Art Under the Influence – A Corona Virus Juried Competition

We ask our virtual gallery visitors to please participate in the exhibition by voting for their favorite art pieces in the competition!
3 artists will win cash prizes.
1st Place: $300, 2nd Place: $200, 3rd Place: $100.

Click here to learn more about the competition.


1st Place: Frank Ayala
2nd Place: Silvia M. De Leon
3rd Place: David Martinez

Please join us for our upcoming artist talks:

Friday nights at 7PM (PST) on @Avenue50Studio IG Live.
September 18, 2020 – David Martinez
September 25, 2020 – Silvia M. De Leon
October 2, 2020 – Frank Ayala


“YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE” – Jose Alejo – $30

“YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE,” digital print, 2752 by 3669 pixels, $30

Jose Alejo

The other side of introspection is the realization that inside of us, lies the wholeness of being. If we can make space and time to accept every aspect of ourselves we may discover that we are as abundantly complex as the universe itself. In fact, we might say we ARE the universe. With the recognition that we are full of potential and intricacies should come an understanding that other people are also. Perhaps we can marvel at others the way we often marvel at ourselves.

“COVIDICA” – Victor Atkins – $12,000

“COVIDICA,” acrylic on canvas 72 X 96 inches, $12,000

Victor Atkins

I worked on this painting during the first 7 weeks of the Covid quarantine . It is titled “Covidica” and it is my reaction and my response to this Covid season we all are in.

This work poses the question, is it possible to transcend the pain and fear of this temporal reality and look instead to the hope and peace of the external.


“PORTAL HACIA EL OASIS DEL LOBO (PORTAL TO THE OASIS OF THE WOLVES),” oil on wood panels, 39 x 48”, $6,000

Frank Ayala

I did this piece during the time I spent quarantined. I found that I had much more time to paint as I didn’t have to work or babysit! It was a time of much reflection as to all that was happening around me! I spent much more time in prayer and felt that I was actually having conversations to our lady of Guadalupe while asking for her intercessions to her son Jesus! It was as though she left her “ realm” and was crossing over to this reality! This painting represents prayer, that making art is a form of prayer. What may typically be done with words I did with brush strokes!

Artist Talk with Frank Ayala on our Instagram Live on Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7PM (PST).

“OUR CORONA #5” – Jo Ann Block – $150

“OUR CORONA #5,” digital print, 16” X 20”, 2020, $150

Jo Ann Block

The central, circular image emerges first as a literal one. It imagines some virus-like cellular specimen under the eye of a microscope paired with the presence of the (ubiquitous) gloved hand of a doctor. The image is also meant to be read as more visceral; the upbeat, colorful palette of the series in a sense masks the underlying devastation that the virus has caused world-wide; the palette suggests the hope and potential for a transformative outcome. Science will find a cure and there are many lessons and changes that have come from this pandemic that we will hopefully learn from which will enable us to envision and create a better world. Inherent in every experience is the ability to see it from another perspective. Although we are confronted with a deadly virus, this image include a gesture of blessing or benediction being granted; the image of the virus becomes a sacred space, a stained-glass temple.

Click here to watch our artist talk with Jo Ann Block, hosted by Sara Aceves on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, July 31, 2020. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel and ‘like’ our video!

“THE VINTAGE BRUSH SERIES” – Karen Burns – $425 each

“THE VINTAGE BRUSH SERIES,” 6”x12” each, oils on linen panels, $425 each

Karen Burns

Being in lock-down, I wanted to use this time to paint something different. Something to stretch and challenge. I chose to paint vintage brushes that I have hanging in the studio. I had never painted a series of things before and the shadows really intrigued me. I like to think I gave them each a bit of personality as I worked through my small collection. Looking forward to better days when we can all find our new normal.

“STILL LIFE WITH MAIL AND MASKS” – Carol Colins – $600

“STILL LIFE WITH MAIL AND MASKS,” soft pastel on paper, 18” x 23.5”, $600

Carol Colin

Still life is not my usual subject matter, but it seems an apt metaphor for our quietened circumstance. When the stay-at-home order went into effect, I started drawing what was in front of me. One day our table was covered with glasses and cups left from breakfast, as well as some accumulated mail and a small pile of cloth masks we’ve gotten used to wearing when we answer the door or go out for a walk. The colors were so cheerful, I pinned paper to my drawing board and went to work. An astute friend who saw the finished piece (online) pointed out “it is round as a clock and that ballpoint in dead center doubles for the single hand of time. And the darkness surrounds it.”

“NATURE BITES BACK” – Steve Graziani – $50

“NATURE BITES BACK,” hand pulled, numbered etching, 4 x 6” Plate / 6.5 x 9” Paper / Mounted on 11×14 black foamcore, $50

Steve Graziani

My pieces range from lighthearted to ominous—this is one of the darkest. All are pieces I created after March 14th, when I started self-isolating.

