New Works by Student Composers

Newest of the New,” celebrates the creative musical pursuits of Michigan Tech student composers with performances of their original pieces. This free concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 18) in McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

This year, the event will include compositions by David Brown, Sarah Calvert, Alan Harrison, Tyler Quinn, and Chris Wilson, all of whom are in the composition minor program. The performance pieces will be varied, incorporating a range of instruments and styles, including a string quartet.

“This is the culmination of the year,” says Libby Meyer, (Visual and Performing Arts) director of the Music Composition Program, “It’ll be awesome, and we want everyone to come.”

The event is free of charge, and is open to the public.



‘Sunday in the Park with George’ Opens Today

Performers on stageThe Rozsa Center, Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Tech Theatre Company present the VPA 25th Anniversary Season theatre finale, “Sunday in the Park with George,” Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 11-13) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

The musical features junior computer science major Jonah Schulte as George One and George Two. Katy Gula, a junior environmental engineering major, plays the role of Dot.

“Sunday in the Park with George” is a fully staged musical with live orchestra. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s lyrical celebration of art, love and children merges image, music and performance to explore the depths of human understanding.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and staged around the world, “Sunday in the Park with George” explains the simple essence of life we can all understand.

When considering what to program as the musical theatre offering this year, ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ kept coming to my mind as a work that represents the department in special ways—a musical about two artists, separated through many years, but intimately connected by their desires to connect through art and to create something new.—Jared Anderson, Chair VPA

Director Roger Held (VPA), describes the play in terms of an intersection and relations between parents, children and art. “Steven Sondheim and James Lapine suggest that, in the end, life comes down to children and art. They mean this, I think, in the broadest sense. In ‘Sunday in the Park …’, you’ll meet two Georges who are artists trying to understand the nature of light in aesthetic experiences.”

Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, through the date links (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) , in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the night of the show. The box office opens two hours prior to the performance.


Closing Reception for Salon!

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rozsa Center invite you to join local and regional creative thinkers for a conversation on art, literature and other ideas.

This “salon-style conversation” will take place in the Rozsa lobby before Friday’s (April 12) performance of Tech Theatre’s production of “Sunday in the Park with George,” a musical based on the creative life of Georges Seurat.

This event is part of the gallery exhibit, Salon!, bringing together the spring musical and the spring gallery exhibit in a public conversation.

Salon Conversation, with guest speakers, 5:30-6:30pm in the Rozsa Lobby; Gallery Reception, 6:30-7:30pm, Rozsa Gallery A-Space

Edzordzi Agbozo, poetry

Jared Andersonon arts and collaboration

Linda King Ferguson and Dr. Tomas Co, on painting 

Libby Meyer, music

M. Bartley Seigelpoetry

Dana Van Kooyon plantations, colonialism, art, and literature

With music throughout by Mike Christianson and Superior Wind Symphony students.


Dean’s Showcase

Lisa GordilloFor the Deans’ Teaching Showcase, Dean David Hemmer has selected Lisa Gordillo, assistant professor in Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).

Gordillo was nominated by VPA Chair Jared Anderson, who applauded the many interdisciplinary collaborations she has initiated to publicly exhibit student art, especially around campus.

Anderson highlighted a wide variety of projects,” ranging from artistic design for windows that would reduce bird-window collisions to carving and casting sculptures based on traditional models in partnership with the Materials Science and Engineering Department.”

Gordillo teaches a wide variety of courses including traditional sculpture, contemporary sculpture, art + design, scenic art and illustration, and advanced sculpture. All of these make important contributions to the general education program, the visual art minor and the major in theater and entertainment technology.

Lisa leads a very collaborative environment where students are encouraged to explore creative solutions to problems while creating beautiful art. Her curriculum uses gallery b in the Rozsa galleries as an interactive classroom space where students create art right where it will be installed for public exhibition.—Jared Anderson

In addition, barriletes (patterned after traditional Guatemalan barriletes) made by students in the Traditional Sculpture course are currently displayed in the Rozsa Center lobby.

