Art on the River

AOTR Logo with Date

Art on the River goes Driftless!

The City of Dubuque is welcoming 7 new pieces of art into  the exhibit this year selected via a curated  invitational. This year the of Dubuque has committed to arts and culture by funding this outstanding program. In celebration the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission chose to honor our special corner of the world, the Driftless region.  Our 13th annual Art on the River exhibit is going to feature artists and artwork that celebrate the flora , fauna, people and culture of the Driftless region. 

Celebrate art and summer with us at our outdoor opening reception on August 3rd starting at 5:30 pm with the 3rd youth reception and tour starting at 4:30 with performances by youth musicians. The reception starts on the terrace of the Grand River Center where Mayor Roy Buol  will give an address and our curator David Wells  will discuss his selections for this year's exhibition.

Along the Mississippi River Walk will be complementary refreshments from local food trucks stationed all along the way* serving food and deserts.  Three concurrent musical performances will take place from the Alliant Amphitheater, to the Grand River Center Terrace and to adjacent to River's Edge Plaza. 

RSVP and stay tuned for more details. 

*while supplies last
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You can still vote for People' Choice of 2017! Voting closes on August 2nd 2018.


2017 Best in Show Winner

2017-2018 Art on the River Selected Artists

This year our temporary public art exhibit drew 56 entries from 30 artists representing 10 different states. Selections were determined by a blind jury review and will be displayed along the Mississippi Riverwalk for the public to enjoy (June 2017). It is with great pleasure that we present you with the finalist for the 2017-2018 Art on the River sculpture exhibition.
  • Diversity Love: Gail Chavenelle (IA)
  • Fowl Play: Tim Adams (IA)
  • Foxgloves and Fistacuffs: Nicole Beck (IL)
  • Harbinger - White Guide: Jeremy Rudd (IA)
  • Juice Box: Kevin Casey (IA)
  • Letting Go: Judd Nelson (MN)
  • Long Shot: Nathan Pierce (MO)
  • Orion & Standing Knife Edge Sam Spiczka (MN)
  • Pod Stop: Greg Mueller (SC)
  • Wings of Change: Hilde DeBruyne (IA)

Art on the River is...


Leaf - Copy
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Always the Horrors of War_web

Public access to art


Art on the River public temporary art exhibit is located along the Mississippi Riverwalk in the Port of Dubuque. You can stroll the picturesque walkway near the Mississippi and view ten pieces of public art that will have you and your family talking, smiling and taking pictures. The exhibit will be on display through June 2017. The exhibit is free, can be viewed sunrise to sunset year-round, and is accessible.

Community support for the arts


Each year we assemble three expert jurors to select ten finalists from a highly competitive field of local and national artists. The final selections are unveiled at the opening reception each summer and are displayed for the entire year. The artists selected as finalists are awarded  $1,500 for displaying their artwork here in Dubuque for a year.

The City Council approved the creation of the Art on the River outdoor sculpture project In November 2005, and approved a budget of $300,000 over the next 10 years for this innovative initiative.

Opportunity for artists

Each piece is for sale but must remain part of the Art on the River display for the entire year. The City functions as a gallery and will take a commission on each sale to fund future exhibitions. For sales information, contact the Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator by email or by calling 563-690-6059. 
Best of Show
Peoples Choice Award

Downloadable Brochure and Maps


Click here to download a map of the sculpture locations. 
Find out more about sales information click here.
Download driving directions to the Port of Dubuque.