Artists in the time of Coronavirus, an ongoing virtual exhibition, Part 53

We proudly present part 53 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 has passed and we thank everyone who participated in the series. But we're not done posting! We have a backlog of submissions and will be presenting another 3 or so episodes of the series before we're done. So stay tuned for more!

Our fifty-third post of the series, Artists in the Time of Coronavirus includes Jennifer Baker, Edna Santiago, Theodore Harris, Ruslan Khais, Valerie Hird, and Carol Cole! 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 now passed to submit (submissions closed July 29, 2020 at 11:59 PM), but there will be more posts coming! 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.

Jennifer Baker

Drawing of a garden with a small slanted shack in the background
Jennifer Baker, “My Father’s Garden” graphite and colored pencil on printer paper. 8.5”x11″ 4/29/2020. Courtesy Jennifer Baker.
Drawing of a woman in a yellow dress sitting on a patio near some plants on a table
Jennifer Baker, “Trina on the Patio with Pots of Herbs” graphite and watercolor pencil on Stonehenge paper. 9”x12″ 5/26/2020. Courtesy Jennifer Baker.

These images are from the series of quick sketches I have been doing over the past few months. On March 16, I was called to my parents’ house in a small town north of New York City. My father was on his way to the hospital. A week later he died of complications of Covid-19. Unlike many, I was allowed to stay with him so he was not alone. I think I was the last visitor allowed in the hospital. I was then quarantined at my parents’ house, caring for my elderly mother who ended up getting sick as well. I also got sick, as did our live-in caregiver. As soon as I was well enough, I began doing small quick drawings with the materials I had at hand, some cheap printer paper and a set of Crayola colored pencils. I started drawing in the back yard, a drawing of my childhood playhouse that has seen better days. I moved on to another backyard drawing of the playhouse and my fathers abandoned garden. On a rainy day I did a kitchen still life, and have continued to do sketches in and around my parents’ house – the same house I grew up in a long time ago.


—Jennifer Baker

Edna Santiago

Abstract orange pattern with a black squiggly pattern on top.
Edna Santiago, “Remember, 20 Seconds” Monoprint 7 x 5” on paper. Courtesy Edna Santiago
Abstract depiction of a globe
Edna Santiago, “Same thing all over the World” 5×7” Monoprint on Paper. Courtesy Edna Santiago

We all see ourselves challenged by the exact same thing. This is not what we are used to.
“You don’t understand what I’m going through! “, Doesn’t apply anymore.
No escape possible except for how your mind deals with the whole situation.
And the world ignores our cry and continues to turn, and the birds sing and the fish swim, and the grass grows, where things haven’t been seen for awhile. Maybe I will grow too.

EdnaSantiagoArtist on Instagram


Theodore Harris

Collage of a young black boy wearing a mask over his mouth looking towards the viewer with an upside-down U.S Capitol in the background
Theodore A. Harris, “Vetoed Dreams,” mixed media collage on board, 1995 collection Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Courtesy Theodore A. Harris
Diptych of a black man wearing a mask over his eyes with an orange background and text. (Text: Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon / author of The Wretched of the Earth; White Frames, White Walls Colonize by Katherine Shozawa)
Theodore A. Harris, After Fanon and Shozawa (Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism series), diptych, digital image, 2014 collection of the artist. Courtesy Theodore A. Harris

In a PAFA zoom talk titled The Visuality of Covering with the artist Humaira Abid and myself, hosted PAFA curators Jodi Throckmorton and Brittany Webb I gave some back round on Vetoed Dreams.

More from this series and others works here.

