‘Tis the season for art in Ames

Patty Clark

The art community in Ames is giving Iowa State students and Ames residents opportunities to unwind from studying and engage in activities for the Christmas season.

The Art Mart is a way for local artists to display and sell their work. The Art Mart began 20-25 years ago said Letitia Kenemer, Workspace and fine arts coordinator. The mart features pottery, beaded and sterling silver jewelry, hand woven baskets, blown glass from the Gaffers’ Guild and more. 

“For the Gaffers’ Guild, the Art Mart is their major fundraiser,” Kenemer said. “The Guild allows people to learn how to blow glass—how cool is that?” 

This way artists are able to maintain their own studios and purchase the equipment they need.

“They are able to teach people this art form at a really manageable cost to the students,” Kenemer said.

The Art Mart also helps the Workspace by gaining funds for maintaining the studios and equipment.  

“We also hope that when people see what our instructors are making and selling, they will be inspired to come take a class and use our studios to create their own original pieces,” Kenemer said. 

The Art Mart is way for the community to support artists that live here in Ames and create their work.

“If artists are supported here, they are more likely to stay here…Having a community that is culturally and artistically diverse is a win for everyone,” Kenemer said. 

At the Art Mart all the pieces for sale are put out on the first day.

“People that see something and don’t purchase it, but then come back because they can’t stop thinking about it.  I love it when that happens because that means we are making an impact on people,” Kenemer said. 

The Art Mart begins Thursday, December 5 from noon-6 p.m.

and continues on Friday, December 6 from noon-9 p.m.

The last day is Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Location: Campanile Room in Memorial Union

Cost: pieces range in price from $5-$25

The Holiday Craft Crawl is a new event this year and five businesses are participating; the Creative Artists Studios of Ames (CASA), the Workspace, Brunnier Art Museum, Whole Hog Editions and The Octagon Center for the Arts

They event is a way for people to go from location to location to make holiday crafts, explore exhibitions and  browse inventory at the Art Mart and the Octagon Gallery Gift Shop. 

“The Octagon is pleased to parner with other artistic and cultural organizations in Ames for the Craft Crawl,” said Heather Johnson, executive director at the Octagon Center for the Arts.

Johnson said it is, “a great way to offer fun hands-on activities for creative handmade gifts and decorations in to celebrate the holidays.” 

Nancy Girard, educator of visual literacy and learning for University Museums, thinks that, “crafting is becoming a very popular hobby among all ages and the Craft Crawl provides everyone with the opportunity to get out and make something, explore Ames and see some wonderful exhibitions at the same time,” said Girard. 

Kenemer, who works on campus, is a member of the Main Street Cultural District Board and active in the art community said she was, “trying to tie all those things together with one event.” 

“It will be a fun get-away from the busy shopping season we are entering,” said Kenemer.

Each location came up with their own activities and Kenemer said, “our crafts will be quality, we want people to walk away with something they could gift during the holiday season or be inspired to go home and make their own version,” said Kenemer.

The event has a map with places to go and things to do, “but if you don’t have time to go everywhere you can just pick a couple places,” said Kenemer. 

“It’s a great way to spend the day with your friends and family and includes fives treasures in the city of Ames that everyone should take advantage of,” said Kenemer.

The event is geared towards adults 18+ due to the types of crafting that will be done.

When: Saturday, December 7, 2013

Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

To view locations, parking, activity costs and activities visit Iowa State University’s Event Page

Another location to visit throughout the rest of the semester is the Farm House Museum. The theme for the decorations this year is 1900s Christmas The decorations will represent the 1900s decade and is open Monday-Friday from noon-4 p.m. Hot cider will available to those who take a visit to view the decorations and learn about the Farm House Museum.