“SELF, SAFE AT HOME” – Rebeca Guerrero – $175

“SELF, SAFE AT HOME,” digital photography, $175

Rebeca Guerrero

A self-portrait accomplished with a mirror composite.

Click here to watch our artist talk with Rebeca Guerrero, hosted by Sara Aceves on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, August 14, 2020. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel and ‘like’ our video!

“APART, TOGETHER” – Edith de Guzman – $35

“APART, TOGETHER,” printing block, block printing ink, rice paper, Micron pen, graphite, 8” x 10”, $35

Edith de Guzman

From the series Within/Without. A few close friends and relatives were invited to contribute a haiku on the theme “introspections in an era of uncertainty.” Contributions came from different cities and places, including two of those hardest-hit by the pandemic — Italy and New York City. The series is presented as a document of this strange time as experienced by different people in different places. Each haiku is paired with an abstract hand-printed block monoprint. Each print features geometric shapes that draw from both Japanese and streamline art influences. The works are printed on rice paper — a deliberate choice to commemorate this era of food shortages and empty supermarket shelves.

Click here to watch our artist talk with Edith & Jolly de Guzman, hosted by Nica Aquino on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, August 28, 2020. Please ‘like’ our video and subscribe to our YouTube Channel!


“EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY,” acrylic, graphite on book cover, 14.75” x 9.25”, $150

Jolly de Guzman

As bad and strange as things are, humankind is resilient. All things must pass. This is not permanent, and everything will be okay.

Click here to watch our artist talk with Edith & Jolly de Guzman, hosted by Nica Aquino on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, August 28, 2020. Please ‘like’ our video and subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

“THE COVID LIFE, 2020” – Silvia M. De Leon – $150

“THE COVID LIFE, 2020,” acrylic on canvas, 16 X 20”, $150

Silvia M. De Leon

The changes and adjustments the pandemic has forced on all of us are like nothing we have experienced before. Our children, who are still developing mechanisms to cope with adjustments of such high demand and lifelong changes, have without much complaint have been dragged along. Their homes, their rooms, that once were their sanctuaries, safe places from the pressures of everyday life have become their cells where everything is happening. No escape, yet life continues, but nowhere to go. Parents have taken the roles of school administrators and teachers, on top of all the hats they were already performing under, many without schooling to give them a small hint as to how should they accomplish such monumental task. This painting aims to depict exactly those feelings, their feelings. The worry of the present state, the longing for what it was and the wonder of when will it all end… will “normal” ever be the same. As adults, we have more understanding of how life sometimes works, explanations, circumstances etc. but for children every moment it’s just too permanent, perpetual. Many years have to pass until they can fully share with us how they felt, their fears, and how they survived.

Artist Talk with Silvia M. De Leon on our Instagram Live on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7PM (PST).

“THE CRASHING WAVE” – Christy Gurley – $250

“THE CRASHING WAVE,” mixed media (Digital Painting printed onto Aluminum), 9 x 12”, $250

Christy Gurley

Created during the Coronavirus Lockdown. Swaths of thick black force their way throughout a tsunami wave. Almost-perceptible human and animal figures are lost within the wave of blackness and bleakness. Bright, garish colors bring an extra madness to the scene. It feels like everything is crashing down on humanity.

“OLD AND NEW” – Kevin Hass – $200

“OLD AND NEW,” digital photography, 8″ X 12″, $200

Kevin Hass

In this time of the Pandemic, I wanted to make photographs showing strength and rebirth. Plants and trees take whatever conditions they are subjected to, and do the best they can with them. I find peace in being a part of the system of life, and working for the best result possible.

“WEED, 5-2-20” – Peter Hess – $200

“WEED, 5-2-20,” Prismacolor on paper, 15″x30″, $200

Peter Hess

One would think that with the abundance of free time suddenly available, an artist would seize the opportunity to produce volumes of new and innovative work. For me, that has not been the case. For reasons which I will not attempt to analyze here, the lockdown has thus far left me short on inspiration and motivation.

Instead of looking to the cosmos for stimulation, I have turned literally to my own backyard, where I have been drawing weeds. Turning inward, rendering these overlooked and close-by underfoot things has been oddly relaxing and soothing. Along the way, I’ve gained more of an appreciation for their prickly beauty. Some have such beautiful flowers and forms that I wonder why we arbitrarily dismiss these plants as weeds while embracing those as show pieces. I can only hope that my fellow humans will display as much pluck and persistence in the face of adversity as the lowly weed.

