Apply Now for Art on the River 2021-22

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is now accepting sculpture submissions through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 24, 2021 for the 2021-22 Art on the River sculpture exhibit along the Mississippi Riverwalk in the Port of Dubuque.

Resiliency Flows

"Resiliency Flows" has been selected as the theme for the 2021-22 exhibit.

Throughout the past year, cities and people worldwide have demonstrated fortitude and adaptability in navigating uncharted territories. As we rebound from the impacts of the pandemic and continue the fight for social justice, resilience is needed to rebuild better. Just as we depend on the mighty Mississippi's flowing waters, we can rely on the resolve and vitality of our community to help each other weather the storms and lift one another up.

Existing sculptures, as well as concept proposals for new sculptural work, are encouraged. Both permanent and temporal/semi-permanent works will be considered. Successful applications will propose sculptures that draw upon themes of resiliency, in relation to communities and the earth's resources; speak to overcoming impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; or that speak to issues around social justice.

Program Details

Each year up to 10 sculptures are chosen for exhibit at highly visible locations along the picturesque Mississippi Riverwalk. A panel of jurors will review all applications submitted and make recommendations to the City of Dubuque's Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission which advises City Council on the final selections. Chosen artists will be notified in late June 2021 with sculptures to be installed by Friday, August 6, 2021.

To Apply

Submission must be made online via the online application form. There is no fee to apply. Artists may submit multiple applications; a separate application must be submitted for each sculpture.

Required Artist Information

  • Artist’s bio and resume/CV
  • Brief statement or explanation of the proposed sculpture and other information related to the materials, installation needs, and potential siting
  • Photos or renderings of multiple views of the proposed sculpture (with maximum of five images)
  • 2 Professional references

Artist Benefits

  • $1,800 artist’s honorarium ($600 upon agreement execution, $600 upon installation, and $600 upon removal)
  • A $1,000 Best of Show chosen by the juror panel, awarded at Grand Opening in August 2021
  • A $200 People’s Choice as voted on through July 2022, awarded at Grand Opening of next exhibit in August 2022
  • The opportunity to interact directly with the public for about 2 hours at the Grand Opening event on Friday evening, August 6, 2021
  • Lodging and travel support related to install or evening of Grand Opening event
  • Sales opportunity for exhibited sculpture


Submissions will be evaluated on artistic merit, creativity, public safety, appropriateness to theme, and durability in the outdoors. Work must be of the highest-quality design incorporated into its construction and be able to withstand adverse weather conditions (high winds, rain, heat, snow and freezing temperatures) and an unsupervised general audience. Unstable, fragile, dangerous, inappropriate or small, lightweight works will not be accepted.


Selected artists will be responsible for delivering, installing, and removing their work of art, working closely with City of Dubuque staff. The City of Dubuque can provide installation assistance in the form of person power and some onsite transportation or moving equipment; needs should be detailed appropriately in the application. 

Works must be installed between July 26-August 6, 2021 in advance of the public reception on Friday, August 6, 2021.

Deinstall must take place between July 18-22, 2022. Early pick-up of the work is not permitted.

Insurance and Sales

The City shall maintain insurance coverage on the work while on display at Art on the River for vandalism, theft, or damage. Insurance coverage is not provided on any works of art while in transit to or from Art on the River.

Artworks are encouraged to be for sale and will remain on display for the time frame noted in the Artist Agreement Form. The City of Dubuque will coordinate all financial transactions relating to the sales of artwork. During the course of the year, special efforts will be made to promote the impact of public art to encourage purchase the sculptures. The City will receive 25% of the sale price of any sculptures sold during or as a result of the show, with proceeds supporting the long-term funding for the Art on the River program. Any unsold artwork must be removed by the artist at the end of the exhibition period.

Project Timeline

  • Friday, April 9, 2021 - Call for applications opens
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2021 - Applications due by 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Week of June 20, 2021 - Notification of selected artists, contracts awarded
  • July 26 - August 6, 2021- Delivery and installation of sculptures
  • August 6, 2021 - Grand Opening Reception
  • July 2022 - Removal of Work

Contact Us

  1. Jenni Petersen-Brant  |  email
    Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator
    Phone: 563.690.6059

    Economic Development Office
    City Hall Annex
    1300 Main Street, Dubuque, IA 52001

    Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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