Author: Tanya Maki

Layered in Between: Prints by Erin Hoffman Presented by Michigan Tech Art

Erin Hoffman is an artist and printmaker from Muskegon, Michigan, who deals primarily with political and social concerns. Through the presentation of mismatched ideas and assemblages, her art serves as a prompt for critical thought and new conclusions.

PRESENTER | Michigan Tech Art
VENUE | Rozsa Galleries A-Space
EXHIBIT OPEN | September 15 – November 4
HOURS | M-F 8 A.M.-8 P.M. AND SA 1-8 P.M.


I feel that one experiences and draws conclusions about the world through the assembly of mismatched ideas and sensorial memories. Sometimes the associations of these ideas are seemingly random and other times there are lines that can be drawn between them that may lead to overarching truths or conclusions. I hope my work will lead viewers to new conclusions.

My work uses printed and hand drawn/painted imagery taken from historical references to reflect on current social and political issues.


Erin Hoffman has been involved in the art community since early childhood. She was first published at age six in a local Fort Wayne, Indiana newspaper, “The Sentinel” for her visual interpretation of “A Sunny Day.” She is currently a full-time tenured art instructor at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan teaching Printmaking, Art Appreciation, Drawing, Painting, Figure Drawing, Contemporary Art History and 2-d design.

She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2001 from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2005 at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Both degrees are in printmaking.

Erin completed work at two artist residencies in 2018, the first being the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts in Skopelos, Greece and the second at Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington. She has exhibited work in group and solo exhibitions all over the US.

Her work mixes relief printmaking techniques with intaglio, lithography and hand-painted material. It uses historical and politically themed imagery to examine aspects of contemporary American society.

Interdisciplinary collaborations. Gallery exhibits. Community projects. There are many ways to experience Michigan Tech Art. Michigan Tech Art is part of the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts Department.

The Rozsa Galleries offer dynamic exhibits that showcase engaging work — from local to international artists. We strive to offer diverse programming that supports our students and our community. Our professional A-Space hosts two curated exhibits each year. A-Space strives for diverse, engaging, and thoughtful programming that supports contemporary artists and deepens our student’s learning. Local, regional, national, and international artists exhibit here. A-Space shares a wall with Gallery B, our student gallery classroom. This offers special opportunities for our students to observe and participate in the galleries year-round.

SPEAK Resilience Receives Curriculum Innovation Award

SPEAK Resilience (Sustainability, Psychology, Ecology, Arts, Kultur) received a Spring 2023 award for Curriculum Innovation from the Tech Forward Initiative on Sustainability and Resilience (ISR). Co-PI’s include our very own Lisa Gordillo, Associate Chair and Associate Professor, Visual and Performing Arts, along with Tara Bal (CFRES), and Sam Smith (CLS). 

SPEAK Resilience will be an interdisciplinary sustainability program for Michigan Tech students to study in Björkö-Arholma, Sweden. The program will include a collection of four courses: one each in psychology, ecology, and the arts; and one interdisciplinary course team-taught by the faculty co-PIs. The co-PIs will develop a program that draws on each of their specialties to create immersive, interdisciplinary curricula. Learn more about SPEAK Resilience

Category: Awards

Visual and Performing Arts Student Awards

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts has announced its student award and scholarship recipients. Each year, a nomination and selection process is conducted by VPA faculty and staff with input from department students to identify outstanding student achievement. Below is a list of recognized students.

Student of Promise: Rowan Parsons

Rowan Parsons is a third-year Sound Design major. Rowan is interested in broadcast media, and has been the Head of Productions at WMTU Houghton 91.9 FM for the past two years and will be shifting to Head of Events this coming year. They work with Michigan Tech IT and Athletics on the live broadcast of sporting events. They were the Front of House Mixing Engineer for Michigan Tech’s recent production of the musical Chess. They love spending time with their friends in the department, hanging out with their cat, and playing video games. 

