Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 50

We proudly present part 50 of our open call, non-juried, online exhibition entitled "Artists in the time of Coronavirus!" A huge thank you to our 300+ participants! The deadline to submit is July 29, 2020 at midnight. More details in the post.

Our fiftieth post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Francesca Costanzo, Laura Ann Colussi, Rebecca Hoenig, Bill Timmins, Darrell Black, and Martha Ferguson! Thank you for sharing with us and the Philly art community!

We have gotten over 300 submissions, and we are so grateful to all participants. The time has come to close our inbox to submissions. So if you want to participate, send your statement (250 words max) and 2 photos to before July 29, 2020, at 11:59 PM. 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.

Francesca Costanzo

March began with a funeral. It was the father of my best friend. Everyone was apprehensive to hug and comfort each other. No one kissed hello nor goodbye. We all just sat there and got drunk at the luncheon.


That was the beginning of my shelter-in-place.

As things got worse, my creativity got lost. Someone else I knew had died of the virus. A week and a half of depressing news forced me into the kitchen. I started baking.

After the first couple of batches, I felt a renewed challenge. I ravaged my kitchen for ingredients to make anything that would keep the anxiety at bay— Peanut Butter Cookies, Easter Bread, Focaccia, Baguettes, White Chocolate Torta Caprese, Italian Lemon Olive Oil cake, even Potato Gnocchi. I would drive to friends’ homes for their curbside deliveries … it helped to stay in touch and uplifted my mood as well as theirs. Each baking session brought new challenges, and what started as my mother’s simple biscotti recipe, quickly grew to Cream-filled Profiteroles dipped in Chocolate Ganache.


By May 15, I replaced baking with Netflix binges. I had gained 12 pounds.

May’s end brought tears and bloodshed. First, it was an innocent bird watcher in Central Park, and then, George Floyd. Police brutality followed by looting and more destruction. Inside me, something finally clicked. My creativity came back with a vengeance. And as a multi-media artist, I could not stay silent.

Laura Ann Colussi

A bear and a fox sculpted out of many different patterned scraps.
Laura Ann Colussi, “Big and Big Little Foxie” Paper Mache and cotton fabric, 25” 27” 39” 2020. Courtesy Laura Ann Colussi.
A bear and a fox sculpted out of many different patterned scraps.
Laura Ann Colussi, “Big and Big Little Foxie” Paper Mache and cotton fabric, 25” 27” 39” 2020. Courtesy Laura Ann Colussi.

Time demands us to fill it. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic I was desperately trying to find things with which to fill my family and my time. As the weeks went on, I realized time does not demand to be filled, rather society expects us to use our time up every day. I finally had a break from time. The hours, days and months no longer mattered. I became more reflective and less goal oriented. My time was mine to savor, not fill. This mindset led me to this series of work.


This piece is an open journal entry to anyone who sees them. Big Foxie is the name of a stuffed animal my oldest son loves. He is Big Foxie. It is a reflection on motherhood as well as the scarifies and joys of raising kids. Nature requires a lot from its women, but we do it. We find joy and peace in creating and caring for the lives we bring into this world, but we also lose some part of ourselves in the process. This series of work is a commentary on the inner struggle of what is asked of and required from mothers, specifically during this time at home. This piece represents a moment from my children’s lives. A simple moment, that over quarantine, happened a hundred times over. A moments that I wanted to immortalize and remember. The medium of paper mache, however, is not a permanent one. My pieces will eventually weather, which is intentional, because like all things, nothing lasts forever.

Rebecca Hoenig

Watercolor painting of a person wearing a mask in front of a rainbow with text to the left.
Rebecca Hoenig, “Wear Mask Poster” Courtesy Rebecca Hoenig. (Text: Welcome / Everyone’s / Awareness / Right Now / Meaningful / Acts / Show / Kindness)
Pastel colored poster with stenciled lettering overlaying.
Rebecca Hoenig, “I Cant Breathe Poster” Courtesy Rebecca Hoenig. (Text: Just how many times do we need / to hear “I Can’t Breathe” / before we see / Justice?)

