Jordyn Bentley is a self-taught artist originally from Perry, MI and now residing in Lansing. Jordyn has loved to draw since she could pick up a pencil. Drawing was her first love before discovering in high school that she could paint when she had to compete with her classmates for a government class in a reproduction of a Norman Rockwell painting. Jordyn chose his "Moving Day" piece, and received 1st place in the contest. It was then that painting became her main focus. When Jordyn creates, it is from her innermost self. It's her entire being. She is in love with what flows out of her, and it is often mindless at the beginning, or sometimes the whole time she is creating. It is just who she is.
Jordyn competed in the regional Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival as a child, and received a rating of Superior with Invitation for her oil pastel picture of a cross, which put her in position to proceed to the national finals. She learned her techniques by hands-on and by researching specific information about what interests her and about famous artists she wanted to emulate. Jordyn is a Christian and believe her artistic ability is a gift from God. She wants to glorify Jesus and bless people with the beauty God has enabled her to create. Her work was also seen at the Walking In A Winter Wonderland Holiday Market in Downtown Lansing in 2021.
Jordyn comes from a family of artists. Her late Grandfather was an artist who drew & painted, eventually owning and operating his own commercial screen printing business. Jordyn remembers that he was in awe of her art when she was young and was always telling her mom "she shouldn't be able to do that." Jordyn’s uncle is also an artist and is in the screen printing business. Her sister and mother are artists as well, with her sister holding a dual degree in interior architecture and interior design, and her mother being a layout artist in graphic design. Jordyn’s goal is to have her own studio to work in and have her artwork be her livelihood.
For more information on Jordyn and her work visit:
Maya James is an artist, writer, creator, dancer, tarot reader and activist based in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area. Her works center around feminism, anti-racism, socialism and her experience as a cross-cultural black American from a racially hostile town in Northern Michigan. As a young freelance journalist, James’ works were featured in the New York Times Race/Related, USA Today College, and YR Media about controversial issues like the Flint Water Crisis and hate crimes growing up in her hometown. She has been on countless news syndicates for work she did on a particular socialist political campaign, and had multiple interviews for different media publications like Rose from Concrete with Justin Black, WIDR, and IPR stations across Michigan. She also did an episode of RISK.
As an artist, Maya’s works have been exhibited during Artprize 2018 at the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (which won best juried venue) and 2021 at the Fountain Street Church and a sponsored mural in Calder Plaza, the Dennos Museum, the Black Arts and Cultural Center and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo. Maya was the first black female recipient of the National Arab American Museum City Hall Art Space Residency in 2019, and she has been a speaker at numerous events on the importance of black liberation in arts and media. In college, Maya studied African American Studies and Political Science. One of the first shows she did as a career artist was with Daniel Belardinelli in 2017. Maya is the author and illustrator of Maamoul Press’s graphic novel “LUKUMI”, a story of the importance of black female solidarity and friendship and Afro-Atlantic faith. She is also a teaching artist in the Education for the Arts Program in Kalamazoo Public Schools with KRESA (Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency).
Maya is the muralist behind “Faces”, a depiction of 94 faces of police violence and mob brutality permanently installed on the side of J-Bird Vintage in the Vine Neighborhood of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the fence mural on the Ferraro fence on Davis Street in the Vine Neighborhood. Her work has been featured in numerous articles in the southwest Michigan area and she has shown at many Art Hops, galleries and local businesses in her area. Maya also created “Faces, Pt. II”, a collection of portraits of black women throughout time who changed history as we know it, along with a key with all the accolades of their achievements and the obstacles they faced in their lives to achieve positive change as a sponsored artist in Artprize 2021 in Calder Plaza. Maya is currently working on the third part of her "Faces" series, a collection of QTBIPOC both alive and passed who are still changing the world for the better and she is accepting nominations of QTBIPOC from across the Southwest Michigan area who have changed people's lives. For this project, she is partnering with the Rootead (nonprofit) QTBIPOC branch Radicle and Outfront Kalamazoo. Maya has also been reading tarot since the age of seven, and is creating a tarot deck called the Black Taurus Rider Waite (aka The James-Smith-Rider-Waite deck), featuring QTBIPOC and intersectional characters as a progressive alternative to the colonial leaning Rider-Waite tarot.