All Arts: Izzy Waldie

Izzy Waldie

Izzy Waldie is a fourth year student majoring in Audio Production and Technology with a Minor in Computer Science. Izzy is the president of the student organization Above the Bridge Records, a student recording label, and Vice President of SoundGirls. Izzy has worked on many theatre shows as both a sound designer and sound system designer. She blends her creative and technical skills working for IT as a media tech specialist and an AV engineer for MTU Athletics. She is also a sound designer and film editor for Tech’s CinOptic Enterprise, and is currently working on promotional videos for Isle Royale National Park. Izzy also plays in multiple bands, including being the drummer for JAZTEC, MTU’s premier jazz combo. Last summer, Izzy secured a prestigious internship at Shure in Chicago, one of the biggest audio companies in the world, and she will be returning for another internship there this summer. As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, she is very excited to return to Houghton for her final semester in the fall. 

Arts: Bobbie Desgrange

Bobbie Desgrange

Bobbie is a soon to be graduate from Lansing, Michigan. They will be getting their BS in Theater and Entertainment Technology with an Art minor. During their time here they have worked as a Scenic Artist in 5 VPA productions, and with two of their peers put on the first independent student gallery in the Rozsa titled Me, You, & Us. Along with that, they recently collaborated with Lisa Gordillo this past year to design an installation piece in the Minerals and Materials building.

Sound: Mason Waldrip

Mason Waldrip

Mason Waldrip is a graduating senior in the Audio Production and Technology major. He
came to Michigan Tech in 2018 as a Computer Science major but quickly fell in love with
audio production when he took an elective course in the department. Since then, Mason
has been involved in the department most notably through working at the Rozsa,
working on several theatre productions, becoming the president of the Audio
Engineering Society at Michigan Tech, and designing and building multiple studios.
Mason also formed his band Bouquet with his friends and has been gigging, writing, and
recording for just over a year. Along with the band, Mason will be releasing an EP during
the summer. He has a passion for music, video games, live-streaming, programming,
photography, and snowboarding.

Music: Aidan Conrade

Aidan Conrade is a third year Sound Design student with a minor in Music Composition. They enjoy putting their knowledge of sound design together with their music to create unique and creative pieces for all types of projects. On top of this, they also play bass guitar and upright bass in a variety of groups at Michigan Tech, including the Playtesters, MTU’s video game jazz ensemble, which is a student-lead group that specializes in arranging their favorite video game tunes into various styles of jazz and adjacent genres to grow as musicians! When they are not working on a project or writing/listening to music, they are exploring the outdoors or discovering the latest indie games. Their goal after university is to join the video game and/or film industries as a sound designer and composer, where they will work to curate immersive and expressive experiences for others to enjoy!

Theatre: Maisie Whitaker
Department Scholar: Maisie Whitaker

Maisie Whitaker

Maisie Whitaker is a 4th year student studying Theater and Entertainment with emphasis in Mechanical and Craft alongside an Art Minor. She works as both gallery assistant and scene shop assistant. She also is a Peer Mentor to incoming students as they start their way into college. Maisie has a great love for all things theater and art of course but also finds joy in animals, nature, crafting, and reading. She is looking forward to participating in the VPA faculty led study abroad trip to the Prague Quadrennial. She was one of three artists featured in first student professional art show ‘Me, You, and Us’ down in the A-Space Rozsa Gallery. Maisie credits her success within the VPA department to her professors who have encouraged her growth as a student. She also recognizes her friends and peers who make every production or event that much easier to be apart of. 

Milton Olsson Music Award:
Alex Hudson

Alex is a Computer Engineering student from Alto, Michigan, near Lowell. He started playing violin when he was 11 and has since enjoyed performing in a wide variety of ensembles—including the Lowell Fusion Rock Orchestra, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, multiple pit orchestras, and MTU’s own Video Game Jazz Ensemble. Alex is also an aspiring composer and is currently working towards a minor in music composition. Whether creating it or playing it, he finds music to be one of the best ways to express himself and de-stress after rough days.