“MICHTECACIHUATI” – Emily Hernandez – $200

“MICHTECACIHUATI,” pen and Ink on paper, 8×12”, $200

Emily Hernandez

To me, I’m most frightened by the corruptibility of the human body. There is something very upsetting about not feeling safe in your skin, which is our home. Diseases are particularly frightening to me and this piece is an expression of my anxieties about the unknown, helplessness and distrust of my own body.

Click here to watch our artist talk with Em Hernandez, hosted by Nica Aquino on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, August 7, 2020. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel and ‘like’ our video!

“LILI,” digital photography, 10 x 12”, 4/25/2020, $120

“LILI,” digital photography, 10 x 12”, 4/25/2020, $120

Edgar Ibarria

I am connecting with my feelings. Focusing in total concentration. Even though uncertainty is looming, I visualize and create with color.

Click here to watch our artist talk with Edgar Ibarria, hosted by Sara Aceves on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, August 21, 2020. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel and ‘like’ our video!

“LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW” – David Martinez – $800

“LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW,” 17in. x 23in., oil on hardboard, $800

David Martinez

My work explores the complex effects of the built environment and collective narratives of life in Los Angeles. I make narrative scenes that refer to history, geography, biology and my own experiences in order to encapsulate and reclaim a complex urban experience in Los Angeles. I am drawn to the history of the American southwest and want to explore how the built environment, migration and internalized narratives shape new narratives we create and our trajectory into the future. These ideas are explored through large, often abstract, drawings in a variety of mediums.

Artist Talk with David Martinez on our Instagram Live on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 7PM (PST).

“RESURGENCE” – Kelli Mayhew – $75

“RESURGENCE,” watercolor and ink on watercolor paper, 11 x 15“, $75

Kelli Mayhew

Even though this is a trying time, beautiful things can come out of it. It is all based on your perspective. Our country has been idle, which we have not seen for a very long time. It is slowly starting to heal and awaken and we need to proceed with caution. Nature is in control.

“FREE FALL” – Guadulesa Rivera – $500

“FREE FALL,” Acrylic on canvas, 20” x 16”, $500

Guadulesa Rivera

This piece was created in April and reflects feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability. We seek ways to protect ourselves from COVID-19. Yet we hear that the virus can be carried by people who show no symptoms. The virus can live in the air from 30 minutes to 2 hours! By the time I worked on this piece, I read that the virus can remain viable in aerosols for hours and on some surfaces for days! I work for a
community outreach program, and we were told to curtail all in-person outreach and to work remotely from home. My husband works in the healthcare industry and began feeling some symptoms in his chest. Our doctor told him to self-quarantine for 10 days. I had to keep my distance from him and wear a mask sometimes at home! On the eleventh day, he made an appointment to be tested at a drive-through location to avoid entering a hospital. Fortunately, his results were negative.

“GAIN OF FUNCTION (COVID 19)” video still – Mike Saijo

“GAIN OF FUNCTION (COVID 19),” video performance, 26 minutes

Mike Saijo

This is a series of videos documenting my flight back from Taiwan to US capturing the empty airport, and the process of security, health and immigrations/customs to enter into LAX airport while wearing Personal Protective Equipment to prevent contamination.

Full video at

Click here to watch our artist talk with Mike Saijo, hosted by Nica Aquino on our Instagram Live feed on Friday, July 24, 2020. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel and ‘like’ our video!

CORONABEGONE” – Ann Storc – $500

“CORONABEGONE,” Yarn, 16”w X 20”h, $500

Ann Storc

I’m a yarn bomber so when my son saw my Corona painting he suggested that I so a yarn piece. Unlike the painting that I can do quickly, this was a very long process. So with Netflix and now Prime, Youtube and Broadway HD as my companions I did a fabric piece where the lungs kick out the virus and once again breath freely.



Suzette Vidal

Greg Zanis died on May 4, 2020. He was known as “The Cross Man” because he traveled across the United States taking crosses (and Stars of David, and Crescent Moons) to places where there had been shooting victims. This humble carpenter made each one by hand and carved the name of the person who had died, delivering the symbol to the site of the killing. Greg wanted to do something that would provide solace and remembrance. May we all do what we can do to comfort others, to ease our own pain, to help others become aware of the suffering of their fellow humans, and to bring light and love and justice into the world. A blessing for Mr. Zanis, The Cross Man.

“GERM THEORY AND OTHER RESEARCH” – Megan Reeves Williamson – $350

“GERM THEORY AND OTHER RESEARCH,” analog and digital collage on 19th century book pages, $350

Megan Reeves Williamson

The hands in Germ Theories made me think of the rendering of the COVID-19 virus. The image I was inspired to create is ironic since touch has now been “banned”. However, it also makes me think of hope–hope for the doctors using their hands to help heal those affected by the virus; hope for the researchers using their hands to create a vaccine; hope that one day soon we are able to hold hands again with our friends without fear.


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