‘Sanctuary,’ ‘Resort’ open at McDonough

Two exhibitions open Friday at the McDonough Museum of Art.

“Sanctuary” features paintings by John Guy Petruzzi, an Ohio artist and Youngstown State University alumnus whose watercolors explore issues of climate change, habitat loss, extinction and ecological imbalance.

The works in “Sanctuary” feature 11 native birds of Ohio that are classified as threatened, endangered and even extinct. Petruzzi uses realistic detail and coloration in combination with an unnaturally intense green tone to create flocks of birds that seem to be both magically multiplying and struggling to free themselves. Photographs by the artist that were taken at the Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary also will be on display.

Petruzzi received his master’s degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with Tufts University, and his bachelor’s degree from YSU. His work has been exhibited nationally and featured in such publications as Hi-Fructose, New American Paintings and the Boston Globe.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Petruzzi will give a gallery talk 5:10 p.m. Sept. 19 at the McDonough and will lead a guided bird walk at Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary 9 a.m. Sept. 22. Call 330-740-7107 to register for the bird walk.

Petruzzi will participate in a panel discussion on “The Fate of Birds” with YSU professors Brian Bonhomme (history) and Ian Renne (biology) at 11 a.m. Oct. 3 at the McDonough.

Also opening Friday is “Resort,” a traveling exhibition featuring the work of Andrew Ellis Johnson and Susanne Slavick.

The pieces in the show reflect the duality of the title. A resort can be a destination that one chooses to visit or someone can be forced to flee their home as a last resort. According to the artists, “‘Resort’ explores the intersection of these two worlds — of security and insecurity — and our responses to those caught between them.”

Slavick is an artist, curator and professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University. Johnson is co-founder of the collective PED and an artist whose work has been shown in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Slavick and Johnson will give a gallery talk at 5 p.m. Friday as part of an opening reception for both exhibitions from 5 to 7 p.m. at the McDonough, 525 Wick Ave., Youngstown. The opening reception also will include a screening of the documentary “New Immigrant and Refugee Visions” at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 330-941-1400.