Rolling Without Limits

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Painting Studio Offers Programming for People of All Abilities
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Painting Studio Offers Programming for People of All Abilities

In recent years, painting has become an instructor-led social activity in which students not only express their artistic nature, but also indulge in laughs, hors-d'oeuvres, and even a glass of wine. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Simply Jane Studio hosts “Art Able”, their staff is accustomed to working with people who have physical, developmental, mental, or cognitive disabilities.

The studio has ramps and automatic doors and can accommodate large wheelchairs. If students become overwhelmed by the flurry of artistic activity, they may retreat to the quiet area within the studio. The studio offers drop-in classes if you have 5 or fewer in your group—no appointment needed! The drop-in painting fee is $10 and includes the fees and cost of the canvas.

  • Adapted Painting Classes: Adapted Painting Classes are geared for day programs and group homes, or programs for seniors or other similar groups.
  • Hospital-Based Classes: With these classes, the studio comes to you if you are a bedridden, an expectant mother, a child undergoing certain medical procedures, or a cancer patient.
  • Pizza Paint Parties: These are two-hour classes geared towards people with disabilities, as well as others in the community.

A Brief History About Simply Jane Studio:

Simply Jane Studio stemmed from a passion for all people to experience art on a level as unique and individual as the students. “I have been passionate about teaching and sharing what I believe to be is the healing aspects of creating art together and for oneself,” writes Jane Elias, Founder and Creative Director of Simply Jane Studio.

Jane started her journey of working with others at the young age of 13, at the Dakota County Children’s Home. It was at the home where Jane volunteered her time to feed and play with children who had disabilities. A few years later, as fate would have it, Jane was introduced to a young girl with spina bifida. Jane’s 23-year-old sister married a man with a 6-year-old daughter named Rachel. Jane fondly recalls the time she helped host Rachel’s 7th birthday party. Many children at the party had cerebral palsy or spina bifida—and one girl was without arms. Jane was amazed to see how the kids adapted by implementing their own way of hitting the pinata or using their feet to eat cake.

Later, Jane’s life was touched by many instances of family members who struggled with an assortment of mental health issues—from bipolar and schizophrenia to substance abuse, Jane is no stranger to helping people overcome life’s challenges.

“The studio is now in its 10th year and serves people of all abilities. We adapt with each and every artist on their own level.”

If you’re in the Minneapolis area this summer, be sure to check out Jane’s tent at the Loring Park Art Festival, July 28, 2018, from 10 am until 6 pm. The festival will host the artwork of 140 different artists.

Image credit: Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

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