Abrielle (that’s Gabrielle without the G) “Abi” Mason is a digital creative & the owner of Verum Esse. Abi’s mother & grandmother taught her painting and fabric arts at a young age, and she still dabbles in fabrics & paintings today. Originally from Portland, MI, Abi currently lives in East Lansing. Abi’s work has been seen in Downtown Lansing, as well as community events including the Rooted Reverence Festival in Mason, and as part of Lansing Pride. Abi holds a B.A. in User Experience, with Minors in Entrepreneurship and Graphic Design from Michigan State University. In addition to creating art, Abi works as a User Experience Designer at Gravity Works in Old Town, designs logos for companies, & host Conscious Conversations, a monthly community engagement series designed to stimulate dialog on a variety of issues. Constantly craving knowledge, Abi is studying Arabic, practicing dance, and working to become a certified Life Coach. “My goal is to inspire others to find their inner child and live a joyful life because life is just one beautiful story; so don't worry, be happy.” ~ Abrielle Mason.
For more information on Abrielle & her work visit:
Artist Mila Lynn Presents The Official Mural Unveiling of “Uncaged”
As Part of The 49507 Project by The DiaTribe
Saturday, August 27th from Noon to 2:00pm
1956 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Renowned Michigan Artist Mila Lynn of Mind of Mila will be unveiling her newest mural entitled “Uncaged” this Saturday, August 27th from Noon to 2:00pm on the Eastside of Grand Rapids. The mural is 1,050sqft in total, and was finished in late July after taking 30 days to complete. The festivities on Saturday will include the unveiling of the mural as well as a Community BBQ to celebrate the day. Come meet and mingle with Mila, learn more about The DiaTribe, dance to some music, grab some BBQ, and take pictures with the artwork!
“Uncaged” is one of 8 murals being added to the South Side of Grand Rapids as part of “The 49507 Project”, with each containing imagery that is inspired by community listening sessions that were held to ensure that the art added to the area is representative of what folks who live in the area want to see. “The piece is meant to reflect the diversity of Eastern Grand Rapids and remind us all where unity exists, so does love and healing,” says Lynn.
Artist Statement about “Uncaged”:
The idea is that the little girls are freeing these hummingbirds that bring back degrees, medals, etc. to the community. Hummingbirds are used because they are a sign of joy, healing, and positivity. If the healing and positivity our people deserve was poured into our communities, or “allowed to roam freely”, resources, success, etc. would be easier to attain, in my opinion. Children are the ones releasing the birds because it’s innocent and playful, something that I feel like, as minorities, we experience for a far shorter period than our white counterparts. The little girls are meant to show diversity and unity. Cuban, Mexican, African American, & Biracial backgrounds influenced their illustration. The women are representational of athletes, scholars, & health care workers and reflect various age groups, because it was important to me that everyone feel like they could connect to this piece. In addition, it was mentioned on a few occasions that neighbors would like to see our people in different professions. It is clearly Women-centric due to the fact that Mary is the owner of the building & I’m putting the art on the building. I chose to keep the original black base the building already had, and incorporate colors on top of it. The purple pattern is the West African Adinkra symbol for strength. The goal is to have it where it is just noticeable, as if it’s “woven” in the building or better yet, the community. Again from the sessions it seems like people feel this neighborhood’s resilience is often overlooked. I use a lot of purple in my work because it is a higher vibrational color.
About the Artist:
Mila Lynn is a professional award-winning visual artist. Most popularly known for her paintings and collage work. She has created two full collections, The Repurpose Project (2019), and Black is King (2021). In addition, over the last two years she has participated in the Inktober Challenge by annually creating a piece every day for the month of October. All 31 pieces were sold by the time the show took place a week after both years. This project now features a book that Torrey Gray, her collaborating partner on Inktober, and herself wrote and published with Barnes & Noble. Mila is also passionate about maintaining a presence of the Arts in schools, the community, and overall world. She believes the arts are not only a creative outlet, but directly tied to a positive economic climate. Last summer, as a Workshop Instructor, Mila led a series of workshops that allowed youth grades k-12 to come paint the cities picnic tables. This was a part of MSU’s “Just Futures” Grant from the Mellon Foundation. The grants initiative is to facilitate creativity during the time of Covid-19, with special attention to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Mila has sold art in various places in the US including Miami, Tampa, Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and also while abroad in the UK. Recently, Mila has started working more regularly on larger canvases. She revamped Jet Fitness in Okemos with two murals, and painted a mural in St. Pete of a vibezy beach on a new Airbnb property while vacationing.
Nationally Acclaimed Visual Artist Leisa Collins to Present Historic Preservation Award to the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center (Will Also Host a Professional Development Workshop for Local Mid-Michigan Artists)
Historic Preservation Award & Artist Professional Development Workshop
Award Presentation Friday, August 5th at 7pm
Artist Professional Development Workshop Presented by Opportunity Arts LLC,
Friday, August 5th at 5:30pm
Both will take place at The Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center
100 E North St, Lansing, MI 48906
Nationally Acclaimed Visual Artist Leisa Collins, who has been featured in the New York Times & Huffington Post, will present her Historic Preservation Award to the Friends of Turner-Dodge at the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center on August 5th at 7:00pm. The presentation is free to attend, and open to the public.
Before the presentation, Leisa will host & facilitate a professional development workshop for local artists presented by local arts administration firm Opportunity Arts LLC, of which Leisa is an Affiliate. The workshop will also take place at the Turner-Dodge House & is open to any artists wishing to gain additional knowledge about the field of visual art as a business. The workshop will cover creating a niche market for your art, as well as creating consistent reliable income as a career artist. Tickets are $5.00 for Opportunity Arts Affiliates, and $10.00 for the general public.
About the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award:
In March of 2013, Leisa instituted the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award. This award recognizes deserving individuals around the country who have set a stellar example of historic preservation through their efforts, skills or craftsmanship with regard to the historic homes or buildings in their area.
The Award consists of a framed original Leisa Collins pen and watercolor painting of the home or buildings that has been saved, preserved, restored or brought back to life, thereby historically enriching their city, town or local community. Each awardee is presented with the original painting by the artist during a presentation outside or in the vicinity of their award-winning project. This presentation will take place inside the Turner-Dodge House. Recipients of the award are decided through nominations and consultations with local historic societies, civic and community groups dedicated to historic preservation and building awareness regarding the beauty of historic architecture.
About the Artist:
Leisa Collins, a native of New Zealand, has carved a unique niche for herself as an acclaimed architectural artist. Passionate about architecture and travel, she rejected the confines of formal art training and instead, honed her craft while journeying the world.
Eventually settling in the United States, Collins became interested in the people and cultures that defined architecture throughout the country’s history. She was inspired to drive from coast to coast, creating original paintings of homes that inspired her in every state. She selected 650 of these works of art — as well as the fascinating stories behind many of them — to share with readers in her new book, Hand-Painted Homes: An Architectural Artist's Pen and Watercolor Journey Across America (May 2021). This vivid and captivating coffee table book explores architectural styles in all fifty states, plus the nation’s capital.
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. Collins’ work has been seen in many publications such as The New York Times, Huffington Post and Los Angeles Times. Due to her fine eye toward detail and her deep respect and curiosity about the stories behind each home, Collins’ commissioned house portraits are always in high demand.
For more information on the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award visit:
To Purchase Tickets to the Professional Development Workshop visit:
Official Facebook Event Link:
For more information on Leisa & her work visit:
For more information on the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center 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.