Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 3

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 third post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Alexander Rosenberg, Christine Gaffney, Steven Donegan, Brianna Hayes, and Reyna Howkins! 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 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.

Alexander Rosenberg

Blurry capture of Alexander Rosenberg blowing molten glass.
Alexander Rosenberg, “Vessel Prototype” (2019). Neon filled glass tubes, wood, hardware, batteries, long-exposure photograph. Courtesy Alexander Rosenberg.

Vessel Prototype (2019) Neon filled glass tubes, wood, hardware, batteries, long-exposure photograph.

I’ve always loved Kim Harty’s (@kimharty) wonderful project, “Old Venetian Glass,” in which she uses LED-lights to trace the shapes of blown glass vessels from a book with the same title.

I was thinking of her work (and others’) when I made this neon sculpture which I revolved manually to make a 3D rendering of a vessel, similar to how you might on a computer.

The object used to make the image was damaged in transport before getting a good photograph, but I’d like to remake it once I regain access to the proper facilities.

Eastern State Penitentiary with a glass case of Alexander Rosenberg's "A Climber's Guide to Eastern State."
Alexander Rosenberg, “A Climber’s Guide to Eastern State Penitentiary; or Eastern State’s Architecture and How to Escape it.” (2018 – 2020). Site specific installation, performance and guidebook. Steel, glass, wood, commercially manufactured and hand-fabricated climbing gear, found archival material, guidebook, climbing performances.

A Climber’s Guide to Eastern State Penitentiary; or Eastern State’s Architecture and How to Escape it (2018 – 2020) Site specific installation, performance and guidebook. Steel, glass, wood, commercially manufactured and hand-fabricated climbing gear, found archival material, guidebook, climbing performances.

Eastern State Penitentiary closed in 1971, the same year that manufactured “clean climbing” gear became widely available to the public. Just a year later, the Chouinard Equipment Catalog included two articles addressing the relationship between climbing gear and environmental protection: one written by Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost, and the other by Doug Robinson, introducing the concept of clean climbing to the growing worldwide climbing community. The central ethics behind clean climbing map directly onto many of the technical restrictions artists are asked to consider when proposing Eastern State art installations.

A Climber’s Guide to Eastern State Penitentiary; or Eastern State’s Architecture and How to Escape It includes a series of rock-climbing performances on the exterior walls of the former prison using the type of protection written about in the ‘72 Chouinard Equipment Catalog, a printed guidebook containing photographic documentation of the project, and an installation in one of the penitentiary’s cells. The installation includes a rack of traditional climbing gear fabricated using materials and processes available in the prison before it closed its doors, and collected ephemera related to the site’s history, the geological makeup of the exterior wall, and specific escapes involving climbing. The guidebook contains information about ESP’s location and general history, and the names, locations and ratings of the climbs performed on the former prison’s wall.

The guide book is available for purchase at ESP or directly from the artist
Both of the photos are by me.

I started working on the following statement in 2018. I was (and still am) deeply concerned with the effects of climate change, and other environmental effects of the anthropocene, but it think it is apropos of our current situation:

As a media-specific artist / educator and a maker of objects entrenched in a studio practice that consumes resources at an alarming rate, I find myself confronted by the need to quantify my carbon footprint, to assess the relative scarcity and availability of material, and, ultimately, to measure the environmental impact of my work. As these unintentional byproducts of my studio work eclipse the projects they once served, an urgent shift has begun to reorient my practice.

Today, the questions propelling my work have become simple and practical. How will the world repair itself after we are gone? How will humans and other species survive the conditions we have created? What does a posthuman earth look like?

My current body of work proposes these questions by driving an investigation of the built and “natural” world (and their constructed divides), rooting my methodology in multidisciplinary research and experimentation. Employing virtuosic technical and conceptual methods both historical and new, I delve into individual materials, sites, events, or objects, ranging from nineteenth century escapes from panopticon prisons to the “@” symbol. As I interact with the surrounding environment by applying techniques collected from studying the past and imagining the near future, I question how we might experience multiple, simultaneous, overlapping histories in a single site or object. Can we unravel these complicated, fraught narratives while shaping new identities for today–and for tomorrow?

