Category Archives: Art

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.


“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.


Fundraiser Celebrates 25th Anniversary of VPA

Circle with Gala surrounded by colored splashesThis academic year, we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Michigan Tech. We will hold a celebratory 25th Anniversary Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Celebrate with an evening of cocktails, dinner and live arts entertainment. The VPA 25th Anniversary Gala will feature intimate performances in the lobby and on stage, and live auction supporting the Marian and John Irish Award for Environmental Art, the Visual and Performing Arts Department Theatre Scholarship Fund and the Rozsa Center’s Class Acts Program.

Come dressed for celebration. There will be a cocktail hour (cash bar), full dinner, live music throughout the evening both in the lobby and on stage, an auction of unique arts experiences, artists working during the gala and more.

Tickets for the evening are $75 per person. We will also be selling corporate tables (seating eight) for $1,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling the SDC Ticket Office at 7-2073 or following this link. More information can be found here.


Rozsa Calendars Now Available

A stack of Rozsa 2018-2019 season calendarsThe Rozsa Wall Calendars are here. Pick one up at the Rozsa Center or at any of the more than 120 Houghton and Hancock businesses who display and distribute them each year. For Michigan Tech faculty and staff, we make it easy for you to get your copies of the calendar. If you would like a calendar delivered directly to your campus mailbox, fill out this form. We will gladly send a calendar to you in inter-campus mail.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theatre and visual arts events, and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival.  From comedy, to dance, to all-around spectacle, you will enjoy the variety and over-the-top fun of the 2018/19 Rozsa Visual and Performing Arts Season.

We have so much ballet this year. Two nights to experience the magic of the “Nutcracker” in November and December, then the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in February. —Bethany Jones, Rozsa Center Marketing Manager

Season Ticket Packages are on still on sale, offering savings of 18-37 percent. The popular “Pick 6” Season Ticket Package has returned and is an even better value this year. We brought back both a “Pick 3” option, and the very popular “Family Pack” option that will help you bring the whole family to a big show at an affordable price. We hope there is a package that works for you. Thank you to all of our long-time season ticket holders, we’re holding your seats. For new season ticket buyers, welcome, we look forward to seeing you this season. Not interested in a Season Ticket Package? Single-ticket sales began last month.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), call 7-2073 or go online.


Meditation Circuit Combines Mindfulness, Public Art

Two men and a woman stand beneath a cloth banner in a pine tree grove.Imagine the sunlight slanting toward the forest floor, filtered through viridescent leaves and pine needles. Imagine walking slowly, meditatively, through the wedges of light, fully focused on the moment, completely present. Dust motes swirl in the light. Birds call to each other above. A fly buzzes by. Twigs and decaying leaves crunch under foot. From branches above, delicate hemp banners painted in many shades of green to mimic the landscape waft gently on the breeze.

Meditation, the practice of focusing solely on the present moment and letting go of the clutter of the mind, appears to have an increasing number of health benefitsAnne Beffel, professor of visual and performing arts at Michigan Technological University and director of Studio Here Now, intentionally looks for ways to create space for mindfulness within public art. Studio Here Now is a creative public art design studio and gallery located on campus in Wadsworth Residence Hall.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news


Two Exhibits Open Concurrently at the Rozsa Center Gallery Friday

WW1CC logo with Quincy MineAmerican and French Propaganda Posters” and “Shell-Shocked: Footage & Sounds of the Front,” are two separate exhibits that are meant to be seen together.

Both are part of the community-wide centennial commemoration of the “Great War, World War I & the Copper Country,” running through Nov. 11.

During the gallery opening reception, Stefka Hristova (HU) will give a talk entitled, “Iconography & War.” World War I called for broad public participation through multiple avenues: joining the military, buying liberty bonds or saving stamps, conserving food, taking up a public job. Everyone was expected to do their part, and new modes of propaganda were key to ensuring society’s “total mobilization.”

“American and French Propaganda Posters,” reflects numerous appeals to mass mobilization, resulting in some iconic images from the American campaign, for example, James Montgomery Flagg’s “Uncle Sam” and A.E. Foringer’s “Greatest Mother in the World” for the American Red Cross.

Hristova’s talk will take a closer look at the posters to reveal patterns of representations of men, women and children that tie into changing norms of social propriety.

In contrast to the patriotic rhetoric of propaganda posters, the immersive multimedia display of “Shell-Shocked” brings to life the reality of soldiers who fought the war, inviting visitors to experience soldiers’ journey from training to combat, from life at the front to demobilization and return home, if they survived the war’s abuses.

An installation space featuring a custom circular steel truss equipped with six 40” screens, twelve loudspeakers and 6,000 watts of available amplified power, “Shell-Shocked” recreates the sounds to accompany historic silent film footage of the war.

The installation was crafted by Kent Cyr (VPA) and Christopher Plummer (VPA) with sound-design assistance from students Luke Johnson, Brendan Espinosa and Noah Budd from the Visual and Performing Arts Department, Sound Design-BA program.

“American and French Propaganda Posters” are on loan from the permanent collection of the Marquette Regional History Center. The exhibits are made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC), an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the WW1CC program do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH or MHC.

Light refreshments will be served at the opening reception, 5-7 p.m. Friday (Sept. 7). The exhibits will run until Oct. 2, during gallery hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.


Gallery Exhibit in McArdle Theatre

Lisa GordilloThe work of artist Lisa Gordillo will be on display in a one-day gallery exhibit in McArdle Theatre. The exhibit, “Tal vez un cuerpo (maybe a body),” will be shown from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. tomorrow (July 31), in the McArdle Theatre (Walker 207).

Gordillo has transformed the theatre into a pop-up gallery space for her recent works inspired by U.S.–Latin American relations. Several pieces in the exhibit were shown last summer in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, while others are new.

The theatre will be open for guests to stop by at any time and view the exhibit. All are welcome.


Rozsa 2018-2019 Season Tickets on Sale

Two Les Ballets Trockadero dancersThe Rozsa Center announces its 2018-19 season ticket sale. Season ticket packages are on sale early this year, in fact starting today, with the best discounts available on all the season has to offer.

There are four season ticket package options this year, offering savings of 18 to 37 percent off single-ticket prices. A full season ticket package—a pass to all the arts at Michigan Tech—gives you the biggest discount available off the single-ticket price on all Rozsa and VPA events. The popular “Pick 6” Season Ticket Package has returned and is an even better value this year.

We continue to offer the “Pick 3” option, and we have brought back the very popular “Family Pack” option that will let you bring the whole family to a big show at an affordable price.

We hope there is a package that works for you. To all of our long-time season-ticket holders, we’re holding your seats, now through Aug. 1.  For new season ticket buyers,  we look forward to seeing you this season.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, including five distinguished lecturers and more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theater and visual arts events, and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival. Visit our Calendar of Events for a complete list of all our 2018-19 season events!

Not interested in a season ticket package? Single ticket sales also begin early this year, on Aug. 1. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), call 7-2073 or go online.


Research Excellence Fund (REF) Awards Announced

Light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, one is lit.

The Vice President for Research Office announced the 2018 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards and thanked the volunteer review committees, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

This year we congratulate, Lisa Johnson de Gordillo, Ann Beffel, Libby Meyer, and Patricia Helsel for receiving Scholarship and Creativity Grants (SCG).

The REF Scholarship and Creativity Grant (SCG) provides support to encourage faculty to engage in scholarly research, learning, and creative activities to enhance professional development.