Month: October 2018

Rozsa Concourse Gallery 2018-2019 Artists

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Concourse Gallery is featuring two artists this year: jd slack and Michael Letts.

jd slack: what makes a wall

jd slack is a pastel artist and professor of communication and cultural studies. Her paintings integrate brilliant color, provocative imagery, and thoughtful engagement with physical and imaginative worlds. She lives and works in the Traprock Valley on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, but travels the world to gather images and inspiration.

The obvious wall, the build-a-wall-and-make-Mexico-pay-for-it wall, makes an appearance here, as it must. But that wall, like all walls, makes its appearance where there were once no walls. Real people build walls: With our imaginations: with hate, fear, and the very belief in separateness. With what we do or don’t do … with teaching what to value or not. With real stuff: wires, rocks, pebbles, metal, and earth.— JD Slack

Michael Letts: Ancient Coast Series

Rocky landscape
Ancient Coast #4

Michael Letts lives and works in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a practicing artist and Professor of Art Education at Northern Michigan University. He holds an MFA in Painting from The Ohio State University. His paintings have been shown in numerous regional, national, and international exhibitions.

This series depicts spaces, and contemplates the energy that is trapped in the boundaries of physicality … Rocks hold ancient strength … water too is a force, and a source, it separates, dissolves, erodes, and unites at the same time. It contemplates the eternal and ephemeral …  solid and spirit, all together, in the world, existing as a whole. — Michael Letts

For more information on all our gallery events, visit our events calendar.


Call For Vendors: Home for the Holidays Gift Mart

Lobby of the Rozsa during Home for the Holidays.Vendor booth applications are now being accepted for the 21st Annual Home for the Holidays Gift Mart. This festive event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The Home for the Holidays Gift Mart is a juried show, guaranteeing patrons an excellent and varied assortment of quality hand-crafted items. A total of 50 vendors will be accepted this year and local crafters and artists are encouraged to apply.

Those interested are asked to contact the Rozsa Center for a booth application via email or by calling 7-2858. Early applications will be reviewed Friday (Oct. 19), and vendors will be notified of their acceptance next week. Applications received after this Friday will be reviewed upon receipt, with the application deadline Nov. 16.

For complete vendor details, contact Mary Ann Struthers, 7-2858.


41 North Film Festival Program Now Online

41 Film Festival logoThis year’s 41 North Film Festival will be held November 1-4 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The complete program is now online. The festival will feature events with several filmmakers, including Houghton native Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From) who will be here with her new film, “The Unafraid”.

There will be panels on rural healthcare, STEM education, mining history, and a special work-in-progress screening of “Copperdog” (working title) about women mushers in our own Copperdog 150. The festival is free and open to the public. If you are not a student, please reserve a ticket. Only one ticket needed for the entire event. Students should bring their Michigan Tech ID.


KSO Alumni Concert Saturday

Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Rozsa
Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Rozsa

Former music directors and the current director of the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) will share the podium as former orchestra members return for a historic KSO Alumni Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 13) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Past Directors Grover Wilkins III, Michael Griffith and Milton Olsson will join current director, Joel Neves.

Founded in 1970, the KSO—an ensemble comprised of Michigan Tech students, faculty, staff and community members—is the Upper Peninsula’s oldest orchestra.

Most of the musicians pursue something other than music as a career, with engineers, scientists, mathematicians, educators and retirees filling the roster. Students occupy about 60 percent of the orchestra; none are music majors. The Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Tech offers three music minors and concentrations to students. The KSO presents four to five concerts per year—including choral-orchestral, opera, ballet and pops—in the Rozsa Center.

Past KSO Music Directors:

  • John Clark (founder): 1970-1972
  • Grover Wilkins III: 1972-1976
  • Milton Olsson: 1976-2009
  • Michael Griffith: 1979-1989
  • Jeffrey Bell-Hanson: 1989-2002
  • Alton Thompson: 2003-2006
  • Joel Neves: 2009-current

Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Note: the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

For more details, contact Joel Neves or call 7-2859.


