Art on the River

AOTR Driftless 2018_web

Art on the River goes Driftless!

The City of Dubuque is welcomed 6 new pieces of art into the exhibit this year selected via a curated  invitational. This is the year that  the City 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 features artists and artwork that celebrate the flora , fauna, people and culture of the Driftless region. 

We celebrated art and summer with an outdoor opening reception on August 3rd  with the 3rd annual youth reception and tour with performances by youth musicians. The reception started on the terrace of the Grand River Center where Mayor Roy Buol  gave an address and our curator David Wells discussed his selections for this year's exhibition and community leader Stanley Sampson representing the Marshallese community, presented a Pacific Islander watercraft to the community and talked about their connection to the Driftless region.

This year's reception offered complementary refreshments from local food trucks Happy Hibachi, Candle Ready Cakes  and Marshalese traditional food stationed all along the Mississippi Riverwalk.  Concurrent musical performances took place by Iowa Arts Council Fellow River Glen, Marshallese band DIJ, Haley's Comet and Less than Three, from the Alliant Amphitheater, to the Grand River Center Terrace and to adjacent to River's Edge Plaza. 



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2017 Best in Show Winner

Art on the River is...


Leaf - Copy
Victoria_web
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.