When Kristin told us about her & fellow business owners plan to host summer exhibits to support artists during the lacking festival season, we thought: “what could we do to support this and other COVID-19 responsible art projects?” Well, help get out the word & map them all. Don’t forget to tip the artists and shop online at the host businesses. Visit our Art Map Ames to see all Ames art that can be enjoyed outdoors.

Ames Collaborative Art

“Art Vacancy” is a 2-month long exhibition running from July 15th – September 15th, 2020 along Main Street in Ames, IA. The project supports 12 local artists and consists of art installations in the windows of local businesses. Come see the art (and the other art projects happening downtown – Art Map Ames) responsibly, socially distanced, and get your creative batteries charged.

Support provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Location & Artists


136 Main Street: Little Woods Herbal

Carmen Cerra

Copy editor, page designer, freelance artist, board game artist, designer of Little Woods’ woodland tea party greeting cards, and former political cartoonist.


219 Main Street: Z.W. Mercantile

ZW Mercantile is a locally-owned and operated, eco-conscious business striving to help beginners and experts alike transition to and maintain as close to a zero waste lifestyle as possible. We strive to understand the products we buy and their lifecycle.

Kristin M Roach

Kristin uses scientific data and cast-off materials to create drawings, paintings, and immersive installations about her backyard ecology. She’s most known for the Junk Mail Migration series of bird paintings, her business Little Woods, and her book Mend it Better.

She completed her BFA in Oil Painting at Northern Illinois University with a minor in art history in 2008. She is currently living and working in Ames, Iowa.


305 Main Street: We the Dreamerz

We the Dreamerz goal is to educate people on the value of shopping with more awareness, and help make it easy for you to embrace conscious consumerism by providing a shop where everything we carry upholds these standards.

Jazmine Dirks

Local artist and art teacher, Jazmine’s work is a celebration of life. Using line and color she creates joyful illustrations of the beauty in our world. 

309 Main Street: Nook & Nest

Nook and Nest is the quintessential collection of everything you need to create warm, inviting spaces in your home and office. We partner with designers and suppliers to carefully curate our selections, taking the guess work out of designing your space. Everything coordinates together making it easy for you to select your favorite pieces with confidence. 

Alicia Wilkinson

Alicia is a mother, painter, mixed media artist and Senior Registered Interior Designer with HAILA | Architecture | Structure | Planning in Ames, IA. She creates paintings with thick textures and other mediums while exploring the beauty of color. Alicia’s inspiration comes from her Creator as she processes through the deep pain and incredible joys in her life alongside the desire to bring transformation into other people’s lives. Her work also embodies her heart for injustice in the world and drives her to create work that brings restoration and renewal on the earth. The use of color within her interior design work and paintings push each other to become better in both fields of work.

A portion of this body of work was created throughout the last few months and includes series’ entitled: Setting The Oppressed Free, The Pandemic Series and Healing Landscapes. The Incorporation of techniques and materials that she hasn’t used before helped her push new boundaries in order to help bring light to and restore so much brokenness around us.

313 Main Street: Cook’s Emporium

At Cooks’ Emporium, our mission is to provide inspiration and the tools to enable the at-home or professional chef in their creative passions, equipping chefs of all levels, from a campus town studio apartment to the professional galley at the busiest Michelin Star’d eatery.

Tibi Chelcea

Tibi Chelcea takes elements and processes of traditional art disciplines, such as printmaking, textiles, and drawing, and combines them with parts and operations of digital technologies, thus unveiling unexpected correlations between old and new technologies. His works have been exhibited throughout the United States (New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Iowa, and other states) as well as Mexico, Egypt and Brazil, and has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

He was born in Romania and came to the United States to pursue a PhD in Computer Science. He has received several awards, fellowships, and patents in the field of electronic and digital design, which continues to be a major source of inspiration for his art.

328 Main Street: Threadit

Tailoring, Garment Repair, Wardrobe Restyling and Private Shopping

Catherine Reinhart

Catherine Reinhart is an interdisciplinary artist from Ames, IA. She received her MFA – Textiles from the University of Kansas and a BFA – Integrated Studio Arts at Iowa State University. Her work has been exhibited at the Department of Land Economy, Cambridge University and Cambridge Artworks, Cambridge, UK, and the Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS.

Her works are in collections at University of Mississippi and Kyoto Keika University, Kyoto, Japan. Reinhart is the recipient of numerous grants and residencies, including from the Iowa Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. She was chosen as a 2020 Iowa Arts Fellow.

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