Christine Gaffney

You can also view the videos here (Quarantine Dance Assist) and here (Legs Up the Wall)

I think it was just a week ago that I was busy working towards a first-year review for my MFA program at the University of Cincinnati. It seems like so long ago already like it was a different life I had. It is hard to even know what day it is in my isolation of my apartment under these shelter in place orders. I’ve been making art to keep myself occupied. Dark humor is usually so controversial but I feel like the whole world has unanimously decided we’re okay with this as a form of coping with the craziness of the world right now. I’m working on some videos and the things that make me laugh about them make me want to cry simultaneously.

Here is my website:

Here is my instagram:

Christine Gaffney is a Performance Artist and Sculptor from Dayton, Ohio. She is currently attending the University of Cincinnati where she is pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts and Art Education. She has studied art at Pratt Institute in Brookyln, New York, Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio and Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include concepts of identity, gender and religion. Her work embraces ideas around body image, body politics, and feminism.

Steven Donegan

Abstraction of a chromosome on top of patterns such as stripes and leaf-like shapes of yellow, green, and red.
Steven Donegan, “Gene Sharing” Courtesy Steven Donegan.
A field of ornaments, a face, chromosomes, and decorative nature, make up this abstract piece of art.
Steven Donegan, “Who do I think I am” Courtesy Steven Donegan.

Fortunately my routine has not changed much, because everything, art and business happens from my studio which is only a block away from where I live. I do feel the effect of all of this and the overall slowdown and closures, as the show I am currently in at Brooke Lanier Fine Art, has canceled its reception and subsequent artist talks. That show, Flourish, opens today, and Brooke may be able to open the Gallery if you call her. I am not quite sure how the current edicts relate to this.

If this cancellation is the worst that happens to us then I am grateful that tragedy is not at the door.

[EDIT: Brooke Lanier Fine Art Gallery will be closed in compliance with the Mayor’s orders.]

Brianna Hayes

Girl painted in a red tone with long curly blonde hair. A man with no shirt on and curly chest hair has his arm around the girl.
Brianna Hayes, At the Bus Stop, 2019. Oil on panel, 48″ x 72″. Courtesy Brianna Hayes.
Artist studio with a rolling chair, various supplies, and two large in-progress paintings of figures.
Photo of Brianna Haye’s current at-home studio space, post college studio move out. Courtesy Brianna Hayes.

The past few weeks have been a period of extreme change for me! As both a student and student teacher, my work has always been away from the home. Gathering all of my paintings, panels, and supplies was simultaneously painful and exciting. Setting up a cramped workspace in my overcrowded Philadelphia rowhouse dining room has given me insight as to how I may work post-graduation and pre-studio. During this time I have realized that working semi-large scale may not be space-economic, but it is doable, even from home.

My instagram is @hayes__brianna and my website is

Reyna Howkins

Artist studio with a large painting in progress on a table with plants and supplies. There are two small paintings on the wall.
Reyna Howkins, work in progress (30″ x 40″). Courtesy Reyna Howkins.
Abstract painting of organic shapes in pink, green, and white.
Reyna Howkins, “Objects of Affection” (12″ x 12″). Courtesy Reyna Howkins.

I am a painter, printmaker, and textile artist who grew up outside Philadelphia. I have no adult formal art training, but I take a lot of continuing education classes. I mostly make abstract work and name pieces after songs I love. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home right now and have started incorporating art into my daily life. Being creative helps relieve stress for me, so I am grateful that I have that outlet at a time like this. The current, big painting is one of the largest I’ve ever done (30″ x 40″), and I’m just getting started on it. The other painting is from 2019 and is acrylic on canvas with hand embroidery. “Objects of Affection” (12″ x 12″) was on display at High 5 Gallery in January. Stay safe and healthy everyone! And keep making art, we need it!