Category: Announcements

A Haunted Drive Thru at the Quincy Mine Ruins!

A Haunted Drive Thru

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association announce a spooky Halloween collaboration, “A Haunted Drive-Thru at the Mine”. It’s taking place Thursday, October 29 through Saturday October 31 at the Quincy Mine Ruins.

Scheduled times are 7 to 10 p.m. each evening. The cost is a donation that can be made at the entrance to the drive-through at the mine.

According to Kent Cyr (VPA), “We’ve got a multi-layered project in the works, with built and lit scenic elements out in the mine ruins, and original scary podcast/stories produced by the Tech Theatre Company. The sounds will play on a long loop broadcast over a low-power FM transmitter. As people drive the ruins along the path marked out, they can tune their radios to the ‘Haunted Mine Drive-Thru’ Halloween broadcast.”

 Proceeds benefit the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.


KSO Presents a Special Streamed Halloween Concert Saturday: “Trolls and Cowboys”

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) under the direction of conductor Joel Neves, presents “Trolls and Cowboys” in a special streamed concert on Halloween, Saturday, October 31, at 7:30 pm. Spooky troll music is featured in Grieg’s fantasy horror masterpiece, “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. Aaron Copland’s film music for the 1949 Hollywood western, “The Red Pony”, celebrates cowboys, circuses, and the American frontier.  Access the video stream by clicking on the “View/Stream” button in the Trolls and Cowboys event listing, or for a more interactive experience, visit the Rozsa Facebook page and look for the Trolls and Cowboys Livestream at the start of the event.

This video concert is free and open to the public.

According to Neves, “I feel excited and blessed to make music again with this wonderful orchestra during the worldwide pandemic. Sublime music inspires the soul and binds communities together – it changes lives. Join us online for some beautiful music as the KSO approaches its historic 50th anniversary!”

Founded in 1970, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra is the Upper Peninsula’s oldest orchestra. The KSO is a college-community ensemble comprising Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff, and community musicians. 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.


Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the Rozsa Center and Pavlis Honors College announce the fall gallery exhibition, Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood. The exhibit features a collection of silver gelatin and inkjet photographs of modern Mongolia.

The images capture the unique and storied history of Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, its transition through economic and cultural change – and the rich and thriving culture that animates this young Asian nation.

This exhibit is presented in collaboration with Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College and the D80 Conference, where Kirkwood will give the keynote address.

The title “Hero City,” refers to the chosen name for this urban center before pressure from soviet activists led to its renaming, Ulaanbaatar (city of the Red Hero). Mongolia’s history is long and complex, and most recently marked by its transition from communism to democracy following the fall of the Soviet Union. This transition was guided by international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Fund, but the nation’s swift entry into a market economy has brought many challenges for its citizens, in spite of optimism from outside economists who view the country as a “global growth generating” nation. Mongolia offers a prescient look at the disconnect between prescriptive policies and the cultural and political realities that limit their success. Kirkwood’s images seek to capture these tensions, and to draw attention to Mongolia’s vibrant culture.

Kirkwood is an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her photography has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa. She holds an MFA in Photography from Tulane University, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Kansas. w ww.meghankirkwood.com.

The exhibit will run from Monday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Nov. 14. Works of art are also hung in several campus buildings and can be seen through a self- guided walking tour.

Gallery hours:

  • Monday – Friday — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday — 1 to 8 p.m.

Walking tour hours:

  • Monday – Friday — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kirkwood will give her online D80 keynote address at noon on Friday, Oct. 2, and an online gallery talk on at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. A tour map, Zoom links, and more details to all related Hero City and D80 Conference events can be found on the Rozsa Center website.

This program is partially funded/sponsored by the Visiting Professor Program which is funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the State of Michigan’s King- Chavez-Parks Initiative. 

For the latest news and events, please join our Rozsa newsletter, check our website and Facebook page frequently, and stay informed as we announce new events each week.


Music in the Mine Virtual Concert Friday

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, in partnership with the Quincy Mine Hoist Association, present a virtual streamed concert titled “Music in the Mine at 6 p.m. Friday (Oct. 9). 

Incredible acoustics, exciting performances and contemporary music come together live in the beautiful setting of the historic Quincy Mine Hoist building.

