Story City artist featured on Ames Artists’ Studio Tour

Herald staff
“Red Angus Cows,” a cyanotype, is an example of artwork by Naomi Friend of Story City. Contributed photo

The 2019 Ames Artists’ Studio Tour will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13. During this free, self-guided tour, patrons may choose to visit any number of the 14 participating artists and discover the original art created in their studios and workspaces.

Participating artists will demonstrate their craft, share techniques, and discuss what inspires their work. Visitors are welcome to ask questions and purchase artwork. Visit the artists in any order you please.

The Ames Area Studio Tour is headquartered at Morning Bell Coffee Roasters (111 Main St., Ames). Throughout the weekend, Morning Bell staff and Arts Council volunteers will be ready to answer your questions.

During the Studio Tour, visit the gallery at the Creative Artists’ Studios of Ames (CASA), 130 S. Sheldon Ave., to see the works of many of the artists all in one place!


• Naomi Friend (16117 550th Ave., Story City) Naomi makes art about the land and life based on farming, or “agrarian” art. She is most interested in the intersection of wild, urban, and rural environments, and the work of humans as caretakers of creation. Her pieces are one-of-a-kind exposures using Cyanotype, combining the photo process with drawn illustrations of farm animals, cultivated, and native species. This studio is not handicap accessible.


• Alexander Recording Kompany (A.R.K.) (622 Douglas Ave.) The Alexander Recording Kompany is a full service recording studio in Ames that’s dedicated to providing the highest quality, professional recording, mixing, and mastering to musicians and businesses. Owner and engineer Dennis Haislip, and other members of the A.R.K. team, will be offering tours of the studio and sampling studio recordings throughout the Studio Tour.

• Kyle Renell (208 Fifth St.) Kyle’s body of work is multi-faceted and concentrated in the following subject areas: interconnectedness of human beings; the human condition; and social issues, such as child abuse and human trafficking. The goal of her art is to educate the viewer without forcing an opinion upon others, but rather making them stop and think about the issues and to develop their own opinions and conclusions. An abstract artist, she uses a variety of media, including acrylic paint, graphite, pastel, and colored pencil.

• Melissa Stenstrom (Melissa Stenstrom Jewelry, 507 Main St., Suite 1) Melissa makes jewelry using silver, gold, gemstones, and pearls. She works with a range of techniques such as anticlastic raising, forging, fabricating, casting, and engraving. Always up to a new challenge and looking for new skills to master, Melissa is constantly studying and looking for her next jewelry adventure. Additionally, she will have artwork from local artists in her space that include paper cuts, ornaments, small paintings and prints, and ceramics. This studio is not handicap accessible.

• Barbara Walton (312 Main St.) Barbara began experimenting with encaustic painting in 2002. An ancient technique which predates oil painting, the traditional medium is pigmented molten beeswax transferred with a brush. Barbara’s work attempts to express what she has experienced, not literally but poetically, with subjects that exist within the ambiguity of space and circumstance. This studio is not handicap accessible.


• ISU College of Design (ISU, 715 Bissell Road, Lower Level) The College of Design will feature open studios in ceramics, printmaking, textiles, woods, metals, photography, digital media, and painting. During the Studio Tour, students will be available to talk to the public about what they are learning.

• Creative Artists’ Studio of Ames (CASA) (130 S. Sheldon Ave., Suite 108) CASA is a group of artists that works in clay, fiber, encaustics, metal, paper, ink and watercolors. Nearing its 20th anniversary, CASA seeks to provide space for artists to work, to learn, and to share their expertise with the public.

• Greg Lamont (Northwood Clay Studio, CASA, 130 S. Sheldon Ave., Suite 101) Greg’s work references the Korean and Japanese folk pottery traditions and their influence on pottery making in the last half-century. His work is intended to be incorporated into daily life, and it is his hope that his work invokes the same sense of excitement and pleasure that he has enjoyed while making it.


• Bill Rickard (Prairie Rivers Woodworking, 328 S. Hazel Ave.) Bill is a woodworker who will be showing his work, including furniture, assembled art, and greenwood carvings, as well as providing demonstrations of traditional greenwood carving of spoons and bowls, using hand tools including axes, adzes, knives, and other carving implements.


• Erin Carpenter (2901 Arbor St.) Erin Carpenter is a potter working in cone 6 porcelain. Her pieces are influenced by organic textures, art-deco/nouveau patterns, and Gothic architecture. One line of work includes semi-functional, pierced fruit bowls and vases - these are usable, but extremely delicate and many hours are invested in each piece. The other line is similarly influenced, but has layers of surface decoration, notably mishima (underglaze inlay), water etching, and gold luster. This studio is not handicap accessible.

• Art Ciccotti (Ciccotti Art Glass, 2306 258th St.) Art Ciccotti is a mostly self-taught glassblower who has spent years learning the techniques and skills born of this ancient craft. By making visual reference to things found in the natural world – flowers, weather, and animals – he attempts to reflect the natural beauty to which everyone can connect. This studio is not handicap accessible.

• Chris Martin (Chris Martin Furniture, 1512 Florida Ave.) Chris produces limited production and one of a kind furniture pieces in multiple materials. Collaboration with traditional artisans, particularly in Ghana and India, has become his passion.

• Daniel Marks (2307 Timberland Road) Dan draws the inspiration for his paintings from the beauty of everyday life. He uses acrylic paint on canvas, exaggerated colors, and altered forms to create animation and energy. Buildings are a prevalent subject matter for Dan. They are a portrait of our urban and suburban landscapes, with personalities, humor, mystery and stories to tell. This studio is not handicap accessible.


• Sara Merritt (1812 Ferndale Ave.) Sara works in mixed media - everything from drawing and painting to collage and fiber arts. She will be creating artwork on paper, canvas, and silk through demonstration each day. She also will perform bits of dance choreography and providing mini belly dance lessons to interested visitors.

The Ames Artists’ Studio Tour is made possible in part through funding from the city of Ames Commission on Arts (COTA).