Marian and John Irish Award for Environmental Art: August Camp

August Camp is a graduating senior in applied ecology and environmental science, and was a student last fall in Art & Nature. August considered deep questions of seeming binaries, such as beauty and horror, or natural vs. artificial. He was interested in the possibility that plastic can be both beautiful and an embodiment of the climate catastrophe we’re experiencing. And wanted to explore the way anthropogenic actions mimic natural disturbances across the landscape. They thought hard about how to position viewer-participants to consider the complexity of our climate crisis, including our individual, conflicted lifestyles.

Don Keranen Jazz Awards

Director of Jazz Studies, Adam Meckler, has announced this year’s student recipients for the Don Keranen Endowed Scholarship Awards.

Each year, excellence in Jazz is recognized by way of the Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Scholarship. Three students are chosen by their peers in recognition of improvement, excellence, and leadership. Our award winners this year include R&D Bass Player Jay Jamison-Sawicki, Workshop Brass Band Harrison Harland, and Lab Band Lead Tenor Saxophonist Liam Cacioppo.

These students all showed leadership, dedication, excellence, and improvement this year. I am grateful for them, and wish them continued success in the coming years.

Director of Jazz Studies, Adam Meckler

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Michael “Jay” Jamison-Sawicki is a First-Year majoring in a Bachelor’s in Power Distribution Engineering at Michigan Tech. He discovered his love of Jazz, however, his Senior year of High School where he was recruited by the Jazz/Honors Band at Summit Academy North. Ever since his time there, he’s played bass in the Research and Development Big Band at MTU, picking up multiple skills and learning valuable musical lessons that continue to further bolster his musicianship.

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Harrison Harland is a second year at Michigan Tech, and a double major in Accounting and MIS. Harrison started playing bass guitar 3 years ago and the MTU jazz program has been an excellent first experience in both jazz music and performing live music! To Harrison, playing music is all about sharing cool ideas and spreading good vibes the whole way!

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Liam Cacioppo is a saxophonist that has been playing for 12 years. He is from Ingleside, Illinois but frequent trips to the Upper Peninsula made him become familiar with Tech and its extreme winters. While being an engineer takes up most of his time, he always tries to find some time to continue playing jazz. Alongside playing jazz you could find him skiing, taking a walk around, or wearing a sweater.

Michigan Tech Music Presents Old World, New World Concert with Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra on April 22

Michigan Tech Music will present Old World, New World, performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This concert will also stream live for faraway KSO and Michigan Tech Music lovers.

The finale for the orchestra’s 2022/2023 “Season of Premieres,” Old World, New World features the world premiere of Kalaupapa, Music Director Joel Neves’ own work for orchestra. The deeply personal and moving composition is dedicated to Neves’ Native Hawaiian ‘ohana from the “old world” and features Hawaiian sounds including the charm of a ukulele and the call of conch shells.

“My Hawaiian ‘ohana contracted leprosy and were quarantined for life in the government-sanctioned Kalaupapa leper colony on Molokai. Their lives were pain-filled but joyous,” says Neves. ” I wrote a symphonic tone poem that depicts their pain and joy in equal measure, with the joy winning out in the end. Kalaupapa is a kaleidoscopic work for symphony orchestra, ukulele, guitar, and conch shells that paints the lives of my beautiful ancestors. Having recently exited a quarantined existence, I think our patrons will find Kalaupapa to be a compelling, close-to-home experience.”

The concert also explores the “new world” experienced by Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, when he first visited America, resulting in his nostalgically beautiful New World Symphony. The concert features another piece by Dvorak, Carnival Overture, and Ballet music from Charles Gounod’s Faust.

Under the direction of conductor Joel Neves, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra is comprised of talented musicians from Michigan Tech and the surrounding community. The orchestra has established itself as a cultural asset to the region, presenting high-quality classical and contemporary music performances throughout the year.

“Our concert theme is Old World, New World, represented by “old” Hawaii and “new” America. Dvorak’s New World Symphony–inspired by his travels to America–is one of the most popular symphonies in the world, a tour-de-force for symphony orchestra that includes the famous “Goin’ Home” theme in the second movement,” Neves says. “It’s an exciting concert program that will take the audience on a thrilling symphonic adventure.”

