The Ames Community Arts Council, in cooperation with Morning Bell Coffee Roasters and the Iowa State Center, is seeking artists to create the inaugural murals of the Back Alley Gallery. These one-of-a-kind, large-scale pieces are intended to demonstrate the creative spirit of the Ames community, while showcasing the talents of local and regional artists. Both individual artists and teams of artists are eligible to apply.

The first site, Morning Bell Coffee Roasters, at 111 Main St., Ames is 20-feet by 20-feet. Morning Bell is hoping that the mural on the building will be colorful, eye-catching, inspiring and urban.

The second site, the loading dock area of Stephens Auditorium, at 1900 Center Dr., Ames, is 18-feet by 20-feet. The Iowa State Center is looking for a vibrant mural depicting the diversity and culture of the performing arts as Stephens Auditorium celebrates its 50th birthday in September 2019.

The total budget for the project (both murals) is $5,320, based on a stipend of $7 per square foot. This budget is intended to cover the artist’s stipend, materials, and rental equipment. The application deadline is Wednesday, July 31, with the selected artist or artists to be notified by Friday, Aug. 30. It is hoped that the mural, either finished or in progress, can be celebrated with the community during the 2019 Ames Artists’ Studio Tour on Oct. 12-13. For a full timeline and other details, please visit

The Back Alley Gallery is being coordinated 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 to participate as an artist or discuss having a mural created for your business, please contact the Ames Community Arts Council by e-mailing, visiting the website at or calling 515-259-2494.