The concert features performances by Pat Booth on saxophone, Adam Meckler (VPA) on trumpet, Adam Hall on cello and the conScience Chamber Singers under the direction of Jared Anderson (VPA) premiering a new composition by Stephen Rush. 

Other works on the program are by Pat Booth, Sofia Gubaidulina, and John Cage. There will also be an interactive piece titled “Tuning Meditation,” by Paulina Oliveros. 

This concert is free and can be streamed live at mtu.edu/rozsa


Call for Actors: Auditions for Play Miasma

Auditions for Tech Theatre’s Eric Samuelsen’s play Miasma, a story of enduring love’s struggle with selfish desire, will be held by appointment on the following dates and times:

September 20, 2-5pm and 7-10pm – Rozsa Stage
September 21 and 22 , 7-10pm – Rozsa 120 (Choir Room)

Please enter through the Rozsa Stage door next to the loading doors. Email amsouthg@mtu.edu for rehearsal appointment.

Auditions will be by “cold” readings. Callbacks are planned.

When you come to audition, please wear a closed-tight mask, and use hand sanitizer when you come in and when you leave. Observe social distancing within the audition space.

This first round of auditions will last about 30 minutes. The cast consists of Claire, who wrangles her feisty and stubborn father, Ben. Ben holds the power of the family purse over his wife and children. His sons abandoned him and depend on Claire to speak for them. His other daughter, Beth, is his favorite; she follows his pursuit of wealth. Ben has left his wife, Liz, who weeps for the old west, in favor of Liza, a strong woman, who knows what she wants. Jorge, the ranch manager, is trapped between the family and the illegal aliens who work in Ben’s enterprises.

The play calls for 4 women and 2 men.

The production will be streamed from the Rozsa Center facilities at 7:30pm, December 10-12, 2020. The play will be captured on video in Covid-19-compliant recording studios and spaces.


Online Sculpture Walk

Outside – apart – together, the Visual and Performing Arts Outdoor Sculpture class’s online sculpture exhibit, opens today. The exhibit is an online sculpture walk, and it features work by eight student artists: Sarah Arnold, Mykaela Cayemberg, Mara Hackman, Olivia Hohnholt, Erin Mauk, Tristan Robb, Zoie Schafer, and Michael Stock. The students’ major disciplines include Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Theatre and Entertainment Technology, Medical Laboratory Science and Computer Engineering.

Students in the class, instructed by Lisa Gordillo, found inspiration for their works of art from many different places. Erin Mauk’s sculpture, “Preserving Beauty,” grew from a quote by ecologist Aldo Leopold. Mara Hackman’s work of art re-envisions Alice in Wonderland as a commentary on mental health. Tristan Robb, who’s projects were frequently inspired by the locations where they were to be installed, chose an “anxiety-inducing” space, and sought to make it more welcoming.

Students spent part of the class developing their creative process, and studying a range of artists and working styles. Artist Michael Stock says, “As I developed my creative process throughout the semester, I was learning to strike a chord between pondering my ideas, playing around, and trying to act on an idea.” It wasn’t without its challenges! Zoie Schafer created a ring of handcrafted bowls, and “there was a moment when I was setting the sixth bowl out in the sun to dry and realized there were only five. My dog had stolen the smallest bowl and eaten all of the wheatpasted paper off of it, literally eating my homework.”

The exhibit will remain online through September 1st.  Visitors may also wish to see the class gallery, where works of art from the semester are still on display. Individual projects are also featured on this VPA blog


Gordillo’s Home Studio Featured

Lisa Gordillo’s home studio is featured in a video collection created by SooVAC, The Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The video was created by SooVAC, “as a way of staying connected in a time where everything seems so far away.” Twenty-four artists’ workspaces, in the U.S. and abroad, are featured. The Soo Visual Art Center is a nonprofit art space whose mission is to connect the Minneapolis community with fresh, under-represented, provocative art. More of Gordillo’s work can also be seen on her website.

Soo Visual Arts Center’s Mission is to Connect.


Kites and Community

Visual and Performing Arts Outdoor Sculpture students spent last week making kites and holding a community (physically-distanced) picnic. Faculty member Lisa Gordillo designed this project to connect her students across the distances they’re feeling.

Students learned about a traditional Guatemalan kite – the barrilete, made Guatemalan recipes such as chilaquiles and chirmol, read works by Guatemalan writers such as Rigoberta Menchu and Antonio L. Cota Garcia, and studied paintings by Carlos Merida. The class also learned about U.S.-based artists who create community connections, such as Theaster Gates.