Gordillo’s highly hands-on approach with a focus on exhibition is very popular with students as she was named a finalist for the 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award, her third time as a finalist in the last four years.

Gordillo also connects her teaching with a much broader artistic context in her role as director of the Rozsa Art Galleries.  Recently, the exhibition, Salon!, opened in Gallery A in the Rozsa Center. This show brought together work from more than 30 artists and writers from around the world. Gordillo worked with student painters to transform the gallery into a space that was inspired by the salons of the late 19th century.

Dean Hemmer summarizes Gordillo’s impact by saying,  “I am grateful to have colleagues like Lisa. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting two magnificent shows that she curated in the Rosza Art Gallery. For the many students involved in putting these together, learning extends far beyond the classroom. Faculty like Lisa enliven Tech every day.”

Gordillo will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.


Gordillo Captures Prize at Arts Festival

Lisa GordilloLisa Gordillo (VPA) received an award for “Best Three-Dimensional Work,” for her piece “Las Cordinada/The Coordinates,” as part of the 2019 North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival.

The piece, which was first developed on Michigan Tech’s campus as part of Gordillo’s 2017 Rozsa Gallery exhibit, “ChickenBus,” travelled through North Dakota during the human rights festival this spring. Gordillo’s sculpture commemorates 26 of the 440 Mayan villages that were destroyed during Guatemala’s 30-year genocide, which was partially funded by the United States.

Gordillo worked with her collaborator and partner Hugo Gordillo to develop the piece, which is composed of plaster casts of human hands, and a wall text that lists the villages destroyed and the actions taken to destroy them. The piece will be on display through March at the High Plains Fair Housing Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.



Air Play at the Rozsa Center

Described as a “visual poem, using no words,” Air Play will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

This fun-for-all ages circus-style event includes flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen.

Air Play brings to life the very air we breathe. The circus-style adventure follows two siblings’ journey through a surreal wold, transforming ordinary objects in uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance in the wind, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti turns into the night sky and an enormous canopy of hovering silk forever alters their future.

Tickets for Air Play are on sale now at $16 for adults, $6 for youth and free for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, by phone at 487-2073 or at the Rozsa Center Box Office the evening of the performance.

Note: The box office opens two hours prior to the start of the show.


Annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert March 22

The jazz ensembles at Michigan Tech present the annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

This annual event pays tribute to Keranen, originator of the Michigan Tech Jazz Studies Program. Featured in the concert will be the Jazz Lab Band and the Research and Development Band.

The Jazz Lab Band will perform works by Duke Ellington, including music composed for the film “Anatomy of a Murder.” In addition, it will play music by Gabriel Fauré, Steely Dan, Professor Emeritus Mike Irish (VPA), George Gershwin, Bob Brookmeyer and Chick Corea.

The Research and Development Band will perform works by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Horace Silver and more. Each of the large jazz ensembles will perform a piece featuring vocalist Clara Peterson, a Michigan Tech student. Also featured will be the premier of an original work composed by the Full Send Combo.

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available online, by phone at 487-2073, in person at the Central Ticket Office in the SDC or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance.

Note: The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.


Artist Lisa Gordillo Receives ND Human Rights Festival Award

Assistant Professor Lisa Gordillo, Visual and Performing Arts, received an award for “Best Three-Dimensional Work” for her work of art, “Las Cordinadas/The Coordinates,” as part of the 2019 North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival. The work of art, which was first developed on Michigan Tech’s campus as part of Gordillo’s 2017 Rozsa Gallery exhibit, ChickenBus, traveled through North Dakota during the human rights festival this spring.
Gordillo’s sculpture commemorates 26 of the 440 Mayan villages that were destroyed during Guatemala’s 30-year genocide, which was partially funded by the United States. Gordillo worked with her collaborator and partner Hugo Gordillo to develop the piece, which is composed of plaster casts of human hands, and a wall text that lists the villages destroyed and the actions taken to destroy them. The piece will be on display through March in Grand Forks, ND at the High Plains Fair Housing Center.