As a daughter of the incredible black renaissance creative Rufus Snoddy, a founding member of the Black Arts Movement in Los Angeles, Maya has had a lifetime of apprenticeship that most artists would pay thousands for. Maya & her father’s art is the family business and their sole trade. Maya’s dad has painted the walls for many exclusive Los Angeles clients in the 1980s. In her free time, Maya James organizes community events for black liberation, like the Juneteenth Celebration with the Vine Neighborhood Association she founded, several marches for George Floyd, and ABOLISH ICE. She considers herself a soldier for abolition, anti-racism, feminism and freedom unapologetically, and at the same time.
For more information on Maya & her work visit:
Hannah Rainy is a professional painter & poet from Lansing, MI. She also considers Chattanooga, TN a second home. Hannah simply wants to share her perspective of the journey of life, the little intricate moments and details through painting and words. She loves creating life through conversations about art and creativity, and how it connects us to one another. Hannah tries not to limit or label what something should or should not be. Her art is about perspective, and some of the art is based off of dreams, personal experiences with different ways of thinking, as well as with influences of the concept duality. As she changes, grows & evolves, so does the art she makes. It's a constant learning and evolving process, making life so much more beautiful and meaningful.
Hannah has shared her poetry in a multitude of places including Chattanooga's Rhyme and Chat events, as well as a poetry show by Demond Moultrie. Artists from the region such as Genesis the Greykid , Rondel Crier and Kren the Curator were all artists Hannah looked up to in the community. These artists had a huge influence on why she loves the art community today. It showed her that art could be a career path, and she wants to take that same love for the arts and connection wherever she goes in life. Hannah has also preformed several pieces at the Conscious Streamers events, and other open mic events throughout Lansing. She has received multiple awards for her creative writing throughout the years, as well as awards for most creative welding while a student in high school. She holds a degree in welding with Mig, Tig, and Stick, as well as flux core welding. This led Hannah, at 17 years old, to work with international artists such as sculptor Isaac Duncan. Hannah has researched the basics of color theory, color psychology, web design & graphic design basics, while also having and interest in UI/UX design.
Hannah comes from a family of artists & creatives. Her mom has always had a way with words & drawing, and with how she observers things and expresses them. In addition, her mom’s side of the family has always been creative writers, poets, actors & authors. Hannah’s mom also used to take her to blues and jazz shows where she would take the opportunity on her own to get to know the artists & musicians further, and was able to really connect with other artist at a young age. Hannah’s dad has always been musical and has a passion for cars. He had a huge influence on Hannah’s love for musical arts and poetry. He used to play everything from 60s to 80s in his 1967 Cadillac, telling her all sorts of facts about musicians like Jimmy Hendrix and The Doors. Hannah’s dad also plays the bass guitar and has played several solo shows, and with bands in Chattanooga. He used to take Hannah to a hotel in downtown Chattanooga and I would play on this grand piano as people walked by. Hannah was also exposed to the car show environment of pin striping, old-school tattoos, and weird unordinary art growing up. One of her grandfathers also customized old cars and hot rods in Lansing, while the other grandfather was very diverse in his art making, paintings, and sculptures.
Hannah loves living, and part of living for her is the process of being alive every single day including meeting people, meeting the different versions of people, and that includes herself. Even at a young age, Hannah knew creating, not just painting or poetry, but creating in general, is what she was meant to do. Hannah loves the idea of change and having a full life of experiences. For her, that happens best when she’s creating art, writing poetry, or having a meaningful conversation. Art is very much her preferred method of communication, and she wants to use her work to raise awareness about Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) & mental health issues. Hannah wants that love of living to lead her on her journey around the world, traveling and meeting other creatives with similar passions.
For more information on Hannah & her work visit:
News about Opportunity Arts and it's Affiliates.
Monday Night Masterpiece:
New Live Talk Show & Art Experience Coming to the Capital City on Monday Nights this Fall
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center Becomes an Opportunity Arts Affiliate.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Poetry Room with
Masaki Takahashi becomes
Opportunity Arts Affiliates.