Live Through This

Dese'Rae L. StageShe found answers from her past in the experiences of other suicide attempt survivors. Suicide survivors were and are silent, anonymous, reduced to stereotypes and statistics.

Dese’Rae Stage wanted to show the world that suicide is not an affliction of the other—it affects people of all ages, races, faiths, ethnicities, gender presentations, sexual orientations, professions and so much more.

She founded the project, LiveThroughThis, which explores life on the other side of suicide through the stories of attempt survivors, in their own words, and the portraits taken following their stories being told.

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Michigan Tech’s Counseling Services present suicide attempt survivor Dese’Rae Stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 10) in the Rozsa Center.

Accompanied with dry humor and a dapper fashion sense (she refers to it as “sassy grandpa chic”), Sage comes to Michigan Tech to challenge preconceived notions about those with lived experience of suicidal thoughts and actions through the powers of photography and storytelling.

This is a free event and is open to all campus and community members (no tickets necessary). Come share space with our community and hear the stories of suicide attempt survivors and help be part of a community which works to fight and destigmatize mental health issues and create awareness about suicide.

Join us for a Q&A reception with the speaker and community mental health organizations following the keynote in the Rozsa Lobby.


“Never Empty” Gallery Exhibit Opens Friday

Mount runoff landscapeThe Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rozsa Center are excited to announce the fall gallery exhibition, “Never Empty,” featuring work by artists Dylan Miner (Ann Arbor) and Amanda Breitbach (Nacodoches, Texas).

The exhibit will run from Friday, Oct. 12 through Saturday, Nov. 10 in Michigan Tech’s A-Space Gallery, within the Rozsa Center. Gallery hours are M-F 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Artist Amanda Breitbach will give an artist talk at 6 p.m. that evening.

The exhibit, curated by Lisa Gordillo, curator and director of the Rozsa Galleries, features photographs by Breitbach and mixed media paintings by Miner. Both artists’ work investigates stories about local and national lands.

Our collaboration is dynamic and thought-provoking. The exhibit digs into the myths and the tensions present in our landscapes, and the peoples who have histories there. Both artists work to uncover, and to showcase, stories that may not be present at a first glance.—Lisa Gordillo

This exhibit is part of Gordillo’s effort to showcase minority voices within the gallery, and to pay special attention to First Nation artists. According to Gordillo, “It’s very important for all of us, but especially for Michigan Tech, as our campus sits on Ojibwe lands. I hope this exhibit inspires thoughtful conversations about landscape, land-use and the many heritages of our nation.”

Amanda Breitbach’s photographs and Dylan Miner’s cyanotype-process paintings recompose the narratives we often speak when talking about “the land,” “expansion,” and “environments.” Together, the two artists dig into the myths and tensions that exist within the landscape and peoples who have histories there.

Breitbach is a photographer whose work focuses on the complex relationships between people and land. She grew up on a family ranch in Montana; she offers portraits of a farm in decline, centered within the expansive high plains.  Dylan Miner is a Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) artist, activist, and scholar. His work reimagines the landscape as he layers pigments, minerals, and smoke on top of Upper Peninsula images.

The artists’ visit is supported in part by the Michigan Tech Visiting Women and Minority Lecture Series, which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. Both artists will spend time with the community during their visit.

For more details, contact Lisa Gordillo 7-3096.


Rivers and Trails: A Landscape Music Concert Saturday

River in a forestThe Landscape Music Composers Network and Michigan Tech’s Department of Visual and Performing arts will present “Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails,” part of a nationwide series of concerts this fall commemorating the 50th Anniversaries of the National Trails System Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 4) in the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

The concert features Jon Ensminger (piano), Susan Byykkonen (flute, piccolo), Patrick Booth (clarinet), Andrew Shaud (cello), Lindy Wagner (violin) and Charles White (percussion).

The “Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails,” initiative has mobilized the network’s composers to compose 11 new works in this concert series. Five rivers—Sudbury, Klamath, Owyhee, American and Chattooga—and six trails—Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, New England Trail, North County Trail, Carson Trail, Oregon Trail and Florida Trail—will be highlighted.

For details, contact Libby Meyer (VPA), by phone, 7-3015, or email.