Apply for Art on the River 2024-25

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2024-25 Art on the River temporary public art exhibit. Apply today!

Application deadline: March 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. CST

Culture & Conversation

"Culture & Conversation" has been selected as the theme for the 2024-25 exhibit by the Art on the River planning committee and is described as follows: 

Through visual creations, artists have a powerful ability to enlighten, educate and affect communities and culture. Culture is learned. Culture is adaptive. Culture is shared. 

Art on the River Logo

We are seeking large scale, outdoor sculpture pieces that invite guests to get to know the artists through their work– who they are, where they’re from, what they value, and what they believe. We seek works that express themselves boldly and authentically and that encourage, challenge, and educate. 

With that vision in mind, the City of Dubuque welcomes and encourages submissions for existing and/or proposed 3D public art works that reflect upon and embody the theme and ideas of culture and conversation. Our aim is to curate a range of distinctive pieces that move beyond amusing and delighting visitors, but engage them in conversations with each other, the artists and the life behind the works.

Artists are encouraged to submit proposals for existing sculptures as well as concept proposals for new sculptural work for this year’s exhibit. Both permanent and semi-permanent/temporary works will be considered. Successful applications will propose sculptures that draw upon theme of culture and conversation.

Program Details

Each year up to 11 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 early April 2024 with sculptures to be installed by Friday, August 9, 2024.

To Apply

There is no fee to apply. Artists may submit up to three applications; a separate application must be submitted for each sculpture.  


Required Artist Information

  • A statement or explanation of the proposed sculpture and other information related to the theme, materials, installation needs, and potential siting. 
  • Photos or renderings of multiple views of the proposed sculpture (minimum of two, maximum of four images) 
  • Two professional references

Artist Benefits

  • $1,800 honorarium ($1,000 upon agreement execution, $400 upon installation, and $400 upon removal) 
  • A $1,000 Best of Show chosen by the juror panel, awarded at Grand Opening on Friday, August 9, 2024 
  • A $200 People’s Choice as voted on through July 2025, awarded at Grand Opening of next exhibit in August 2025 
  • The opportunity to interact directly with the public for at the Grand Opening event on Friday evening, August 9, 2024 
  • Up to $200 in lodging and travel support related to install or attendance at Grand Opening event 
  • Sales opportunity for exhibited sculpture


Submissions will be evaluated on appropriateness to theme, artistic merit, creativity, public safety, 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, publicly 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 such as forklifts and cranes; needs should be detailed appropriately in the application.  

Works must be installed between August 5 - August 9, 2024, in advance of the public reception on Friday, August 9, 2024. 

De-install must take place between July 28 - August 1, 2025. 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 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

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 - Call for applications opens 
  • Friday, March 1, 2024 - Applications due by 11:59 p.m. CST 
  • Week of April 2, 2024 - Artists notifications sent via email 
  • August 5 - 9, 2024 - Delivery and installation of sculptures by artists 
  • August 9, 2024 from 5-7 p.m. - Grand Opening Reception (Grand River Center, 500 Bell St., Dubuque)
  • July 28 - August 1, 2025 - Removal of work

Contact Us

  1. Bonnie Spurling
    Arts & Cultural Affairs Manager
    Phone: 563.690.6059

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