In 2017 I published a book on the Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism series


Ruslan Khais

Colorful drawing of a person wearing a crown visible from the shoulders up with radial lines extending outwards
Ruslan Khais, Corona King, 24″x30″ oil, acrylic, spray paint on canvas, 2020 Collection of the artist. Courtesy Ruslan Khais
Colorful drawing of a person wearing a crown visible from the shoulders up with radial lines extending outwards
Ruslan Khais, Corona King, 24″x30″ oil, acrylic, spray paint on canvas, 2020 Collection of the artist. Courtesy Ruslan Khais

These two paintings were created during Corona virus Quarantine by my alter ego Graffiti Pop.
Graffiti pop will use spray paint and incorporate words in a painting on canvas.
Graffiti Pop will borrow and take influence from any source and will not feel guilty about it.
Graffiti Pop incorporates innovative techniques and takes maximum pleasure from the process of painting without torching himself with questions such as Is it good? or Is it bad?

The paintings started as abstractions, almost amorphous shapes of the human head in a crown. Large blobs of bright acrylic smeared with a palette knife.
After a while, I started to realize, images of anonymous heads do not possess enough gravitas and could not support the canvas of that size.

I reworked paintings with oil and acrylic. Facial features appeared ,words filled the background.

the associations line
Corona virus – crown- king – king crown – corona king

Ruslan Khais Websites

Valerie Hird

Digital collage of art, photography, text, and social media logos constructed into the shape of a house
Valerie Hird, “Box 4” 28 (H) x 16 (W) x 6.5 (D) inches. Wood, electronic lighting, rag mat board, foam core, arches paper, watercolor, giclee printing on rice paper, ink, archival glue, magnets, museum Plexi glass. Courtesy Lindsay Raymondjack
Close-up of the top or "attic" of the collage box
Valerie Hird, “Box 4 Attic” 28 (H) x 16 (W) x 6.5 (D) inches. Wood, electronic lighting, rag mat board, foam core, arches paper, watercolor, giclee printing on rice paper, ink, archival glue, magnets, museum Plexi glass. Courtesy Lindsay Raymondjack.

BOXED IN is a response to confinement. It’s terrible to realize how badly – as a white American woman in her late 60’s – I’ve failed the moral ideal I was brought up to believe in. To know that right now any attempts to redress are restricted to the reductive world of social media. The central space is my present, a stage set that replaces personality with performance. I feel captive to the out-sized impact our movies and social media have on our perceptions of each other The basement represents a career spent in countries where I’m no longer allowed to work and travel. The attic is filled with the literary fictions from my youth that formed my idealism and biased the way I engaged with other cultures and points of view. It casts cell-like shadows across my central space.

Confinement has clarified for me that the three spaces are bound together and inseparable. Do we ever travel very far from where we started? Is learned experience an illusion?

BOXED IN is the final stage set used in my What DID Happen to Alice? video that will premiere this September on my website and Instagram @valeriehird. Excerpts and stills from the animation can be found on Facebook and Instagram #Don’tAskAliceVideo and Vimeo

Carol Cole

A long paper pulp staircase leading up to a golden syringe that looks like a cross
Carol Cole, “The Vaccine” (21”h x 10”w x 3”d) Handmade paper and paper pulp, paint, balsa wood, syringe. Courtesy Carol Cole.
Four black X's on a red background
Carol Cole, “Pandemic XX XX” (24”h x 48”w x 1”d) Collage of xeroxed New York Times list of 1000 dead from Covid 19, acrylic paint and tar paper. Courtesy Carol Cole.

My usual way of working is “object inspired”…..I grab some things from my collection of found objects, put them on my studio work table and play with them until a concept and design appears.

However, on the morning of May 29 I awoke with a vision of two new Covid-related pieces and then strove to make the works match the images in my head.

“Vaccine” is an image of the vaccine as the “light at the end of the tunnel” or the end of the quest for a solution to this suffering.

“Pandemic XX XX” was inspired by a listing of 1000 short obituaries in The New York Times on Sunday May 24 when the death toll from the pandemic reached 100,000. I collaged copies of those pages for the background and stained it red so you can still read the stories. The four X’s. symbolize the date 2020 in Roman numerals (sort of) and the cancellation of so many lives and so many plans.

Fortunately for me, the solo show at Cerulean Arts that I had been working toward for the past year, originally scheduled for May. was cancelled but then rescheduled for
July 15 -August 2 and I could include these new pieces in the show!