Public Service Announcement: Vending Art and Craft Side by Side!

Last year I was the chief instigator in coordinating, designing, and funding an 80 foot mural project. With the help of many amazing local friends, family, and businesses, I actually pulled it off. (I had lot of help).We won a grant and we got local donations of supplies. We had over 50 volunteers come and help paint over a 14 day period. It was awesome.

It just about killed me.

We had horribly cold weather. And I was out there unless it was really raining, everyday from 10am to 6pm (give or take depending on the weather and my stamina).

I’m so proud to have done it. I’m so proud we actually finished. You can see the scale of the wall in the picture above–it’s about 14 feet tall. Exactly 80 feet long. Whew. Claps on the back all around. We pulled it off.

From the start we knew that we wanted to do an annual project that was on a grander scale–but not always a mural and not always something so permanent. After all, our name is Ames and we are on the move, spreading art and creativity throughout Ames.

This year’s project: The ArtVend Machine!

We kept joking about how fun it would be to make an art vending machine. The idea just wouldn’t leave us. When it finally came time to commit to a project and start researching how to make it happen, we said, hell, let’s go for it. And we did!

I’m so excited about this project because it embodies everything I’m about as an artist and everything Ames is about as my brain child art organization. It’s mobile. We can move it every year to give different people a taste. We can sell zines, art pieces, craft kits, handmade goods of all types really. Everything will be under $20 in the vending machine. We going to buy an old machine and retro fit it vs. getting a new one.

How awesome is that?

We are selling local art to the locals. We are providing a new space to makers to sell their wares. And we are reaching people who may not normally view art in a gallery-type setting. It’s good for the makers and the community.

I’m an painter, not really a video person. It’s funny how amature our video is, but it gets the info across, watch it if you dare. Click over to the kickstarter page to read the details of the project.

Now we are to the fun part, actually getting the project going! We have launched a kickstarter campaign to raise the money to purchase the machine, make starter packets for the creative types, and retrofit the machine to be able vend creative things instead of junk food things.

Please, go take a look. If it’s something you think should happen, pledge a few dollars. Sure $100 would be great, but $5 or even $1 will help get us there. We have to hit that $1300 to receive any of the pledges, so it’s really important that everyone pitches in what they can.

I know many of you don’t live in Iowa, but don’t let that dissuade you. When you help support a project, even when you don’t get to directly interact with it, you are helping to support the larger creative community. And most importantly, you are helping a little known town bring into existence a unique project. By pledging, you are helping me fulfill my dream of making Ames, IA a creative oasis in its own right. And you can always come visit. :)

Thanks for reading my public service announcement and a special thank you to those who click over to the kick starter to pledge and those of you who share the project with others. I really appreciate it a ton.

Kristin Roach