To provide space for artists to work, to learn, and to share their expertise with the public.
Creative Artists’ Studios of Ames was started by a group of individuals who were, at the time, in a clay class taught by Mary Weisgram at the Octagon Art Center in Ames. We had all been taking her class for some time and realized that what we were doing needing access to the studio more than it needed active teaching. At the same time, one of the group mentioned that his church had bought a building and were looking for tenants that were non-profit groups. So we formed a non-profit corporation and were able to rent space in a former Baptist church now owned by the Collegiate United Methodist Church.
The first artist moved in on 1/1/01. For the first six months we rented space on the top floor, with two large rooms and seven small ones. These small rooms filled gradually with painters and fiber artists using the larger one for spreading out to work and also for a couple of shows – a display of a collection of indigo works owned by Norma Wolff held in conjunction with a natural dye congress in Ames, and a show by a visiting Nigerian artist, Abiodun Anako. We also had a small shop for a while.
In the summer of 2001 we were able to move into the basement of the building, where the clay studios were established. Later that year, we gave up the top floor space. We now operate with about 10,000 square feet, about 60% of the area devoted to clay and 40% to other media.