Category: Art

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)

#q: sculpture under quarantine

Art Professor, Lisa Gordillo has announced the opening of #q: sculpture under quarantine, an online gallery created by students in Advanced Sculpture Studio in the Visual and Performing Arts.

Students in this class developed works of art while social distancing in their homes. Although their projects are much different than students had originally planned, their work shows just how adaptable and resilient Michigan Tech students are, and the power of art to connect us during uncertain times. 

“a coronavirus adventure” by Tyler Flaningam


“Intertwined” Art Exhibition

Art continues to thrive, even in the most difficult times. Our very own Lisa Gordillo is part of an exhibition in Dayton, OH, from the Dayton Society of Artists. According to Gordillo, “Intertwined” features fiber art and brings together 32 artists from across the US together into one space. Using traditional methods in innovative ways, these artists explore voice, reactions to change of environment, women’s issues, creating individual spaces, and the passing on of art, craft, and culture. Curated by Heather Jones.

Art piece
Cotton thread, Guatemalan quetzales, wood
Lisa Gordillo
Trenzando (Braiding)
Cotton thread, Guatemalan quetzales, wood

Outdoor Sculpture – Online FA2110 for Track B

Visual and Performing Arts Professor, Lisa Gordillo will be teaching Outdoor Sculpture during summer track B, which will be completely online. You can take the class from anywhere!

The class focuses on making works of art outside. And — because of the world we’re in — it will also include many opportunities for creating connections with community (even at a distance). We’ll learn from environmental artists and from artists whose work brings people together, and you’ll make your own works of art, wherever you are.

There are no prerequisites. No experience is necessary, and very few tools are required. This is a HASS class. Everyone is welcome.


Gordillo Teaching Award Recipient

In order to provide special recognition to instructors who have been nominated as finalists for the Distinguished Teaching Award four or more times, the Provost’s office has initiated a new teaching award this spring.

Four instructors have been identified to receive the inaugural Provost’s Awards for Sustained Teaching Excellence. They include:

Provost Huntoon, in collaboration with the Deans, initiated this award because “It became clear that we had a group of instructors consistently delivering exceptional instruction to their students over many years, who are worthy of special recognition.”

The award consists of a plaque and $1,000 in additional compensation. Each of the recipients of the new award will continue to be honored on an annual basis as members of Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Academy, an elite group with an established reputation for excellent teaching.

Please join the Provost and the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in congratulating these recipients!


Public Performances and Receptions at the Rozsa and McArdle Cancelled

As you are likely aware, Michigan Tech is carefully following guidance from the recent Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order issued by Governor Whitmer.  Campus is closed to the public, except for critical services, and faculty and staff are working from home.  We were sad that the current COVID-19 situation necessitated cancelling or postponing the rest of our arts season at Michigan Tech, but we are hopeful that measures that we are taking now will make a big difference in keeping our community safe and healthy.
With the cancellation of the remainder of the season we will provide three options for all single tickets and pro-rated package tickets purchased to the following Rozsa/VPA events that were cancelled or postponed.  These include:

Option #1 Contact the SDC Ticket Office at tickets@mtu.edu for a refund of your concert tickets.  Season Subscriptions, Pick-6, and Pick-3 packages will be pro-rated.

Option #2 Tickets may be traded for an equivalent performance in the 2020-21 Season.  Some Presenting Series Events have already been rescheduled for next season, including:  Manual Cinema (Sept. 4, 2020), Audiopharmacy (March 19, 2021), and Vieux Farka Touré (March 20, 2021).  Tickets Visual and Performing Arts Department student concerts (Tech Theatre, KSO, Choirs, Bands, Jazz) can be redeemed for a performance in the 2020-21 season by contacting tickets@mtu.edu.

Option #3 Unrefunded or untraded tickets refunds may be donated to the Friends of the Rozsa Fund.  This gift will be tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by the Michigan Tech Fund.  This can also be done by contacting tickets@mtu.edu.

We appreciate your patronage over this past season and look forward to announcing our 2020-21 season.  Details about next season will come soon.  Please visit the Rozsa website for more information, www.mtu.edu/rozsa


Puppet Workshops and Performance Open to Ages 6 and Up

A puppetry workshop will be held from 3 – 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 25) in Walker 208. We will be creating puppets for a performance with the Superior Wind Symphony at 7:30 p.m. February 15.

Puppeteers should be available to rehearse at the following times:

  • 3 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8
  • 8 – 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10
  • 8 – 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12

Contact Trish Helsel to reserve a spot, or for further information.