All posts by hrpowers

‘Sunday in the Park with George’ Opens Today

Performers on stageThe Rozsa Center, Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Tech Theatre Company present the VPA 25th Anniversary Season theatre finale, “Sunday in the Park with George,” Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 11-13) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

The musical features junior computer science major Jonah Schulte as George One and George Two. Katy Gula, a junior environmental engineering major, plays the role of Dot.

“Sunday in the Park with George” is a fully staged musical with live orchestra. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s lyrical celebration of art, love and children merges image, music and performance to explore the depths of human understanding.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and staged around the world, “Sunday in the Park with George” explains the simple essence of life we can all understand.

When considering what to program as the musical theatre offering this year, ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ kept coming to my mind as a work that represents the department in special ways—a musical about two artists, separated through many years, but intimately connected by their desires to connect through art and to create something new.—Jared Anderson, Chair VPA

Director Roger Held (VPA), describes the play in terms of an intersection and relations between parents, children and art. “Steven Sondheim and James Lapine suggest that, in the end, life comes down to children and art. They mean this, I think, in the broadest sense. In ‘Sunday in the Park …’, you’ll meet two Georges who are artists trying to understand the nature of light in aesthetic experiences.”

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, through the date links (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) , in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the night of the show. The box office opens two hours prior to the performance.


Dean’s Showcase

Lisa GordilloFor the Deans’ Teaching Showcase, Dean David Hemmer has selected Lisa Gordillo, assistant professor in Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).

Gordillo was nominated by VPA Chair Jared Anderson, who applauded the many interdisciplinary collaborations she has initiated to publicly exhibit student art, especially around campus.

Anderson highlighted a wide variety of projects,” ranging from artistic design for windows that would reduce bird-window collisions to carving and casting sculptures based on traditional models in partnership with the Materials Science and Engineering Department.”

Gordillo teaches a wide variety of courses including traditional sculpture, contemporary sculpture, art + design, scenic art and illustration, and advanced sculpture. All of these make important contributions to the general education program, the visual art minor and the major in theater and entertainment technology.

Lisa leads a very collaborative environment where students are encouraged to explore creative solutions to problems while creating beautiful art. Her curriculum uses gallery b in the Rozsa galleries as an interactive classroom space where students create art right where it will be installed for public exhibition.—Jared Anderson

In addition, barriletes (patterned after traditional Guatemalan barriletes) made by students in the Traditional Sculpture course are currently displayed in the Rozsa Center lobby.

Gordillo’s highly hands-on approach with a focus on exhibition is very popular with students as she was named a finalist for the 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award, her third time as a finalist in the last four years.

Gordillo also connects her teaching with a much broader artistic context in her role as director of the Rozsa Art Galleries.  Recently, the exhibition, Salon!, opened in Gallery A in the Rozsa Center. This show brought together work from more than 30 artists and writers from around the world. Gordillo worked with student painters to transform the gallery into a space that was inspired by the salons of the late 19th century.

Dean Hemmer summarizes Gordillo’s impact by saying,  “I am grateful to have colleagues like Lisa. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting two magnificent shows that she curated in the Rosza Art Gallery. For the many students involved in putting these together, learning extends far beyond the classroom. Faculty like Lisa enliven Tech every day.”

Gordillo will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.


Gordillo Captures Prize at Arts Festival

Lisa GordilloLisa Gordillo (VPA) received an award for “Best Three-Dimensional Work,” for her piece “Las Cordinada/The Coordinates,” as part of the 2019 North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival.

The piece, which was first developed on Michigan Tech’s campus as part of Gordillo’s 2017 Rozsa Gallery exhibit, “ChickenBus,” travelled through North Dakota during the human rights festival this spring. Gordillo’s sculpture commemorates 26 of the 440 Mayan villages that were destroyed during Guatemala’s 30-year genocide, which was partially funded by the United States.

Gordillo worked with her collaborator and partner Hugo Gordillo to develop the piece, which is composed of plaster casts of human hands, and a wall text that lists the villages destroyed and the actions taken to destroy them. The piece will be on display through March at the High Plains Fair Housing Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.



Student Shares Theatre and Electronic Media Performance Experience

Callisto CortezIt’s not typical for a person to study Theatre and Electronic Media Performance at a university more known for engineering. As I thought about my education at Michigan Tech and this unique program, that not many people pursue in the Upper Peninsula, I realized how extraordinary my college adventure would be. I am a fourth-year Theatre and Electronic Media Performance major, minoring in Technical Theatre, and my name is Callisto Cortez.

Over the years I’ve fallen in love with my department and the people that have become some of my closest friends. The tight-knit community that is the Visual and Performing Arts department works as a family and all the students can get one-on-one discussions and attention from each of our professors. Within my first year and a half at Michigan Tech, I was able to complete my Acting Practicums. Each practicum was worth 1 credit, which means I had already acted in 3 productions with the Tech Theatre. It’s been an incredible learning experience, for the fact that I was able to immerse myself in the program right away. By the first semester of my second year, I was cast in my first leading role for the Tech Theatre, Silent Sky.

I have realized how extremely passionate I am about theatre and how fortunate I am to make my dreams into a reality by making my hard work pay off.

