Art on the River Returns: Call for Proposals Now Open for 2021-22 Exhibit

The City of Dubuque, Iowa announces the return of its Art on the River program after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The City’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is now soliciting sculpture proposals for consideration with the 2021-22 Art on the River public art sculpture exhibit, to be held along the Mississippi Riverwalk in the Port of Dubuque from August 2021 through July 2022.

“Resiliency Flows” has been selected by a community planning committee as the theme for the 2021-22 exhibit.

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 community resolve and vitality; that speak to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic; or that speak to ongoing efforts for social justice.

Ten sculptural works will be selected for the exhibition, to be displayed at the Port of Dubuque from August 2021 to July 2022. There is no fee to apply and artists can submit completed works or those to be fabricated by summer 2021 install dates. Multiple sculptures for consideration but artists must complete a separate application for each artwork. Online applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on Monday, May 24, 2021. Access to the online form can be found at

Selected artists receive a $1,800 stipend for each work included in the exhibition. Additional cash prizes of $1,000 for Best in Show and $200 for People’s Choice are also available. Artworks are encouraged to be for sale as the City makes special efforts to promote purchasing throughout the year. The City coordinates all financial transactions related to sales of artwork and retains a 25% commission of the retail price.

Art on the River is part of the Dubuque City Council’s ongoing efforts to foster diverse arts and culture experiences that will improve the social and cultural vibrancy of the community. Since its inception, the program has featured 132 sculptures representing the work of 82 artists at the Port of Dubuque. A 90-acre riverfront campus welcomes 200,000+ visitors each year with features like the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the Grand River Center, Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Diamond Jo Casino, the historic Dubuque Star Brewery, Dubuque Shot Tower, and the Port of Dubuque Marina.

More information is available at or by contacting City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant at or 563.690.6059.

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