Student Sarah Arnold based her kite design on a mandala, then installed it in a forest. Erin Mauk was interested in Guatemala’s quetzal bird – her kite was inspired by the bird’s mythology and it’s long, flowing tail. Marah Hackman drew inspiration from Michigan’s Northern Lights.

Each student made their own barrilete, and hosted a picnic with the people in their household, then came back together to share what they made, so that everyone felt connected. Together, the students created a patchwork event – with many different things happening in different places, but everyone working together.  

The student gallery is on view until August 28. More works will be added each week.  

Artist Erin Mauk’s barrilete flying high
Sarah Arnold’s kite installed in the woods
Kite by artist Mykaela Cayemberg
A student-family picnic
Michael Stock grills tomatoes to make chirmol
Sarah Arnold’s Guatemalan tostadas


Physically-Distanced Outdoor Sculpture

The landscape is their studio. Students in Outdoor Sculpture will spend their summer class session creating works of art outside. The class is taught by Lisa Gordillo (Visual and Performing Arts). It is Michigan Tech’s first fully-online sculpture class.

Gordillo is working with her students to build a class that creates connections with community (even at a distance). Students consider art, ecology, and social connection as they make their works of art.  

The class has found inspiration from environmentally and socially engaged artists such as Lita Albuquerque,  Shoehei KatayamaNancy HoltAndy Goldsworthy, and Rebecca Louise Law.  

Student Mara Hackman’s first sculpture was inspired by Katayama’s work of art, Golden Repair. In that piece, Katayama uses emergency blankets to “repair” a glacial crack, referencing the Japanese tradition kintsukuroi, the ceramic practice of embracing flaws and imperfections by repairing them with gold. Hackman combined flowers and trash into a wave that followed a shoreline area near her home, considering environmental impacts and resilience.

Next up: students will make kites and hold an online community picnic. 

The student gallery is on view until August 15. More works will be added each week.  

Artist: Mykaela Cayemberg
Major: Civil Engineering
Studying Line. Daisies in rock (2020)
Artist: Mara Hackman
Major: Medical Laboratory Science
Studying Space: Balloons and string (2020)
Artist: Zoie Schafer
Major: Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
Color splash drawing of sculpture #2. Pencil and ink (2020)
Artist: Sarah Arnold
Major: Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
Studying Space. Balloons and string (2020)

And the Band Played On – ‘MTU Jazz: Quarantined’ Livestream Concert

Adam Meckler (Visual and Performing Arts), Michigan Tech’s director of Jazz Studies, and his students in three Michigan Tech jazz ensembles refused to let the quarantine stop the music.

Meckler’s students, from wherever the quarantine found them, teamed up via shared videos to undertake an experiment to blend music and dance, with similarly home-bound dance students at State University of New York-Brockport, for a one-of-a-kind dance and music collaboration.

That collaboration has allowed a hybrid event of sorts to take shape as the final product of their experimentation. A livestreamed concert, “MTU Jazz: Quarantined,” will take place on the Rozsa Center’s official Facebook page at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13.

Meckler said the idea of a jazz/dance collaboration began to take shape when he and Greg Woodsbie, lead professional staff accompanist and music instructor at SUNY-Brockport, were undergraduates at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, nearly 20 years ago.

The ensembles involved in the online concert are the Workshop Big Band, R&D Big Band and Jazz Lab Band. Calling it a first-of-a-kind event at Michigan Tech, Meckler said the concert grew out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Michigan Tech was on spring break when the order came to stay at home and stay safe. It was at that moment that Jazz students at MTU knew that they’d have to get creative in order to continue to make music together,” he said. “Each of our three big bands decided to remotely record and video one song that we had been working on during the spring semester. Additionally, 11 members of MTU’s Jazz program teamed up with 11 dance students at SUNY-Brockport and collaborated on making music and dance videos.” (View one of the videos).

Students created music for these videos in a variety of ways, including solo improvisations, multilayered songs and electronic music. The results of these collaborations will be premiered during the “MTU Jazz: Quarantined” concert, along with each big band’s final recording/video project.

Meckler will present these videos live from the Rozsa Facebook Page, and will also be available for a live Q&A session during a short intermission.