Non-profit art studio emerges as creative outlet for artists with disabilities

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CHICAGO — Aria Carter has been sketching haute couture fashion for as long as she can remember, but it was her involvement with ‘Arts of Life’ that completed her work.

“That’s when I start to use all my imagination,” Carter said.

Arts of Life is a non-profit art studio that serves as a collective space for artists with physical and intellectual disabilities. The studio works with 60 artists between its’ downtown Chicago and Glenview locations, working to advance their artists in the creative arts community.

Some of Carter’s work will be featured on the walls of the Kendra Scott location at Old Orchard Mall in Skokie through the month of September.

“We just fell in love with their mission of creating outlets and opportunities for adults with disabilities,” Kendra Scott manager Michaela Lewis said.

“Aria Carter’s artwork is beautiful and immediately we were inspired,” Lewis said.

Lewis found Carter’s bold, sparkling art to be an ideal match for the glimmering jewelry line that the store invited her to create.

“We had her pick out the stones and setting she was inspired by in our color bar and then we put the line together,” Lewis said.

“We wanted it all to tie in with her colorful artwork,” Lewis said.

This Friday and Saturday, Carter’s artwork will be for sale at Kendra Scott, with 20% of every piece of jewelry sold going towards Arts of Life.

Arts of Life director Vincent Uribe is ecstatic about the partnership.

“This kind of partnership gives our artists a sense of pride that people want to see their work and appreciate it,” Uribe said.

As for Carter, the opportunity is nothing short of a dream come true.

“I feel fabulous,” Carter said.

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