Sara Merritt, an Ames ink and collage artist, and Matthew Merritt, a digital drawing artist, will host the Ames Community Arts Council’s Monthly Gathering of Artists on Tuesday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The gathering will be held in their home at 1812 Ferndale Ave., Ames.

“Art was a necessity for me as a way to kind of center myself to focus to get to a kind of center,” Sara Merritt stated in a television interview in 2014. Merritt believes zen doodle art is, “a way to focus yourself, to laugh, to reach a kind of meditative state.” Zen doodle is an ink and collage based artwork that Merritt has been creating since she was a teenager.

Matthew Merritt found his interest in drawing abstractly as a child and then grew into a fondness for short film. Prior to his 35th birthday, Matthew had surgery so he took advantage of the two months recovery time to do something creative, “or I was going to lose my mind,” he stated. He decided to focus his creativity on digital drawing, which he has been working on since.

The gatherings, held on the third Tuesday of each month at various locations, showcase local artists from around the Ames area. Artists and art enthusiasts of all types are invited to join Sara and Matthew to meet other artists, get feedback, get inspired and have fun. The events are free and open to all.

Upcoming Gatherings include:

Feb. 20 – Design on Main, 203 Main St., Ames

March 20 – Creative Artists Studio of Ames (CASA), 130 S. Sheldon Ave., #107, Ames

The monthly Gathering of Artists is hosted by the Ames Community Arts Council and made possible with the support of the city of Ames Commission on the Arts. If you would like more information about participating in or hosting a gathering, please contact the Ames Community Arts Council by e-mailing, visiting the website at, or calling 515-233-6110.