Category: Art

Lisa Johnson Involved in Solutions to Bird-Window Collisions

TennesseeWarbler.1_2Migrating Birds Get Boost from Science, Art Collision

A student reports a dead body on the Aftermath Café patio near the windows. The victim is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and the indirect cause of death is the potted, red geranium just inside the window.

This brightly decorative plant was placed to enhance the atmosphere for students sipping lattes during much needed breaks between their studies. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned decoration presented unintended consequences. The hummingbird was attracted to the geranium’s bright blooms in hopes of a nectar meal but it encountered a window en route to the flowers.

This bleeding lead has a solution. In this specific case, it’s simple: Move the flowers away from the windows. But bird-window collisions go beyond a single geranium. And finding the bigger solutions takes action at the window-scale, yard-scale, town-scale and beyond to make the world a safer place for migratory birds.

This case illustrates a common problem, that of windows causing as many as one billion bird deaths annually in the United States. Glass can reflect trees and plants that make windows appear as forests or habitat to flying birds, but there are many solutions for problem windows.

Not all solutions are as attractive as people would like. There is a need for more aesthetically pleasing designs that can be applied to windows. At Michigan Tech University, science and art students are working together to identify problem windows and then design attractive yet practical window applications as prototypes. This conservation-art collaboration is challenging students to reduce bird-window collisions and also communicate across the science-art divide.

Read more at the Huffington Post, by Amber Roth.

Superior Ideas: Stop Bird-window Collisions!
Reducing bird-window collisions through science, art, & design
Researcher(s): Amber Roth, Lisa Johnson, Andrew Meyer

$8,000 Fund Goal

Why This Project Is Important
Bird migration is one of the great wonders of the world. Sadly hundreds of millions of birds are killed by collisions with buildings, primarily windows, in the United States every year. Help fund this project to identify problematic buildings on the Michigan Tech University campus and to help develop design artistic and aesthetic design solutions that will reduce bird-window collisions.

Learn more at Superior Ideas.

Keep Em Flying

Visual and Performing Arts 2-D and 3-D design students are exhibiting their collaborations with researchers in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science to address bird-window collisions on the Michigan Tech campus.

Students in Lisa Johnson’s (VPA) design classes are developing works of art and design that raise awareness, minimize bird-window collisions, and provide safe spaces for birds. Over time, Amber Roth (SFRES) and Johnson hope to develop new and innovative solutions that can be tested and prototyped on campus.

“Keep Em Flying” includes posters, paintings, sculptures and window treatments are on exhibit through Sunday in The Noblet Forestry Building, The Library Skywalk and The Rosza Center for the Performing Arts.

From Tech Today, by Lisa Johnson.

2015 Student Art and Design Show Winners

2015 SADSMichigan Tech students taking classes in Visual and Performing Arts displayed their works in the Rozsa Gallery April 13-24, 2015, for the Student Art and Design Show.

This year’s winners are:

1st place 3D: Austin Roy– ceramic
2nd place 3D: Adam Roberts – eco tree house
3rd place 3D: Garrison Strand – Water Box

1st place 2D: Anna Brechting – photography
2nd place 2D: Ellyn Hurst – design
3rd place 2:D Amanda Rueff – painting


Lisa Johnson Art Exhibit at Kerredge Gallery April 9-30, 2015

Macho-maynitchAssistant Professor Lisa Johnson (VPA) will have an art show titled “Macho-maynitch … (more or less)” in the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCA) through the end of April.

The opening reception will be Thursday, April 9, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Kerredge Gallery at the Copper Country Community Arts Center.

From Tech Today.

Lisa Johnson is a sculptor and collaborative artist living in Hancock. She states, “My practice explores our relationships to landscape and to one another. I am particularly interested in the hidden narratives that make up our sense of personal and ecological place. My work often asks: What is the space between us? And: What does it take to cross it.” In her work she combines quilting techniques with fragile papers that she makes from plant species to create ethereal installations.

Lisa Johnson is the Director of the Artist in Residence program at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, a biological field station in Northwest Iowa, where she links artists, scientists, and community members to address the varied ecological concerns of the region. She received her MFA from The University of Iowa in 2012 and is an Assistant Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Tech.

The CCCA is located at 126 Quincy St., Hancock.

From CCCA Facebook.

Art installation by Lisa Johnson opens TODAY, April 9, at Community Arts Center

Lisa Johnson is a sculptor and collaborative artist living in Hancock. In her work she combines quilting techniques with fragile papers that she makes from plant species to create ethereal installations.

She states, “My practice explores our relationships to landscape and to one another. I am particularly interested in the hidden narratives that make up our sense of personal and ecological place. My work often asks: What is the space between us? And: What does it take to cross it.”

Read more at Keweenaw Today.

Great Lakes Showcase Community Choice Award 2015

“Destiny” by Ray Lahikainen

This year’s recipient of the Great Lakes Showcase Community Choice Award goes to Ray Lahikainen for his painting “Destiny.” Ray Lahikainen has won the Community Choice Award for at least the last five years.

The runner up is Daniel Bennett for “Lighthouse at Sunset.”

Visit the Great Lakes Showcase for more Awards 2015.

Art in the Field: Reimagining environmental experiences as art, science and community

Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson

Biological Sciences Seminar Friday

by Department of Biological Sciences

Lisa Johnson, assistant professor in Visual and Performing Arts, will present “Art in the Field: Reimagining environmental experiences as art, science and community” on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 4 p.m. in Dow 642.

Johnson will present selections of her work, the work of artists from the Lakeside Laboratory and hold a conversation about open collaboration in this talk.

