exhibition entitled "Artists in the time of Coronavirus." If you want to participate, send your statement (250 words max) and 2 photos to


Our first post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Nina Valdera, Inez Oliveras, Julie Brylinski, Jacqueline Unanue, Kenyssa Evans, and Rosa Leff! Thank you for all who submitted! And if you want to participate, send your statement (250 words max) and 2 photos to More details here. Stay safe and stay positive, and come back Monday and in the days to come for more “Artists in the Time of Coronavirus.” We have a wonderful community and are so proud of being able to share everyone’s art.

Nina Valdera

Brown, square wall sculpture containing a jutting out square. Courtesy Nina Valdera.
“Connectivity” by Nina Valdera. Photo courtesy Nina Valdera.
Glowing light sculpture featuring blue and pink squares, split on a diagonal creating two triangles of color, one pink and one blue. Courtesy Nina Valdera.
Light sculpture work in progress by Nina Valdera. Courtesy Nina Valdera.

My name is Nina Valdera, I am currently a senior at Moore College of Art and Design. I was in the middle of student teaching and participating in Senior Studios Fine Arts, until two weeks ago. Our spring break was extended another week, and we were sent an email to take our belongings in our studio and bring it home to work on. This is a world wide epidemic and there is fear and anxiety in all of us, but as seniors we feel our last semester was ripped away from us. Our Open Studio has been cancelled for obvious reasons, but now our Senior Show and Commencement is uncertain. I am graduating with some phenomenal artists who are trying to make sense of this and are absolutely heartbroken on how our senior year is unraveling. I am a light sculptor and installation artist, I had just finished my piece titled “Connectivity” this photo was taken the last Friday before our spring break. The was the last moment shared with my classmates in our Studio, we were really excited for new work in our studio and the promise of how good our Senior show was going to be. I am grateful for that last moment with my classmates because it was such a promising moment. The last photo I am submitting is a piece I am currently working on in my parents dining room table, it is a light sculpture created to hang in a corner of two walls. I am still working on it and do not have a title for it yet. We are hopeful that we will have a senior show, we just don’t know when. I wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Philadelphia artist to exhibit their work from a distance.

IG: @Nina.M.Valdera

Inez Oliveras

Black and white portrait of a woman wearing decorative makeup, in front of a colorful, digital design created by the artist.
Haley, Inez Oliveras. Courtesy Inez Oliveras.
Black and white portrait of a woman in front of a digital designed background by the artist.
Lin, Inez Oliveras. Courtesy Inez Oliveras.

Grafika represents a feminine, care-free existence that personifies concepts of graphic design. She’s a woman who gives no thought to her imperfections. Grafika stems from my own internal conflict of individuality. By adorning beautiful women that inspire me using photography, I hope to encourage other women to recognize their worth and seek out what is beautiful to them.

During this uneasy time in our lives, I’ve been practicing self care. Physically, mentally, and artistically. I want to be okay with the outcome of any drawing, photograph, or other artwork I make, rather than being judgmental of myself. I want others to start looking inward and practice self care too. Whether it means looking to others for inspiration, taking breaks, or committing to art regardless of the outcome, there is no better time than now to practice.

“She is a gamut of colors, a woman of verve.
Cyan is her soul, magenta her blood, and yellow her song.
She is proudly enamored by her bezier curves.
A mask of deception, she cannot prolong.
If girls were like Grafika, how much more strong
would they be if they knew
that a silver spiral is just as good too.”

— Rhyme Royal poem by Zen Olive

All seven images from the series are featured in a self-made zine. I’m selling a limited number of copies, so please contact me at with interest! You can view the rest of the series on my website

Instagram: @zennography

Julie Brylinski

Painted portrait of a woman with black hair and no mouth
Painting by Julie Brylinski. Courtesy Julie Brylinski.
Painted portrait of a woman
Painting by Julie Brylinski. Courtesy Julie Brylinski.