I am sending 2 images of my recent work. While I am a fine artist that is working on becoming a children’s book illustrator, I have found it difficult to work on the illustrations for my portfolio during this tumultuous time in history. After the murder of George Floyd, I felt compelled to do something to express all my feelings and I simply went in my studio like a possessed person and worked madly on the “I Can’t Breathe” painting. I felt that I needed to really say something with text and pure abstraction. I used stencils for the text and multiple applications of frisket (masking fluid) before painting with watercolors. My application of the paint was very raw and fast and furious without any conscious thought. I used plastic straws to blow the frisket and paint around in a nod to the difficulty of breathing. I actually felt a bit light headed as I lay on the floor blowing the paint and frisket around as quickly as possible before it dried.

I have two websites: – “fine art” -illustration

Bill Timmins

Abstract painting of many colors
Bill Timmins, “Life in the Time of Corona” Courtesy Bill Timmins.
Abstract painting with a figure on the left nearby a couch and arm chair below a window.
Bill Timmins, “Yearning” Courtesy Bill Timmins.

Living in the time of Coronavirus provides an interesting dichotomy. For many, it has imposed a time of isolation, of slowing down, a time for reflection. For others, it has been a time of non-stop work, of service to others, of exhaustion and of danger.
Artist’s reactions have varied in terms of creative endeavors. For some, this respite has provided a surge of creativity, greater productivity and a plethora of themes from which to choose. For others, it’s been a time of uncertainty, resulting in difficulty focusing, diminished creativity, and reduced productivity, at times bordering on artistic paralysis.

The process of painting involves somewhat of a solitary existence. In normal times, I enjoy this aspect of painting; the quiet solitude of the studio is an isle of calm in a sea of worldly chaos. I can reflect on artistic choices made in the moment and change course as I so desire. A luxury afforded in few areas of life.

Artistic solitude is counterbalanced via time spent with others artists. Whether its visual artists, writers, or musicians, artists yearn for a sense of community. Readings, concerts, studio visits and gallery openings are places where ideas are exchanged, feedback provided, and creativity fed. This social forum is vital; one cannot thrive in an artistic vacuum.

For me, sheltering has upset this delicate equation; an inordinate amount of time spent alone and no physical contact with family, friends and colleagues has taken its toll both mentally and creatively. I yearn for the time when physical and social interactions return.

Darrell Black

Studio space with easel and paintings on the wall.
Darrell Black’s studio. Courtesy Darrell Black.
Darrell holding a painting of an abstracted portrait from the shoulders up
Darrell Black with their painting. Courtesy Darrell Black.

Being isolated in my studio gave me necessary insight into my paintings which helped to propel my Artwork into a new and bold direction. Some level of isolation helps to support creativity but a mixture of personal and social interactions will always be the necessary ingredients for artwork to be productive, creativity and flourish in society. For example, the ”Corona Virus” gave me the inspiration to create a series of works on paper documenting the pandemic and medical staff on the front lines of the fight. I made these images with the intention of warning society and asking all people to respect the delicate balance of nature which embraces all of humankind.

Martha Ferguson

Netting woven into a pouch like shape and stiffened to stay in shape.
Martha Ferguson, “Masking My Breath” Shield Series, (2020) fiber and wire. Courtesy Martha Ferguson.
Netting woven into a lung shape and stiffened to hang against the wall and not lose its shape.
Martha Ferguson, “Shield for My Lungs” Shield Series, (2020) fiber, netting, and wire. Courtesy Martha Ferguson.

Shield Project

These sculptures were inspired by my study of Medieval Arms and Armor from the 16th century. I am particularly interested in the concept that shields provided the warrior with personal protection and supernatural power in battle. I found it fascinating to discover that incantations for survival were often woven into the armor, bringing to them a magical element for added security.

I began this investigation into the power of Shields several years ago, as my response to a world in crisis and my feelings of the need for a collective protection. In 2020, in this time of Coronavirus, this need for protection and healing has taken on a monumental sense of urgency. Environmental issues, humanitarian concerns, inequalities and political conflicts call for our immediate action. The “Shield Project” is my attempt to offer power to strengthen our resolve toward positive change while exploring concepts of defense, fortification and magic.

My interest here is to pause for a moment and reflect upon these multilayered social concerns and recognize how perhaps a bit of magic, the magic of visualizing positive energy, can heal.