For more information, visit the biological sciences website.

From Tech Today.


The Texture of Water for World Water Day

WWD 2015 Art ExhibitMichigan Tech Celebrates World Water Day

Water is a natural resource none of us can live without. Every year, in recognition of this vital resource and the challenges it presents to people all over the world, Michigan Tech celebrates World Water Day. This year a week of activities are scheduled from March 19-24, in observance of World Water Day on March 22.

The World Water Day events at Michigan Tech are sponsored by the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, the Great Lakes Research Center, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust and Michigan Tech Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Read more at Tech Today, by Monica Lester.

World Water Day will include the Art Exhibition:

“The Texture of Water”

Jamie Allen (painting), Tom Rudd (sculpture), Paul Rose (photography)

Introduction to the Art Exhibit
Monday, March 23 in GLRC 201 at 3:30 pm
Exhibit will run March 20 – April 24, 2015
Building Hours: 8 am – 8 pm, M-F

View the Poster

Awards Announced for Great Lakes Showcase 2015

Awards for Best in Show, 2D, 3D, and Honorable Mention were revealed during the reception of the Great Lakes Showcase (GLS) on February 26, 2015, in the Rozsa Gallery. Award results are posted on the GLS website.

The showcase coordinator Sarah Fayen Scarlett was interviewed by Ashley Kirklen of TV6 and FOX UP.

The showcase continues until March 31, 2015, in the Rozsa Gallery. The gallery is open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekdays. The public is welcome to vote on the final award, that of Community Choice.



Great Lakes Showcase celebrates local and regional artists — opening Feb. 26

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts are pleased to present the 2015 JABLOKOW_PETER_QUINCY DREDGE IN WINTERGreat Lakes Showcase (GLS), an annual month-long, juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts.

Opening on Thursday, Feb. 26, and continuing through March 31 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the Great Lakes Showcase is a celebration art that brings together both local artists and others from the around the upper Midwest region. The Showcase features paintings, photography, drawings, collage, ceramics, textiles, and works in wood by local and regional artists, juried by a group of professional artists. The show will feature 92 artworks in a range of media, including woven textiles, ceramic, paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, wood-turning, bronze sculpture, and installation pieces.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit is located in the Rozsa Art Gallery, in the lower level of the Rozsa Center. Visitor parking is available at meters adjacent to the Rozsa Center. (NOTE: The gallery is closed on weekends.)

The opening will feature the announcement of awards for outstanding work in several categories. This year the reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. In addition to beautiful artwork and a chance to meet the artists, the reception will feature appetizers and a cash bar, as well as live music provided by local folk band “What the Folk,” performing from 5:30 p.m.- 6:15 p.m.

Artworks are available for purchase; visitors are encouraged to support their favorite artist by making a Great Lakes Showcase artwork part of their home or office. Most of the pieces are for sale and can be purchased in person at the show or at the Central Ticketing Operations office in the Student Development Complex. 100 percent of proceeds go to the artists. A Ticket Office representative will be in the gallery on Opening Night to assist with sales, and purchases can be made through March 31. Artworks purchased will be available for pick up after March 31 at the conclusion of the exhibition.

According to show coordinator Sarah Fayen Scarlett, “This year, we received almost 190 entries from 65 artists — a 15 percent increase over 2014. Artists hail from throughout the UP as well as downstate and neighboring regions. Visitors will see returning artists as well as newcomers.”

The judge for the awards this year is Beth A. Zinsli. Dr. Zinsli is Curator and Director of the Galleries at the Wriston Art Center at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. The Best in Show carries a cash prize of $1000, supported by the MTU President’s Office. The Dean of the College of Sciences and Arts and the University Provost support the first place prizes in the 3D and 2D categories. 2nd place prizes and Honorable Mentions are also awarded. During the course of the show, visitors can vote for the Community Choice Award. The winner will be announced on the GLS website at the close of the show on March 31.

For more details, please contact Sarah Fayen-Scarlett, 906-487-2420,

Wunsch Award for Sarah Fayen Scarlett’s Chipstone Group

Sarah Fayen Scarlett
Sarah Fayen Scarlett

Sarah Fayen Scarlett (VPA) joined former colleagues from the Chipstone Foundation to receive the Wunsch Award for Excellence in American Arts.

Scarlett worked as a curator for Chipstone for seven years before joining Tech’s faculty in Visual and Performing Arts. Chipstone promotes original research and innovative education programs in material culture studies within universities and museums. The Wunsch Award is honoring Chipstone’s exhibition program at the Milwaukee Art Museum, scholarly publications, online initiatives with ArtBabble and immersive programming for college students interested in publicly-engaged scholarship about art and design.

From Tech Today.


New York – Christie’s is pleased to announce that Americana Week 2015, a series of auctions, viewings and events, will be held from January 16-26. In all, Americana Week 2015 will offer over 520 lots and is expected to realize upwards of $6 million. In conjunction with the sales, Christie’s will also host the third annual Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts on January 21, honoring Arnold Lehman and The Chipstone Foundation.

Read more at Christie’s Press Center.

New Faculty Member Lisa Johnson


Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson, MFA
Lisa Johnson joins the Department of Visual and Performing Arts from the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.

Johnson received an MFA and an MA with a focus in sculpture from the University of Iowa.

Johnson has been involved in projects like Place-Map-Place, Trench(era), The Eva Luna Project and Kotcich. She also has experience with digital, audio and video production; performance development; woodworking; figure modeling; plaster casting and mold making; and papermaking.

Read more at Tech Today.