Art Edition 2, Day 1: Selva Ozelli

Selva Ozelli

COVID-19 is certainly the most devastating plague to ravage humankind in the 21st century. With every passing day, the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus is rising globally and taking the highest human toll in decades. Two hundred and thirty nine  scientists—including Johns Hopkins engineer Peter DeCarlo—in an open letter, urged the World Health Organization and medical authorities to “recognize the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19” with viruses being released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in micro-droplets small enough to remain aloft in air and pose a risk of exposure they claim.  This highly infectious virus, which was first contracted in November 2019 at Huanan seafood market in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province through animal to human contact, has rapidly spread to plague the entire planet.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, singers and artists all had to cancel their concerts and art shows. Irish singer and songwriter Niall Horan, for example, launched his second solo album Heartbreak Weather in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine and had to cancel his tour.  To help him promote his new album via social media, Selva made two paintings for two songs from the new album—the title song Heartbreak Weather and the second song Black and White—which were selected to promote Niall’s album/songs.

Again, due to the pandemic and the lockdowns that came in its wake, Selva’s group art show at the Balat Culture Center in Istanbul was postponed and she had to switch from the physical art show format to the digital mode. In this period, she has participated in two digital art shows and curated five art shows so far. The two digital art shows are:

1. Atelier Teymur Rzayev First Digital Climate Change Art Show
2. Art in the Time of Corona

Both her art shows have been published by over 90 Global Museums, Culture Ministries and NGOs in over 30 countries (see brochures of these art shows). Further, her work was acknowledged by five international art shows this year. Recently, three of her paintings—”Oak Tree”, “Global Warming” and “Wildfires in the Time of Corona” (a painting which is included in her solo digital art show)—were selected at the World Environment International Art Contest in Bihar, India.  This was the second International art show held in India where her work has been acknowledged this year.

Most importantly, during this pandemic, health care professionals have been putting their lives on the line to save the lives of others. Selva has donated photos of three paintings from her solo art show to the Portakal Cicegi Project which has been raising funds for the orphans of health care professionals who have lost their lives to COVID-19 (see brochure for the donated paintings). The photos of these paintings can be purchased from Sep 15 to Oct 15. She has also painted the portrait of Dr. Kalbiye Yalaz, who established the first pediatric neurology department at Hacettepe Hospital in Ankara, Turkey (see brochure) since, due to COVID-19, neurological manifestations are being recognized increasingly.

To share your artwork with us or to publish your Covid-19 experience, articles, stories and poems, write to us (in বাংলা or English) at

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