New nonprofit helps artists with disabilities

TANGLETOWN — A new nonprofit at Simply Jane will take advantage of the new community mural tucked behind the building off of Diamond Lake Road.

“Next summer we will have a beautiful little outdoor studio,” said owner Jane Elias. “People love it. It was a really drab back alley of the building.”

Her new nonprofit Simply ArtAble at 5411 Nicollet Ave. provides an artistic outlet for adults and children with disabilities. The nonprofit held its first fundraiser in October.

“Our motto is that everybody is a fabulous artist, and we hope to draw that out,” Elias said.

Simply Jane previously shared studio space with Alleyway Arts, which now offers classes at the Center for Performing Arts, 3754 Pleasant Ave.

Elias looks forward to summer camps next year, when students will paint in the new courtyard. Hwa Rang Do is also interested in hosting martial arts classes outside, she said.

“We’re taking the energy from inside the building and bringing it out into the community,” she said.

The mural project was sponsored by the Tangletown Neighborhood Association. 

Artist Ta-coumba Aiken met with youth ages 9 – 21, and asked them to create images depicting peace, love, healing and compassion. He wove all of their images into the mural. 

“During rush hour, people will look through that parking lot and see beautiful, brightly-colored imagery about peace,” Aiken said.