Tickets for the public are available online, by calling 906-487-1906, or the Rozsa Box Office from 11-1 p.m. Monday through Friday or for 1 hour before shows. Michigan Tech Students can reserve free Experience Tech tickets online, and Student Rush will be available at the door. Prices range from $5 for youth under 18 to $19 for adults.

For more information about Michigan Tech Music and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, visit

Color and Context collaboration with Professor of Art Anne Beffel

The Seashore Psychology Training Clinic at the University of Iowa is pleased to announce that they will be continuing collaboration with Professor of Art Anne Beffel on an art installation entitled Color and Context. This extension of Beffel’s Color of Kindness project, currently exhibited in the Seashore Clinic, will engage graduate students as well as clinical faculty and staff.

Participants will be invited to recall a moment in which kindness, or its absence, was important to them and to describe colors present within their memory. In the updated project, Beffel will collect only the name of the color and its brief description through online survey. As Beffel creates a painting for each person’s named color, she will integrate its complement, located 180 degrees opposite on the Newtonian color wheel. The introduction of the complementary color is intended to embody both contrast and connection. Beffel notes, “Gullickson, and former training director Michael O’Hara, have been excellent collaborators and art stewards, extending themselves in countless ways. I’m particularly grateful for the opportunity to directly engage the clinic faculty, staff and students in articulating the colors that matter to them as we reflect upon the dynamic and evolving culture surrounding color in America.”

“We are thrilled at our continuing collaboration with Anne Beffel,” writes Seashore Clinic director Gregory Gullickson. “Anne has really brought such color and life to our clinic, and having students and staff inspire more of her work will add immeasurably to the beauty and healing spirit of our clinic space.”

Installation of Color and Context is planned for summer 2023 with support from Beffel’s academic department of Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University.

Michigan Tech Choirs to perform benefit concert, “Music for a Sacred Space” in Lake Linden Houghton, MI

The choirs of Michigan Tech will combine to perform a concert entitled “Music for a Sacred Space” to benefit the local chapter of St. Vincent de Paul. The concert will be held on February 26, 2023 at 7:30pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden, MI. The concert is open to the public. A free-will offering opportunity in support of St. Vincent de Paul will be available at the door. Learn more at

The concert will feature performances by the Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers. Music to be performed will include the premiere performance of My Prayer, by David Brown. Other selections include a setting of Lux Aeterna based on the Nimrod variation from
Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge, Sarah Rimkus’ Shall we Gather at the River, and Undine Moore’s Walk Through the Streets of the City.

“St. Joseph’s is one of the gems of the Copper Country and is a wonderful place for choral singing,” says Dr. Jared Anderson, director of both choirs. “This is the first time that the choirs have been able to sing in the space for a live audience since the pandemic. This concert has become a great tradition in the community and we have been able to raise important funds for an organization that is active in providing resources for so many individuals and families in need in our area.” Individuals interested in hearing choral music in St. Joseph’s are encouraged to view the 2021 project, Music in Sacred Spaces at

Accessibility note: The elevator at St. Joseph’s church is currently not operating. There are three steps to go into the church after entering from the external doors. We apologize for the inconvenience and are happy to provide assistance navigating the steps as needed.

Joel Neves Nominated for Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award

Professor Joel Neves

We are so pleased to announce Joel Neves, Professor, Visual and Performing Arts is among the Associate Professor/Professor finalists for the 2023 Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award. The Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Michigan Tech’s instructional mission.

To whittle the finalists to a single winner, The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is seeking input on the finalists for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards. Based on more than 40,000 student ratings of instruction responses, 10 finalists have been identified for the 2023 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to be referenced during their deliberations.

Comments for the finalists are due by March 31 and can be submitted online.

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring 2023 classes. The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2023 Distinguished Teaching Awards will be formally announced in May.

For more information, contact the CTL at or 906-487-3000.

Songs for the Moon — Friday, December 9

Join the Michigan Tech Choirs for a concert that celebrates the beauty of moonlight and wintertime, Songs for the Moon. The concert, presented by Michigan Tech Music will include performances by the Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers.

Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts
Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm

Get your tickets online, at 906-487-1906 or at the Rozsa Box Office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.