In 2021, four individual artistic entrepreneurs joined forces as one to lay the groundwork for the Capital Region’s For-Profit Arts Industry. In partnership with their promotion & public relations partner Opportunity Arts, Mila Lynn, Sarah Renee Sanders, Autumn Hopkins, & Kylee Kellett formed “The 4 Aces of Visual Arts”, a Rat Pack-esque faction focused on creating high quality art that makes a difference in people’s lives and establishing artistic value starting in Mid-Michigan.
Each of The Ace’s personalities & art are the epitome of their chosen suit.
Diamonds are formed under pressure, and Mila Lynn, The Ace of Diamonds, wants to make high end art that will be purchased at the highest price point possible, and in so doing, puts herself in high pressure situations. Among Lynn’s many accomplishments in 2021, she was an ArtPrize Monetary Recipient for her Black Is King display at Grand Rapids City Hall and was a Mayor’s Arts and Culture Commission presenting artist.
“Dreams are goals people haven’t yet made actionable steps towards. We pour ourselves into our careers and that’s why we have something to celebrate. Hard work and consistency eventually bare fruit,” said Lynn.
Mixed media artist and body painter Sarah Renee Sanders is the Ace of Spades. The Ace of Spades is, in most cases, the most ornate & decorative card in the deck. Sanders created the Embody Your Business Initiative where she was featured with Downtown Lansing Inc.’s Cathleen Edgerly during Lansing 5:01 Block Aid. She was also Featured Artist at the Michigan Institute of Contemporary Art – MICA Gallery.
“Any artist who’s starving, is starving by choice. You just have to think outside of the box and be motivated enough to maneuver through the obstacles. We put in the work each & every day, and because we do, we get to feast,” Sanders said.
Autumn Hopkins, whose art is driven and inspired by her emotions & passion, is right at home as The Ace of Hearts. Hopkins was a Ralf Henricksen Award Winner for Graduating Studio Art Major whose focus is on painting & whose work is deemed by the faculty to be the most successful among their peers in their final year of study. In 2021, she founded Aura Lee Gallery as a registered For-Profit LLC with the State of Michigan.
“If our art can make a difference in someone’s life, or inspire them to pursue their dreams & aspirations, then we created something that made an impact,” said Hopkins.
Finally, Kylee Kellett, the activist of the group, wants to wield her art as a weapon to generate positive change in her community and beyond, making her a natural as The Ace of Clubs. Kellett founded Shooting Star Arts as a registered For-Profit LLC with the State of Michigan in 2021 and was a featured artist for many festivals and series including the Michigan Chicken Wing Festival, Monday Night Masterpiece Series and the Michigan Institute of Contemporary Art – MICA Gallery.
“We accomplished a lot this year, but we’re just getting started. We have to outdo ourselves next year. Wait till you see what we do in 2022,” said Kellett.
For more information on the 4 Aces of Visual Arts, visit:www.opportunityarts.org/the-aces