Ta’Neeka DeMyers aka NeekaRae is a singer, songwriter, worship leader, background vocalist, pianist, and guitarist from Lansing, MI. Though her career has just begun, NeekaRae is highly accomplished. Aside from being a worship leader at her home church, City Life Lansing, she has performed at the SOAR awards, College Gospel Choir Nights, and the 2020 Olivet College Commencement, as well as many events at prominent churches across the Midwest.
A natural born performer, NeekaRae has been honing her craft for as long as she can remember. She aspires to one day become a full time vocalist and playwright on Broadway. She earned numerous college scholarships, the title of “Ms. Olivet,” and the respect of the numerous artists with whom she has collaborated. With a B.A. in Music: Vocal Performance and a minor in Writing, NeekaRae also seeks to teach and inspire the next generation of vocalists and performers.
NeekaRae comes from a highly musical background and translates this tradition into her music at every opportunity. Her future looks bright and her talent is undeniable. To learn more about NeekaRae and all of her upcoming endeavors check out her YouTube Channel: NeekaRae29
Leisa Collins, a native of New Zealand and third generation fine artist, has carved a unique niche for herself as an acclaimed architectural artist specializing in paintings of homes and historic buildings. Her passion is to capture the cultural diversity and history of architecture in all corners of the United States & throughout the world. She strives to raise awareness about the need to preserve and restore the legacy of architecture rather than indiscriminately tearing it down. Passionate about architecture and travel, she refused the confines of formal art training and instead honed her craft while traveling the world as a full time artist. Nomads at heart, Leisa and her husband Bruce have lived in all regions of the US. Though currently based in St. Louis, MO, they are always eagerly awaiting their next adventure.
Leisa’s work has been featured in many prominent publications such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Oregonian, and The San Antonio Press. Utilizing her fine eye toward detail, deep respect toward the featured locations, and charismatic storytelling about the subjects of her art, Leisa has created a high demand for her unique portraits. In 2013, she established the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award to pay tribute to exceptional individuals committed to saving and restoring old buildings across the country. Leisa, being an expert on the crossroads of art and architecture has been a featured guest on prominent and pertinent podcasts such as The Living Artist, Superfine Art Fair, The Art Biz, and
True Tales from Old Houses.
Thirty-five years ago, after marrying and settling into a new country, Leisa became fascinated by the people and cultures defining architecture throughout the country’s history and geography. She was subsequently inspired to drive from coast to coast and paint original portraits of homes in every state. Her selections were numerous but eventually she selected 650 of these works of art to incorporate along with the accompanying stories, to publish in her book. The compilation, entitled “Hand-Painted Homes: An Architectural Artist’s Pen and Watercolor,” was published in May of 2021 and highlights the captivating architecture and styles of homes in all fifty states and Washington D.C.
Be sure to check out Leisa’s work on her website www.leisacollins.com
Her Instagram @leisacollinsart and
Her Facebook page Leisa Collins Art
Local Arts Administration & Publicity Firm Opportunity Arts would like to announce the hiring of Rooted Reverence Festival Organizers Morgan Madden & Sarah Renee Sanders to the company’s Front Office. Morgan will serve in the role of Chief Organizational Officer & Head of Talent Relations, while Sarah will serve as Director of Infrastructural Endeavors & Head of Business Relations.
Opportunity Arts is a for-profit arts administration & promotion business that works with individual artists & arts entities to pursue their artistic endeavors, and establish success in their artistic careers. “This is a huge step in the growth of Opportunity Arts,” said Mike Marriott, the company’s owner & founder. “Morgan & Sarah are going to help Opportunity Arts become what we will always strive to be, which is the best Arts Administration company in the world.” Opportunity Arts as a company can now assist artists with most aspects of their careers including, managing their social media, publicity, press relations, contract negotiations, business consulting, organizational management, creative-to-business connection, event production, sponsorship generation and fiscal sponsorship through the Opportunity Arts/Pentacle Partnership with New York City based Arts non-profit Pentacle. Earlier this year, Opportunity Arts opened a second office in Chicago to foster a pipeline into the city for Michigan based artists.
