Michele Banks, Indigo Coronavirus, 2020, ink on Yupo paper, 12 x 16 inches.

Paintings inspired by COVID-19

Michele Banks is a Washington, DC-based artist who finds inspiration in how viruses and bacteria affect humans, and how in turn humans affect them, through climate change, antibiotic use, and other impacts on the earth. For more than a decade, she has explored the idea that there is a world around us that we cannot see, a concept that is particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic hit the United States, Banks began creating dozens of ink paintings inspired by the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. She has shifted away from bright colors to a more limited palette of reds, blacks, and blues, reflecting the darkness of the times. But blue, she writes, represents a glimmer of hope for the development of a widely available, effective vaccine. For more works in the series, visit

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Cite this Article

Quinn, Alana. “Artologica.” Issues in Science and Technology 37, no. 1 (Fall 2020): 96.

Vol. XXXVII, No. 1, Fall 2020