Julie Brylinski
Instagram: @layersofjulie

I’m a full time artist, and so my routine has changed a lot for the better – minus not being able to go to my studio. As the seriousness of the virus hit me, I managed to go to my studio one last time and grab the painting I was working on as well as my essential paints and brushes. I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated space in my house for a small home studio, and have been getting a lot of work done. I’m currently working on a series of portraits – each one is a different personality of mine. I’m loving the practice of painting face after face and just letting whatever comes out, come out. I don’t plan the personalities in advance- I just let my subconscious do the work. You can shop my available work at
I am also open to commissions – you can contact me through my website or DM me on Instagram @layersofjulie

Jacqueline Unanue

Jacqueline Unanue in her studio, painting two large scale abstract paintings that are blue, red, green, and orange.
In my studio while working in my very recent series titled: Gaiamama. They are part of a six pieces polyptych Gaiamama, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 90”x 380” (229x 952 cm) Photo credit: Ricardo Guajardo Romero.
Jacqueline Unanue in her studio, preparing surfaces to paint on, standing in front of her large, blue and green and red abstract paintings.
In my studio while working in my very recent series titled: Gaiamama. They are part of a six pieces polyptych Gaiamama, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 90”x 380” (229x 952 cm) Photo credit: Ricardo Guajardo Romero.

My name is Jacqueline Unanue, I am a Chilean-American artist of Basque- Spanish ancestry living and working in art in Philadelphia since year 2000.

My recent series, Gaiamama, symbolizes my hope that it is still possible to extend the ties that unite us as humanity, and thus be able to understand the responsibility that each of us have as inhabitants in the protection of our endangered planet Earth.

I have created this title under a universal concept, merging from two concepts, that of Pachamama—the Andean Mother Earth; and Gaia—the primitive goddess of the Land of the Greeks.


Kenyssa Evans

Double-sided screen door of a transbluency figure printed on the screen mesh material
Work in progress by Kenyssa Evans. Courtesy Kenyssa Evans.
Daily objects of bricks, grass, a basketball, yard-gate, and so on that is dissolving in plaster, spray-painted with shades of blue
Work in progress by Kenyssa Evans. Courtesy Kenyssa Evans.

Hey! My name is Ken and I’m an interdisciplinary artist and student at Moore College of Art & Design. Due to the Coronavirus epidemic, it has been difficult for me to continue with my thesis project with the lack of space and resources after having to leave the campus. My thesis is still left untitled and a work in progress, but it focuses on surveillance in black dominant neighborhoods. Exploring the freedom of constant surveillance through “dark sousveillance” tactics that look to render one’s self out of sight, the piece combines elements of imagery and objects to create a surreal landscape and an elaborately constructed fragmented porch.

In the photos, you are looking at a double-sided screen door of a transbluency figure printed on the screen mesh material that is still in the works. Also, including daily objects of bricks, grass, a basketball, yard-gate, and so on that is dissolving in plaster, spray-painted with shades of blue operating as a metaphor of solemnity, distance, and fluidity. I’m going to miss in-person critiques, especially since my work is material-based. I would like to stay in conversation with many artists and educators about this concept, and if anyone knows any space or resources that I can use to continue my art practice during this time that’ll be great too 🙂

Social Media: IG – @kensnave

Rosa Leff

Black cut paper depicting a street full of various restaurants and stores
Before The Rush, 16×20, Rosa Leff. Courtesy Rosa Leff.
Blue cut paper depicting a white work van covered with graffiti
Time And Tide Wait For No Van, 8×10, Rosa Leff. Courtesy Rosa Leff.

Like most artists I know, I have a full time “day job.” I teach kindergarten in a private school and though I talk to my kids about art, they’re really separate worlds. My coworkers joke about the fact that I hop in my car fully dressed in schoolmarm appropriate attire. Then I race off to art events while changing into a mini dress and stilettos. I’m really good at changing during red lights.

Since our school closed I’ve been teaching virtually from my studio. A space that has been intentionally kept separate from the rest of my life and made sacred is now littered with crayons, worksheets and puppets I’ve constructed to be able to live stream my lessons. In an effort to help the kids make the best of what’s going on we’ve been inviting them into our lives. Today I was so excited to give them a virtual tour of my studio! I love my kiddos and they always have questions about art so I knew they’d be excited too! But it wasn’t at all what I’d expected. I’m feeling… infringed upon? It totally took me by surprise. Now that I no longer spend two hours commuting, and only teach a few hours a day, I actually have more time to cut. I’m just learning to navigate the lack of space, both physical and emotional, between my teaching and papercutting. I’m excited to see what art comes out of this!

Instagram: @rosaleff

[ED. Note: If you enjoyed Rosa Leff’s work, check out this episode of Artblog Radio from 2018- Imani Roach interviews Rosa Leff!]


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