The major of Theatre and Electronic Media Performance at Michigan Tech caters to each student individually as artists. At first, my mindset was focused primarily on performance and enhancing my acting abilities. Then, I discovered my love for the technical aspects of theatre as well, which lead me to taking technical theatre courses. My second year, I helped to paint an entire set for The Irresistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and also stage manage the production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago During these two semesters, I was the lead in Silent Sky for the Fall semester and a dancer in West Side Story spring semester.

Now, I want to be able to act in a show, stage manage another, assist in any type of design, and just get to know the people who make an entire production happen.



Eric Smith Studying Audio Production and Technology

Eric SmithWhen I started studying audio production and technology, my ultimate goal was to become a Grammy Award-winning music producer. I thought I would need a cool stage name. I gave it some thought, but nothing clicked. Then one day “Smooth Smith” came to mind. It rolls off the tongue. I presented an audio file from my Soundcloud page and my professor and classmates could see the name: Smooth Smith.

After that it just caught on.

Audio production and technology is a very hands-on major. We learn everything that has to do with audio, theatre, film, and studio recording. After graduation, I have a job lined up with a show control programming company in Miami, Florida. I had a great co-op there last semester. During my time there, I worked on the Universal Holiday Parade for Universal Orlando—it was a huge learning experience for me.

The most meaningful part of college so far has been the opportunities I’ve had through my jobs. I want to thank my supervisors and professors: I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for you. Michigan Tech has given me so much. I’m so glad I came here.

I have a few jobs on campus now. I work for Athletics as a broadcast engineer, making sure our audio and video systems are working correctly during sporting events. I also work with Information Technology and as a coach in the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success.

Wahtera Center helps students who are looking to be more successful in school. I really love coaching! One of my most memorable experiences was returning from my co-op and being specifically requested by a student I had worked with the previous year. I was flattered to see how much they valued our sessions and the impact coaching had on their performance in school.

My favorite part about being a coach is when a student reaches the point where they can come in for a session relaxed and with a smile because they are doing so well in their classes.


In the News – Haunted Mine and 41 North Film

The Visual and Performing Arts was in the news this past week for two different events.

Silhouettes of minersThe Haunted Mine presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts was covered by WLUC TV6.

Michigan Technological University VPA students installed 2,535 feet of speaker cable, 1,000 feet of microphone cable and 31 speakers to create the ultimate creepy soundscape for Quincy Mine’s annual haunted tour.

A half-mile in and seven levels below ground, the 15-by-15 dark tunnel awaits the brave souls who dare to enter for pre-Halloween tours Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 25-27. This is the second year Michigan Tech students in sound design and audio production and technology programs have collaborated on the project.


41 Film Festival logoThe upcoming 41 North Film Festival, beginning Thursday (Nov. 1) was covered by WJMN TV3. This year, the 41 North Film Festival will screen five films about history, issues and accomplishments related to STEM innovation in its lineup of more than 20 films.

 


Huskies Pep Band Concert Celebrates Halloween with “Yalloween: Day of the Striped”

Photoshopped wolf's head with mouth openBefore you head out for Halloween high-jinks, join the Huskies Pep Band for a special Halloween concert, “Yalloween: Day of The Striped,” at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 31) in the Rozsa Center.

The Huskies Pep Band is a Michigan Tech point of pride and one of the most lauded (and loud) pep bands in the Midwest. Members dressed in “bumble-bee” stripes perform in unscripted and unrestrained glory at concerts, athletic contests, parades and special events all around Houghton and support Michigan Tech teams on the road as well.

The Huskies Pep Band is a nationally-known Division I pep band of nearly 250 members that performs at home football, basketball and hockey games. The band was selected as the host band for the WCHA Final Five Tournament in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The Huskies Pep Band is a be-striped, scrambling, irreverent, annoying, distracting force for both good (for our athletic teams) and not as good (for the opposing teams). Since then, the band has performed at many arenas and stadiums (including some from which they have been banned for creating a ‘home atmosphere’ for Michigan Tech’s teams), learned more than eight songs, developed the capacity to breathe fire, been a P.E. credit for many movement-challenged students and reached the age of 50 as a Scramble ‘band.’ —Director of Bands Michael Christianson

Tickets for “Yalloween” at the Rozsa Center are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 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 night of the show. Note: the Rozsa box office opens only two hours before performances.


WW1CC Art & Warfare will run again next week

WW1CC logo with Quincy MineDue to popular demand, the “World War I & the Copper Country” exhibit, “Art & Warfare,” will run for four days next week in the Immersive Visualization Studio, EERC 510. There will be special hours:

  • 5-6 p.m. Monday (10/29)
  • 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesday (10/30), Thursday and Friday (NOV. 1-2)

This exhibit features the sketches and paintings of the Official Artists of the American Expeditionary Forces, a group of eight accomplished artists sent to France to visually depict the war.

Their work is dramatically displayed on the Immersive Visualization Studio’s screen wall—twenty-four 48” screens supported by eight computers—and accompanied by jazz renditions of contemporary wartime popular songs arranged and performed by Bill Carrothers from his collection, “Armistice 1918.”

“Art & Warfare” realizes the integration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) by facilitating multisensory reflections on aesthetics, technology and warfare.