Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 22

We are proud to present part 22 of our open call, non-juried, online exhibition entitled "Artists in the time of Coronavirus!" We have gotten over 200 submissions, so if you haven't seen yours yet, don't worry- it is coming! If you want to participate, send your statement (250 words max) and 2 photos to

Our twenty-second post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Taylor Seniow, Marilyn Rodriguez, Jihan Thomas, Christine Burke, Joao Magalhaes, Krishna Desai, and Dereck Mangus.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.

[Note: We have gotten ~250 submissions, so if you haven’t seen yours yet, don’t worry- it is coming, and we can’t wait to post it!]

Taylor Seniow

Unfinished painting of Ozzy Osborne in Taylor's studio
Artwork by Taylor Seniow. Courtesy Taylor Seniow.
Painting of a gray skull and scathe on a black background.
Artwork by Taylor Seniow. Courtesy Taylor Seniow.

I’m an artist from right outside of Philadelphia, normally i work 6 days a week at a tattoo parlor doing tattoos and piercings! On my free time i like to paint, explore nature, workout, cook and play guitar. At this time i’m out of work and trying to keep my normal routine going! The top painting is a work in progress portrait of young Ozzy Osbourne, and the second is a skull commission i just finished the other day! Both are done using oil paint! I have extra time now and I am open for commissions! To see more of my work check out my instagram @taylorseniowart !!

Marilyn Rodriguez

Painting and collage of two figures with sparkly hair.
Artwork by Marilyn Rodriguez. Courtesy Marilyn Rodriguez.
Drawing of many heads arranged in the shape of branches on a tree
Artwork by Marilyn Rodriguez. Courtesy Marilyn Rodriguez.

I am a full-time artist with a full-time job. A professional title, a career that I love.
My name is Marilyn Rodriguez and I am the Education Director for Taller Puertorriqueño Inc.
My time here inlock-down is use wisely. I am a currenting doing both creating art and conducting administrative duties. I am blessed because my studio is in my home.

The past two years I have been working on pieces for a solo show. This show will be in my community, at a church that does a lot to serve its community. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be push back.
Right now, my biggest concerns are, the families in ‘our communities’. The families we serve @Taller Puertorriqueño. When the city gets hit hard. So, does our community and often ignored.
In the past few weeks, myself, along with my teaching family. We have been brainstorming on how to get creative online, keeping program going.

I am very passion about all I do. Right now, we all need to get creative at home, and pray, that we as a world become more united.

Jihan Thomas

Marker drawing of a female face with long colorful hair entwining into a design above her head.
Artwork by Jihan Thomas. Courtesy Jihan Thomas.
Marker drawing of four faces with their chins pointed towards the center of the page, connecting into a circular shape.
Artwork by Jihan Thomas. Courtesy Jihan Thomas.

Right now, I feel like some type of mythical being. I’m being asked to do and think about so much. I feel like my priorities are being challenged even more. As a black woman, mother and artist I have always been thinking about survival. I’m being asked to use my magic for others and I truly need to be pulling out of my reservoir and pouring back into it. Educating my daughter is very important to me. I always wanted to do homeschooling, but I never had the support.

I am using this time to be creative and pour into the mind of my child. Pouring into myself is difficult, but now I am making new definitions for myself to commit to. I have a friend that keeps saying the world is over. The world as how you knew to maneuver it is over. And in a way they are right. I am going to take this time to redefine my outlook and approaches to myself and how I want t journey through this time. As an artist this is all that I would want. Time. My challenge is that my head is in a tizzy to maximize, minimize, manifest, merge, meditate and mobile my abilities for me and mine for the next millennium.

Christine Burke

Painting of the philadephia skyline with red and white balloons floating into the sky.
Christine Burke, “Philly Skyline” Courtesy Christine Burke
Painting of Robert Indiana's Love Statue in love park with a fountain flowing behind it.
Christine Burke, “Let Love Flow” Courtesy Christine Burke

As the Covid – 19 descends over the city of brotherly love and our world, it is sweeping some of us into a time of deep reflection. Our usual routines have been altered. As we try to find a new normal, I enter my art studio and reflect on what I want to say in my art. I believe art is a place where all of your emotions can be safely expressed. So, I pick up my brush and feel the panic, the worry, the grief and sadness we are feeling. I take a deep breath and pour an array of colors on my palette – each one seems to symbolize a feeling.

Taking a leap into the unknown, I dip my brush into the red paint. As the brush hits the canvas, I feel a variety of feelings. One by one, I let each emotion surface. I have learned not to push them away. Emotions need motion – so I allow them to move through me and onto the canvas.

As I give each feeling an appropriate place on the canvas they seem to be released. I let go and allow the painting to move through me. Hours have passed and I am lost in the process. I step back and look at my creation. Somehow giving myself permission to feel all my feelings even if they are dark allows love to take over. I choose love over fear. I share my paintings with the world and hope that it gives others the freedom to do the same.

