Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 7

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 seventh post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Bella Thurber, Donna Backues, Mateo Vargas, Teri Anderson, Janhavi Firke, and Ellen Rosenholtz! 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.

Bella Thurber

Painted portrait of a woman with blue skin and green hair on a yellow background. Written in red cursive "take your space"
Artwork by Bella Thurber. Courtesy Bella Thurber.
Painting of a forest at night with plenty of greenery growing tall.
Artwork by Bella Thurber. Courtesy Bella Thurber.

My name is Bella. I’m non binary, and a self taught artist living in West Philly. As Covid-19 ramped up, I continued working as a dog walker for as long as I could. But my partner is immunocompromised, and we decided that it just wasn’t safe when the virus showed up here in Philadelphia. Work had slowed immensely anyway, and I was only making about $20 a day if I was lucky. We decided to isolate ourselves, and it’s been a struggle to keep a sense of normality. We have had no schedule, and I have felt too anxious to get much done. My take your space painting is about my experience struggling with codependency, which has been complicated by isolation. It is a reminder that my partner and may be a team, but I am still my own person.

This piece differs from my usual focus on natural scenes and landscapes. In this trying time, I want to make sure that I am focused on not just beauty and technical improvement, but my own peace. I hope it helps others stay grounded in their own sense of self in a time where they may be unable to really get time alone.

Donna Backues

Abstract painting with blue shapes and lavender shapes with a glowing moon.
Donna Backues, Moonscape, 2019, 26 x 40 inches, Mix Media on paper. Courtesy Donna Backues.
Abstract painting with decorative mark making. Colors include blue, brown, and dark shadowy clouds up in the top of the painting.
Donna Backues, Peletusan (Explosion), 2018, 20 x 30 inches, Mix Media on paper. Courtesy Donna Backues

My landscapes are meant to express how vulnerable life is on this earth, but I want them to be beautiful too.

Mateo Vargas

Collage of technology, photos, money, flowers, and more. Imagery includes roses, a laptop keyboard, a broken phone screen, photos of flora, necklaces, change, cuban currency, a blue face made out of cut paper, and a cigar.
Mateo Vargas, Entre, Mixed media collage, 2020. Courtesy Mateo Vargas.
Close up of a collage containing technology, flowers, broken cell phone, cuban currency, roses, necklaces, and more, framed.
Mateo Vargas, Entre, Mixed media collage, 2020. Courtesy Mateo Vargas.

In a time of sealed borders and quarantine, Entre, is a collage work that engages in multifaceted ways with the liminal patchwork space of being “in between”. The piece takes place in a space between materiality and immateriality using a variety of found objects that reflect the fractured history of Latin America in the face of European colonization. Interrogating aspects of Latinx identity, ethnicity, and spirituality, the work examines the relationship between the present and the Mesoamerican past. It engages with the current “in between” nature of Latin America’s existence and its hinderance by the continual violent imperialist presence of the Unites States on the continent.

Mateo Vargas is a queer non-binary Mexican-American filmmaker and visual artist focusing on the intersections of identity, borders and mixed Latinx heritage. Their work seeks to deconstruct the colonial politicization/oppression of the body and indoctrination of the mind.

Instagram: @_mateo_vargas

Teri Anderson

Small white rectangle with "stay positive" and a pattern made out of triangles stitched onto it.
Artwork by Teri Anderson. Courtesy Teri Anderson.

Teri Anderson creates work that looks into the idea of craft in art, textiles, installation and sculpture to create a linear or surreal environment which the audience have to inhabit. The work links to her heritage and how textiles were key in their family history including sample machinists and pattern cutters. Building on this Teri proposes an art practise which incorporates a craft based techniques into the art based discipline of installation.
@tinyteri13 – instagram
@teriandersonartist – Facebook

Janhavi Firke

Painting with black background and yellow & golden renderings of honey comb shapes, a bee, and flowers.
Janhavi Firke
Title – Being queen bee!
Size – 10X10X1.5″
Medium – wood and fire
Price – 220$
Painting with black background and yellow and golden renderings of decorative patterns and a woman dressed in a goofy dress swinging on a swing.
Janhavi Firke
Title – Social dustancing
Artist – Janhavi Firke
Size – 16″x11.5″
Medium – Birchwood wood with bark and fire
Price – 250$

Janhavi is yet another name of the holy river Ganga(Ganges) in India. Just like a river, my artwork reflects natural elements and environment. I am self-taught artist and pick up any inspiration I find in everything around me.

Her upbringing in India taught her flexibility and adoptability for any type of environment. It also made her believe that there is beauty in imperfect, unplanned lifestyle and it take so much pressure off of our minds.

When she moved to New Jersey 3 years ago,she started to miss and therefore apriciate the freedom more and it reflects in her arts. Indian Tribal art had a great impact on her work, imperfections in tribal art started to facinate her more and more,it made her realize that there is no perfecting in art,it is ever evolving.

Her inspiration motivate her to try various art techniques and one of her latest passion is Pyrography. Pyrography is an art of controlled burning of wood or any receptive material to obtain various shades of sepia and texture by adjusting heat and pressure. Different types of wood react differently to heat,factors such as type of wood,sap level,grains play a mejor role in the finished artwork.

Janhavi’s artwork is displayed at various local art galleries, exhibitions and pop up art shows in Jersey City and around.

Social media
Instagram- @crafteffectnj

Ellen Rosenholtz

Graphite drawing of owls in a circle surrounding another species of bird in a tighter circle with a shark in the middle. Accents of yellow color on the claws and in the eyes of the owl.
Ellen Rosenholtz
Periquin Falcon, Great Horned Owl, Laughing Gull, Lined Seahorse, Dogfish (Ocean City, NJ)
graphite, watercolor, conte crayon
This piece is based on Ocean City, NJ hiring falconers to engage birds of prey to scare seagull away from the shore line. The interplay between human (falconers and vacationers), birds of prey and seagulls became a fasinating study of intention and desire.
Watercolor painting of 6 Parakeets on a branch that goes outward in 3 directions in a radial pattern.
Ellen Rosenholtz
Carolina Parakeet (Extinct).
Watercolor and ink on paper
The Carolina Parakeet was the only parrot native to the Eastern United States and would range into southern New Jersey. What was once considered great flocks of birds were declared extinct in 1939. Victims of deforestation, the fashion industry and farmers who considered them a nuisance. In written reports it was noted that instead of fleeing gun fire they flocked to assist other birds in distress, making them more vulnerable to the same fate.

Hi my name is Ellen Rosenholtz. My work focuses on flora and fauna of New Jersey. New Jersey has a unique geography with a coastal region, mountains, lowlands and pine barrens. This vast differential of landcapes has created a stunning array of biodiversity. New Jersians have impacted that biodiversity in many ways, positive and negative. I am extremely interested in the impact of social distancing on the environment.