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Coronavirus expressions made by local artists

Local artists creating images relating to COVID-19 have not only personally expressed themselves but recorded the history-changing virus.

The virus’ undeniable spikes seen under the microscope correspond with those of a crown, thereby corresponding the similarity to its name, coronavirus.

Craig Thomas, a 1980 Jackson High School  graduate and 1985 Southeast Missouri State University graduate, created “Expecto Coronus,” in response to the 2020 virus that changed perspectives, lifestyles and routines.

Thomas lives in Cape Girardeau but travels where the work is as a freelance artist. His general studies degree, with an emphasis on fine arts and technical theatre gave him experience in working on large backdrops and set design.

This led to street painting, one of Thomas’ most popular media. His street painting as a  featured artist in Europe, the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada does not inhibit his artistic contributions to Cape Girardeau and surrounding communities.

Along with Christy-Spence Moore, Thomas recently contributed healing murals to the community of Cape Girardeau, where a hate crime was committed at the Islamic Center.

Thomas’ 4 x 13 foot acrylic painting, “Expecto Coronus,” filled the showcase window at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri last month. The image features Harry Potter zapping the virus with his wand.

Thomas’ golden, three dimensional spherical virus seems to dominate the rectangular canvas. With Harry Potter strongly commanding his wand from the lower section of the canvas, viewers may not agree which portion of the canvas is dominant.

Thomas explained his reason for creating the art: “I felt the need to do something. Like after 9/11. I think most artists  did a piece of art related to that.”

Currently he is working on having prints of “Expecto Coronus,” measuring 20 inches wide, made. Call him at 573-225-7734 for more information.

Another Cape Girardeau artist, Seth Reeves, created “Outbreak,” a 24 x 36 inch oil and aerosol piece on canvas. The art evolved as a result of the extra time he had while observing COVID-19 guidelines recommended by Gov. Mike Parson.

Reeves said, “I wouldn’t necessarily say my thoughts referring to quarantining are reflected in the painting. Really when you look at the piece itself it resembles a viral outbreak and that’s what I decided to paint. It went well with the current situation and state of things. There is not a whole lot of depth to the piece other than I had enough isolation time to complete a painting that would usually take me a few months in a manner of a few weeks.”

The vivid, colorful image moves diagonally across the black background at what appears to be a fast pace. His prints have already been sold but the original is still for sale. E-mail him at

Emma Fetterhoff, a Perryville Middle School student, created several comic strips and drawings about the coronavirus while practicing social distancing at her home in Daisy.

She sewed masks for her family including her sister, Bella, a soon to be fourth grader, and Bella’s doll. Emma portrayed her family and friends in comic strips and pictures.

She summed up her ideas in her own words, “Well, the thing is, most people choose to look at COVID-19 as a bad thing and they should! I mean you can’t dine-in most places, toilet paper has gone poof! Also it is harder to find food such as meat, eggs and bread. The thing is we can’t look at the bad, we have to look at the good too! You need to look at both sides. That’s what I’m trying to say in my drawings. For right now life is coming and going. We just have to keep our heads in the game and keep going! One day we won’t have masks on but my drawings will still be there to remind us of this sad time, so we can think back to when COVID-19 was everywhere and toilet paper was nowhere!”

Emma’s featured cartoon is a progression of her thoughts over three days. Day one recognizes the positive realization that staying up late is on the agenda; day two deals with the reality of excessive e-mails; by day three we find the cartoon character in bed wondering when staying at home will end.

After finishing the cartoon strips Emma decided to write children’s books on COVID-19. She studied picture books and tweaked some of her images as a result of the influences of other artists.

The title of her book for youngsters will be, COVID-19 with Hy and Ty. The book for older kids will be more in depth, and it currently lacks a title.

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