By Jaivaun Dodge
The McDonough Museum of Art is currently featuring two different art exhibits. The Sanctuary exhibit, done by John Guy Petruzzi, and the Resort exhibit, executed by Andrew Ellis Johnson and Susanne Slavick, are showcased at the museum.
Petruzzi is a Youngstown State University alumnus who specializes in using watercolor to express his care for the loss of species. In this exhibit, his pieces show 11 different types of birds that reside in the Mahoning County area.
Petruzzi’s use of color in his work makes the paintings come to life. There are also an array of photographs, which show an abundance of these birds.
Johnson is an artist who has worked all around the world. His art has been showcased at numerous events such as festivals and art galleries.
Slavick is a very established artist herself. She has written books, organized major events for contemporary art and has worked internationally.
Johnson and Slavick’s exhibit has many different surfaces and textures throughout pieces. Mud, one of the materials used, gives off the refugee feeling.
Angela DeLucia, assistant to the director at the McDonough, said she believes what makes art so successful is that it is “understandable and relatable, but there is also a depth that goes beyond the surface.”
“I do believe the works match the theme and some are more straightforward in their message,” she said.
Johnson and Slavick are also screening films made by refugees with the Community Supported Film organization.
Petruzzi will be holding gallery talks, but he will also sit on a panel discussion with Brian Bonhomme, chair of the history department at YSU, and Ian Renne, biology professor, who are both ornithologists.
Claudia Berlinski, McDonough Museum coordinator, said they have heard interest from the YSU community about viewing the refugee films.
“So much of contemporary art isn’t just art about art. It really pulls in a lot of outside ideas and concepts and is cross disciplinary,” she said.
Robyn Mass, exhibit design and production manager at the McDonough, said Sanctuary and Resort work well together because “they’re both hot topics today.”
For those interested in attending the shows, there will be an opportunity to sign up for a McDonough membership. This membership comes with a T-shirt, a handbag and a limited edition framed artist poster from Petruzzi.