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McDonough Museum to feature 4 exhibitions beginning Friday

The museum also will present virtual lectures by all four artists.
Zac Benson -McDonough exhibition
Artwork by Zac Benson (contributed image)

YOUNGSTOWN — The John J. McDonough Museum of Art, 525 Wick Ave., is presenting four exhibitions in its galleries from Friday (Feb. 26) to April 2. 

The exhibitions will display the installation work of artist Zac Benson, the figurative realistic paintings of artist Max Markwald and the large-scale skiagrams of Amy Theiss Geise. The Emerging Artist series will introduce the paintings of Youngstown artist James Shawn Crum.

Benson's work ranges from installation and sculpture to performance art and has been shown in Taiwan, Bulgaria and throughout the United States. The “Realizations” exhibition will feature the artist’s installation work. Benson is an assistant professor of studio art at Anderson University, where he teaches sculpture and ceramics.

In his oil paintings, Markwald uses figurative realism to highlight queer voices and document his gender transition. In his upcoming exhibition, “Skin,” he often fragments the human form, creating obscured portraits that seem to be hiding in full view. As part of the Scribe literary collaborative, this exhibition will be accompanied by journals created by Youngstown State University students and community members. The booklets will contain written and visual art inspired by themes presented in the artist’s work. Students in professor Dana Sperry's digital media class also will create works that will be featured on Instagram.

The large-scale, silver gelatin skiagrams (Greek for "shadows written") found in Theiss Giese’s “The Absence of Light Within These Walls” are a direct recording of the shadow patterns in a room at night. They are created without a camera or an aperture. Theiss Giese is the director/lead faculty at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

With “Our Blood-soaked Land is Haunted by My Muses,” Crum explores the possibility that as a gay Black male, he exists within several realities. Painting allows him to regroup and reconcile the conflicts that ensue.

The McDonough Museum also will present virtual lectures by all four artists:

  • 6 p.m. March 1: Crum, McDonough’s YouTube Channel;
  • 10 a.m. March 10: Theiss Giese, Zoom (the link will be posted on McDonough’s website and social media pages).
  • 12:30 p.m. March 16: Markwald, McDonough’s YouTube Channel;
  • 9 a.m. March 23: Benson, McDonough’s YouTube Channel.