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Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 34

We proudly present part 34 of our open call, non-juried, online exhibition entitled "Artists in the time of Coronavirus!" We have gotten nearly 300 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 thirty-fourth post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Marc E Atkins, Tom Megalis, Stephen Marvin, Madison Woods, Steven Martin, and Reece Swanepoel! 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 almost 300 submissions, so if you haven’t seen yours yet, don’t worry- it is coming, and we can’t wait to post it!]

Marc E Atkins

Drawing of the liberty bell, the el, and the skyline with "PHILADELPHIA" in graffiti tag font.
Drawing by Marc E Atkins. Courtesy Marc E Atkins.
Drawing of a tiger scratching towards the foreground.
Drawing by Marc E Atkins. Courtesy Marc E Atkins.

I find myself excited for the opportunity for artists to get support while the world is experiencing Covid-19 in real time. I am an artist with educational training in traditional animation from UARTS. I have worked on several independent films and commercials as a storyboard artist. Growing up with a single parent in Philadelphia, it was common to see a comic book glued to my hands all the time.

What excites me most about this opportunity is being to bring joy to people with my artwork while we are dealing with this world-wide epidemic. I have been saving up to a create stickers of characters from my sketchbook, while the pandemic came out of nowhere. My dream is to use my creativity to create a graphic novel. I want to show that characters from all types of backgrounds and point of views can go on amazing adventures. I want all children to see themselves represented in engaging, interesting stories and it’s my hope that I can support this mission despite this world changing pandemic. I would love for an opportunity to connect with book publishers and build relationships as an artist.

The 2 samples are stickers works in progress that I plan on creating.

Here Are the links to my work:

Tom Megalis

Painting of a mask sitting on a table in front of a framed painting
Tom Megalis, “Far Away at home” Courtesy Tom Megalis.
Painting of laundry on the floor of a cluttered bedroom.
Tom Megalis, “Disengaged” Courtesy Tom Megalis.

I generally work large and dimensional in an old warehouse near the lake in Cleveland. But the lock down has shifted my studio to the dining room of my home where I am now doing work on paper and most of the work is my response to being isolated and detached from my studio and friends.

Stephen Marvin

Painting of a red triangle with a black outline and a black circle nearby.
Stephen Marvin, “Isolation Ab” Courtesy Stephen Marvin.
Painting of a green triangle with a black outline and an orange circle nearby.
Stephen Marvin, “Isolation Bb” Courtesy Stephen Marvin.

Thank you for opportunity to submit art works related to the stress and isolation caused by the COVID pandemic.

My work typically takes time as I use tempera requiring multiple layers to obtain final results. However, recently, envisioned more abstract images which reflect, to me, the impact of the virus. Image came to me in a dream and had to get it captured before memory faded. So, used acrylic to quickly product these images (3). Normal work is with portraits and landscapes.

My interest in painting has always been existent since an early age when, between farm chores, I would take out paper and water colors to paint farm scenes. So, I take my peculiarities more seriously and engage in principle works related to farm life, farm images, farm portfolios which could be autobiographical images and capture while available, images of somewhat nostalgia vistas of interiors of barns, fields of cut hay, crops of wheat, corn, barley, landscapes, etc.

Madison Woods

Watercolor of a cabin in the woods with a sunset in the sky.
Madison Woods, “Pink Sunset” Courtesy Madison Woods.
Watercolor and drawing of an eagle on a branch
Madison Woods, “Eagle” Courtesy Madison Woods.

All of my art begins with foraging for pigments. I work with the very soul of the Earth: ocher rich stones, naturally pigmented clay, and charred bone for my earthy colors. It brings me a sense of connection and stability during these anxious times to be so connected to our earthly abode. I hope it brings to viewers a sense of kinship, a soul-level recognition of the duality and balance in the ancient and ever-adapting cycle of life.

My favorite subjects are taken straight from nature. We admire the beauty of wildlife and natural landscapes. But the beauty carries with it a brutality – the cycle of life and death – an inescapable fate for all things on earth. Just as I am destroying a thing (the rocks) I am also creating a thing (beautiful, natural, artwork). Curated nature hides behind the beauty and ignores the brutality. My work examines the inherent duality in nature. It touches on this core principle that is often ignored. The pandemic is a stark reminder of the brutality of nature.

Since all of my consignment outlets have closed now, money is short for me, as I’m sure it is for many others. I’ve turned to stocking my virtual shop and hope to find some new patrons this way. I have prints and originals for sale through my online shop.

Steven Martin

Painting of a white barn with a clear sky above.
Steven Martin, “Upstate Barn” oil on panel, 7.75”x 4.75” Courtesy Steven Martin.
Painting of a body of water with weeds and trees in the background.
Steven Martin, “Marsh” oil on board, 11”x 14” Courtesy Steven Martin. Courtesy Steven Martin.

I am quite concerned with the downturn in the reduced attention to the fine arts has due to the current economic crisis, as events have been cut short, future opportunities cancelled, and consumer spending tightened up. All of which is minimizing potential income for those of us relying on an already unreliable payday. I thought initially time off from work could be productive and seen as a holiday or approached like a retreat, but as someone who is self-employed the early steamroll of hourly updates as we in the country, state, and county braced for news and information pertaining to recommendations and orders I found passive and relaxing activities were on the bottom of the list to engage. After week one I felt as though I had done as much as I could to prepare for shutting my business down indefinitely, locking myself in my rental property, secure my finances while still donating to non-profits supporting the front line workers, I absolutely needed some respite from the chaos and stress, a familiar outlet and structure. Luckily I can work on paintings from home and so I set up some easels and new surfaces, coupled with the inspiring beauty Spring has brought us, I finally poured into painting (and of course the magical sounds our great DJs at WRTI continue to provide us with!) I hope that I can spend this time of isolation in a productive manner, turning to my truest love and discover some new passages of the mind, of the process, and intention. I hope that we can still reach an audience and if not still earn a slight income from the tireless hours of work at least provide some appreciation for nature’s splendor, for the arts, and contemplation that viewers can often experience.

Thank you for offering this gesture to bring some attention to local artists, every little bit helps.

Steven Martin
Painter – Designer

Reece Swanepoel

Portrait of a screaming figure
Reece Swanepoel, “Peasant” Compressed charcoal, chalk, soft pastels and conté on paper, 297mm x 210mm, 2020. Courtesy Reece Swanepoel.
Portrait of a screaming figure
Reece Swanepoel, “The Unfortunate 1” Compressed charcoal, chalk and soft pastels on paper, 297mm x 210mm, 2020. Courtesy Reece Swanepoel.

My name is Reece Swanepoel, I’m a contemporary expressive artist from Mossel Bay, South Africa.

My art deals with the darker side of every-day life, especially that of every-day people and their stories (and that’s why it often has a grotesque undertone).
I try to empathize with these stories and communicate them visually, so that what was in the dark comes to the light. And in that I share my truth. These stories are about people, and that’s why my art normally comes in the form of portraits.

I use elements that conjure deep emotions as a toolbox when making my portraits and through that I create dialogue between artist and picture, picture and viewer, ultimately leading to a dialogue between viewer and world.