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Local artist's painting featured at National Aviary


Cheryl Tracy and Johno unveil his painting at the National Aviary

An original painting by artist Johno Prascak was unveiled at the National Aviary to celebrate the return of their Wings & Wildlife Art Show after a more than 10 year hiatus.

The show will open Friday, Nov. 6 with a black tie soiree and art auction followed by a public show for National Aviary visitors November 7-8, 2015. Artist applications are now being accepted via for this juried exhibition which will showcase approximately 40 artists' wildlife and nature artwork in a variety of mediums.

"We're thrilled to announce the reintroduction of Wings & Wildlife, and Johno as this year's featured artist," says National Aviary Managing Director Cheryl Tracy. "The Wings & Wildlife Art Show celebrates an appreciation of nature, as does the mission of the National Aviary. The blending of art and nature fits so well with what we do in inspiring respect for nature through an appreciation of birds, and helps us reach new audiences with that important message."

The Wings & Wildlife Art Show is a juried exhibition and retail sale of nature and wildlife-themed artwork. At least 80 percent of the work exhibited by artists must be centered on wildlife and nature. Artists will exhibit and sell art of all kinds, including paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, wood carvings, and more.

The show serves as one of the National Aviary's major fundraising events and is devoted to bringing attention to the thriving art community of the Pittsburgh region. The National Aviary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and revenue raised during Wings & Wildlife will go to support important conservation efforts, education, and animal care.

The painting, titled National Aviary, celebrates a blend of Johno's love of Pittsburgh and the vibrancy of nature. It features many of the National Aviary's most iconic and popular birds.

All of Johno's art incorporates enamels and sand, giving his pieces an unusual texture. True to form, National Aviary contains sand from its Tropical Forest exhibit, the oldest room in the National Aviary. Johno also holds a rich personal history with the National Aviary.

"My first public art exhibit was here in 1988, at what was then the Pittsburgh Aviary Wings & Wildlife Art Show," says Johno. "I met my wife here, as she's also a great artist, and around that time my work took off. It's an honor to be back as the featured artist for the return of Wings & Wildlife."

A Pittsburgh artist, Johno's work includes many of the city's most famous landmarks, people, and icons. He also creates colorful and energetic paintings depicting nature's flora and fauna.

Johno's original artwork will hang in the main hall of the National Aviary until it is sold during the Wings & Wildlife Art Show in November. Limited edition, signed prints are available in the National Aviary gift shop for $50, as well as postcards for $2.50 each or three for $5.99. The public is welcome to shop without paying admission to the National Aviary.

The original Wings & Wildlife Art Show was held at the National Aviary for close to 25 years during the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. It drew thousands of visitors on a single weekend. The reinvented show is expected to draw from an even larger audience, given the growth of the National Aviary and local arts community in recent years.

The National Aviary is accepting artist applications through April 8. Applications can be downloaded from the National Aviary's web site at


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