Sarah Renee Sanders statement on joining the Opportunity Arts Front Office:
"Joining Opportunity Arts as an artist has helped boost my creative career and has given me more experience artistically by allowing more time to create. However, by joining the front office, I feel I will truly be helping not only artists grow within their craft and see their truest value, but also helping bring back the arts industry in a time when it is needed most."
Morgan Madden statement on joining the Opportunity Arts Front Office:
“I am thrilled to join Opportunity Arts in establishing a foundation and infrastructure to equitably benefit artists of all media and disciplines. The Arts are so desperately necessary in increasingly anxious times; it is my privilege to be a part of sustaining both the Arts and the artists who add so much beauty to the world.”
About the Artist:
Sarah Renee Sanders is an occupational mixed media & visual artist. Not only is she known for her award-winning visual skills, adept understanding of multiple artistic mediums, but also her expertise in body art. Sarah is known for creating Lansing’s First Rated R Art Show “Horrors of Love” based off of Emotional and Mental Relationship Trauma that was exhibited on October 22nd and October 23rd of 2021. She also has been recognized for her creation of The Embodiment Project in May of 2021, and her Windows to Eden Collection and Partnership in Display with Apple Blossom Kombucha in early 2021 as well. She was featured as the Cover Artist of the Social Gap Experiment Anthology, a book by Melissa F. Kaelin, highlighting several artists' work of expression through the pandemic of 2020. In 2020, Sarah launched Contrasted Content, a public platform to showcase her upcoming projects and accomplishments. Contrast is a consistent theme within the basis of her work and has a deep meaning within the artist herself. In her words, “Contrast lies within every aspect of life, whether it be day and night, joy and sorrow, or love and hate. Contrasted Content’s purpose is to remind us that without the contradictions life brings us, balance wouldn’t exist.” Sarah has always believed in the healing properties that expression through art brings. She cultivates expression of all aspects of life through the work she creates. Sarah has been featured on several TV Publications including WLNS 6 News and The Power of Mid-Michigan Art on WLAJ ABC 53, Aired May 19th 2021. Sarah had released the Debut of her title as The Ace of Spades of the 4 Aces of Visual Arts with Opportunity Arts on May 13th, 2021. Originating from Mason MI, Sarah is a graduate of Lansing Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Arts Foundation and an Associate’s Degree in Art History. Sarah is not only an Opportunity Arts Affiliate, but she has won numerous awards and features including but not limited to: Top 5 Finalist in the Artist for City Pulse & Fox 47 Top of the Town Favorite Artist (2021), Winner of The 2017 Zimmerman Arts Fund Competition at Lansing Community College (May 2017), The Outstanding Performance of Excellence in Visual Arts from Mason Public Schools and the Mason City Council (May 18th 2015) , The Award of Excellence for outstanding performance and contribution to the 2014-2015 Art Gallery Exhibit & Celebration from Ingham Intermediate School District and Lansing Art Gallery (May 2014), The Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts from Mason High School (May 14th 2014), Featured Artist at Art Feast (2021), LCC Alumni Feature in The Lookout (2021), “The world needs art right now. Life needs art right now.” Sarah said. “Art gives people a voice to the creators and the viewers, no matter how young or old someone may be. Art impacts nearly every aspect of our life. Through Architecture, Advertising, Fashion, and Fine Arts and Entertainment. This is why it is so important to value our artists and the work they do. If the Arts Industry isn’t taken more seriously, we will see a serious fall of healthy expression and future societal growth. I’m here to be the best representation of that.”
Morgan Madden is a spoken word artist, poet, lyricist, and the creator & founder of both Mad Man Poetics & the Rooted Reverence Art Festival. Born and raised in Mason, MI, Morgan is a second generation artist, and seventh generation Lansing resident. He released his first album “Qualifiers” in June of 2018. The album features Morgan’s poem “An Ode to the 517”, which has become an anthem for residents of Mid-Michigan. Morgan has collaborated with multiple local & national musical artists including “The Devil’s Cut”. He has also been featured on the Lansing Public Media Center’s City TV. Morgan has performed throughout the Capital City & beyond at venues such as REO Town Art Attack, The Poetry Room at The Robin Theatre, The Artist’s Umbrella at The Loft, the grand opening of The Fledge in Lansing, and the Lansing Brewing Company’s 2018 New Year’s Party. In 2019, Morgan got the opportunity to perform at the State Capital Building, the most recognizable symbol of the city he loves. More recently, Morgan’s work was published in the Poetry Anthology Book the Social Gap Experiment. He has performed as part of the “3 Kings” with poets Keyante Saxon & Torrey Gray, at Compose & Color with Keyante Saxon & Mila Lynn, on ABC television in “The Power of Mid-Michigan Arts”, and as a special feature at the Capital City Film Festival. Morgan is proud of his Lansing lineage, and of the contributions his family & ancestors have made on the city & the region. Through his art and creativity, Morgan is leaving his own indelible mark on Michigan’s Capital City, and The 517 as a whole.