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Joao Magalhaes

Painting of boats near a dock on a calm sunny day.
Painting by Joao Magalhaes. Courtesy Joao Magalhaes.
Joao painting on an easel outdoors.
Joao Magalhaes painting outside. Courtesy Owen Robbins.

My name is Joao Magalhaes (Joao is Portuguese for John). I was born in Brazil where I discovered in my teenage years a fascination for painting.

I came to the United States for a master’s program in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Central Oklahoma. After graduation, I relocated to the Philadelphia area, currently living with my partner in University City. I taught English as a Second Language for nearly 18 years but have been a full-time artist since November 2018.

Most of my oil paintings are sold in Provincetown, MA. However, it remains unknown to what extent the Coronavirus pandemic will affect the summer season on Cape Cod and impact the buying power of thousands of people who travel to the Cape year after year. Despite this grim scenario, I continue to work regularly, and I am pleased to see my paintings experience a growing presence in the local art scene, for which I am truly grateful.

Since I work from home and thrive in peace and quiet, the presently needed social distancing does not distress me significantly. I wonder though how the ramifications of this crisis will affect an artist’s ability to generate an income. I stand with you in solidarity during these dark days and pray to God for deliverance and mercy upon us all.

I would like to connect with you via Instagram #joaomagalhaesart. And please, check out as well. Thank you!

Stay safe, healthy, and happy!

Krishna Desai

Painting on three vertical rectangular patterns. A tree growing onto all three panels.
Krishna Desai, “Roar” Oil paint, March 2020. South Philly, Pennsylvania, United States.
Each panel explores seasons of inward, outward, and renewed growth.
Krishna Desai sitting on a giant rock in front of caves.
Selfie of Krishna Desai, Uplistsikhe Cave, Georgia, Europe

By day, I am driven to find trends in data and by night, I like to think of myself as an artist and writer. The days that I am not doing these three activities, I am finding joy as a global citizen by challenging status quo, learning, and growing as a human in different countries. In the last five years, I have traveled to over 25 countries and picked up pieces of at least five languages. My art mainly focuses on the mediums, ceramics, oil painting, photography and, charcoal drawing. My writing genres include poetry, non-fiction, short-stories, and spoken word. Here is my poetry that depicts my expression and experience during the quarantine period.

Instagram Name: krish_living or email me @

Screenshot of the poem.
“Sabbath” By Krishna Desai (March 2020) / “When the universe took a sabbatical from its own perpetual doom, / Spring relentlessly broke free, / Awaking my soul from its own sabbatical for the first time. / I was suddenly reminded of / My power, / Humanity, / And sheer mortality. / And so, I moped incessantly, / Effectively becoming inert, / Until I was reminded that I could choose to live a life, / So powerful, / That even my human state would no longer be worthy. / And so, came the day when I continued peacefully, / And gently nudged others to join me. / And, today is the day that they, themselves choose / To honor their own truth and power if they so desire. / Observing and knowing that I will continue /
To carry my realms of truth and power, / Despite it all.
Screenshot of the poem.
“Awakening” By Krishna Desai (March 2020) / “When the leveling field evens out, / And, we all face the awakening of mortality, / We all become the humans we have always been, / But, never chose to be.”

Dereck Mangus

Statue of a seated woman from the Baltimore Art Museum.
Wan Bing county, Hebei province, China. Water‑Moon Guanyin, 15th century. (BMA). Courtesy Dereck Mangus.
Statue of a seated woman with a mermaid tail at the Baltimore Art Museum.
Wangechi Mutu. Water Woman, 2017 (BMA). Courtesy Dereck Mangus.

I’m a guard at The Baltimore Museum of Art, which recently closed for the next few weeks due to Coronavirus. Thankfully, I’ll be paid during the closure. And while I know not everyone is so fortunate, I really wish I had that much paid leave to begin with.

With my newfound time off, I’m trying to read and write more. I recently finished The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which if you haven’t read you really should. While reading the final pages to my partner the other night, we found ourselves tearing up together, unable to bear the knowledge of death alone, even in art.

Nelson quotes many artists and thinkers throughout her book. Deborah Hay asks:

What if where I am is what I need?

Like many artists, I am over-educated and under-employed. I hold degrees in art but have yet to move up in the museum world, let alone the art world. But this line made me wonder if where I am is, in fact, what I need. Perhaps this is true of the world right now. What if where we are is what we need?

On my last shift before the museum closed, I wondered when I’d see my favorite pieces again: Rembrandt’s son and Van Gogh’s boots, Guanyin and Mutu’s Water Woman. I hope to see them again one day. And I hope I keep my job. But most of all, I truly hope the world pulls through this tragedy together and maybe even for the better.