Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 40

We proudly present part 40 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 fortieth post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Adrian Wojtas, Kirby Fredendall, Paula Mandel, Alireza Faridani, ESS22, Thomas Kelly, and Aaron Bos-Wahl! 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 over 300 submissions, so if you haven’t seen yours yet, don’t worry- it is coming, and we can’t wait to post it!]

Adrian Wojtas

Two soapy hands reaching their forefingers towards each other in front of a radially lit pink and purple background
Adrian Wojtas, “Soon Every Touch Will Be Divine” Courtesy Adrian Wojtas.

Kirby Fredendall

Watercolor of a pond with tall skinny trees in front of it right after sun down
Kirby Fredendall “Finding a Path 14” Courtesy Kirby Fredendall
Watercolor of a lake with trees to the left of it at sundown
Kirby Fredendall “Finding a Path 15” Courtesy Kirby Fredendall

Myriad conditions of light created by the time of day and the weather illuminate textures in the water, patterns in the clouds, and juxtapositions of color that richly vibrate with one another to form the visual experience of the landscape. The morning light slowly eases up over the horizon, gently lighting the clouds, and later seen from the same vantage, the evening fire of the sunset races through the darkening sky. These dynamic combinations of light, shape, pattern. and color inspire my work.

I enjoy the manipulation of materials and how process in itself contributes to the life and form of the final image. Dramatic, gestural lines describe the play of light and wind across the water, while softer marks add life to the slow movement of rain laden clouds. Areas of sky, water, and land are knit together with brushstrokes to represent their seamless interaction under the common conditions of weather and time. In my recent acid etched tin pieces, areas of watery marks are left visible to further suggest the underlying layers of the landscape.

Paula Mandel

marini glass with a hand with a pointed figure inside covered by a glass dome.
Paula Mandel, “No Touching” Courtesy Paula Mandel.
Wooden pedestal with a seed covered by a glass dome.
Paula Mandel, “SeeD Safe” Courtesy Paula Mandel.

My name is Paula Mandel and I am a native Philadelphian who has been creating art for over 5 decades. I was not able to work in my studio for almost a year while I dealt with family illness. Now that I am no longer permitted to visit my Dad, I have been given the opportunity to once again create every day in my studio. I studied glass-making for several years and while I painted and created in 2-D for 30 of those years, I am now immersed in the making of glass, mixed media, found object sculpture. These two sculptures were created during the past weeks. When I work, I often have no idea where the sculpture will lead me. It became apparent to me eventually that these two were clearly impacted by the pandemic. The first is called “No Touching”, the second “Seed Safe” which reflects my worry about our ultimate food sources.

Alireza Faridani

Colorful painting of a partially shadowed face
Alireza Faridani, “An inner feelness.” 2018. Oil on canvas.Diptych painting 40×40 cm. Courtesy Alireza Faridani. Unconsciousness collection
Painting of legs from knees down standing on blue tiled floor.
Alireza Faridani, “An inner feelness.” 2018. Oil on canvas.Diptych painting 40×40 cm. Courtesy Alireza Faridani. Unconsciousness collection

Nowadays, the way of people’s living has been revolutionized through global lifestyle. Technology as a two edges knife is utilized in order to making food and killing core of existence. The impact of climate change has demonstrated itself since industrial revolution gradually. Thus, climate change has influenced on Planet Earth in different scales which cause many direct and indirect destruction around the world. Understanding and consciousness of people in contrast with other creature of Planet Earth cause numbers of damages on environment and wildlife recycle.

Corona virus is one of sever impact of climate change which makes people struggled in conjunction with normal and routine life. On the other hand, and as a miracle this virus lets Planet Earth to breath and refresh the environment. Also, during quarantine people around the world have surprised to be more alone and get opportunity to think about themselves and get more free time to do activities which disappeared from life of people.

Spiritual unconsciousness of humanity is taken by selfish requirements of individuals fit to modern, luxuries and technological life which people choice to be. So, evidently humanity goes to fade without any flip for waking up until manifestation of Covid-19.

Alireza Faridani


Marker drawing of someone wearing earring looking back towards the viewer from over their shoulder
ESS22, “Baby Hair” Courtesy ESS22
Marker drawing of a face with pink circles over their eyes shewing on their hair
ESS22, “Chew” Courtesy ESS22

Hello. My artist name is ESS22. My paintings of female figures are inspired by tattooing, printmaking, punx, comics, and goth subcultures. During this pandemic, I’ve been forcing myself to work small and think about accessibility and limitations…As a result, I have found myself creating more art cards measuring 2.5×3.5 inches lately than my typical paintings that are 5×7-inch to 11×15-inch in size using ink on watercolor paper.


Thomas Kelly

Paintings of seven children hula hooping in a playground.
Thomas Kelly, “Hula Hoops” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″ Courtesy Thomas Kelly
Painting of a couple wearing evening wear dancing in a great dance hall with yellow patterned walls and hard wood floors
Thomas Kelly, “Like a Swan” acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 36″ Courtesy Thomas Kelly

Thomas Kelly is an award winning, New Jersey based painter. Widely collected, his work has a signature style, which has its roots in Expressionism. His colorful, narrative, acrylic paintings on canvas often create a dialogue with the viewer. His deceptively simplistic paintings are both critically acclaimed and very approachable by everyday viewers. More than 250 of Kelly’s original paintings have been collected. Kelly has exhibited in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia and Bethlehem PA. His work is in private and public collections in the US, Europe and Asia.

“My paintings are of common scenes, every day occurrences in which people struggle to establish and maintain relationships. It is these universal emotions and situations which most interest me.”

The paintings are acrylic on canvas, which lends to the way I work. The idea begins from a tiny sketch. That sketch will have the emotional feeling or gesture that first intrigued me. I encourage viewers to participate in the narrative by placing themselves inside my scenes and characters. When asked by viewers if their interpretation is the true one, I say, ‘The paintings must stand on their own.’ I don’t tell them that their stories often rival my own.

I am not and do not wish to be the artist with the best technical skill, recreating realism that wows the masses. I wish to be the one who connects well with the way people feel. I wish to have the viewer say about themselves, when they see my art, “This is about me, this is about my life.” This is how I wish to connect. The universal feelings we all have, is what I am trying to portray.

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Aaron Bos-Wahl

Watercolor of a cat pounding hear a window obscured by a sheer red curtain
Aaron Bos-Wahl, “Logan Square” Courtesy Aaron Bos-Wahl.
Watercolor of Aaron FaceTiming their dad.
Aaron Bos-Wahl, “Dad facetime quarantine” Courtesy Aaron Bos-Wahl.

My work owes much to the medium of documentary photography and its intention to capture a glimpse of a lived moment. I draw my imagery primarily from personal snapshots. Often, the images are imbued with subtle qualities of symbolism, dream and memory, which may suggest a different but no less authentic kind of truth.

My current body of work explores spaces in the city of Philadelphia through the translation of photographic snapshots into saturated watercolors and dense pencil drawings. In these images people are often absent, but their presence is felt. These are spaces created by humans and their imprint surfaces in the idiosyncrasies and eccentricities of these urban spaces. Many of the images show the city at night. In the absence of people, lights become a sort of apparition, at once both comforting and vaguely unsettling. Often, these lights in the dim landscape appear as a beacon, the message at times unclear.