For more information on Opportunity Arts visit:
Elisa Schmidt’s “Travelations” Collection
On Display at Metro Melik 517 in Old Town throughout the Month of August
Artists Meet & Greet scheduled for August 7th from Noon to 4PM
513 E César E. Chávez Ave, Lansing, MI 48906
(Lansing, MI) – Mixed Media Artist Elisa Schmidt, the owner of Territory 50, will present her first showing in four years this August at the ‘Metro Melik 517’ Store in Old Town Lansing. The collection entitled “Travelations” will be on display & for purchase throughout the month of August with an Artist Meet & Greet scheduled for August 7th from Noon to 4PM. Included in the festivities of the meet & greet, Elisa will unveil two brand new, never before seen original works, specifically created for this engagement.
“Travelations” (Travel + Revelations) is a collection of personal themed watercolor & acrylic paintings inspired by photos from the many trips Elisa, the 2017 City Pulse Top of the Town Finalist, has taken over the years. This will be the first time she has shown her work publicly since the passing of her sister back in 2018. “I feel like I have evolved my artwork over the last several years, and I want others from the community to share in the progression of my style,” said Elisa. In addition to the original works being available for purchase, there will also be notecards, posters, and giclee prints of the originals available at the store. Prices range between $5.00 for things such as notecards to $350.00 for original works.
Metro Melik 517 opened last month in Old Town and features a variety of Lansing & 517 themed products. “I have been friends with Melik Brown for several years,” says Elisa. “When Melik opened the store, he asked me to be one of the first artists to show work at the store, and I jumped at the chance.” It is fitting that one of the region's most recognized artists will be on display at a business that celebrates the community in such a unique way.
About the Artist:
Elisa Schmidt is a watercolor & mixed media artist from Lansing, MI. She holds a Bachelors of Art from Sienna Height University in Adrian, where she studied graphic design. Her art has been featured all throughout Michigan, from St. Ignace and Petoskey, to St. Johns and Lansing. She has illustrated two published books; The Business of Beans: A Young Entrepreneur’s Story in Tanzania, written by Lisa Mulka, and The Story that Lives Across the Sea, written by Charis Calender-Suemnik. Elisa’s art has hung in galleries such as Michigan Artist’s Market in Petoskey, Katalyst and Absolute Galleries in Lansing, Keys to Creativity in Lansing, TIC in East Lansing, Studio Retreat in St. Johns, Gracie’s Place in Williamston, at the Art and Craft Beerfest in Lansing, the Alma Wine Festival, Arts Night Out events in Lansing, 517 Day, & the Summer of Love Music Festival. Her work has been shown on two billboards in Lansing. She painted two pianos, one of which is in the City Market in Lansing. Both pianos have been featured multiple times in the City Pulse. Elisa herself has been featured in the Lansing City Pulse multiple times for exhibiting at different venues around Lansing. A photograph of hers was featured in News- Press Tropicalia in the “Pictures from Paradise” section. The Business of Beans: A Young Entrepreneur’s Story in Tanzania, was awarded the EIFLE award in 2017, Elisa won 1st place for Old Town Riverbash Plein Air painting contest in 2018, & was a top 5 finalist for the visual artist category in City Pulse Top of the Town, 2017. She has collaborated with Larry Grudt from Keys to Creativity for an art piece that was auctioned off raising money for Lansing schools, as well as with Anita Brett on a collaborative painting. Elisa has also shown with Julian Van Dyke at American Fifth Spirits.
For more information on Elisa Schmidt & her work visit:
For more information on ‘Metro Melik 517’ visit:
Official Facebook Event Link:
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.