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Art on the River Call for Submissions

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Event History

The City Council approved the creation of the Art on the River program In November 2005 with an initial CIP investment of $300,000 to sustain the project for 10 years. This innovative initiative has garnered community-wide support and national recognition from the arts and tourism industries, drawing creatives and visitors from around the country to Dubuque. The annual exhibit is now a permanent part of the City’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs operating budget and City Council added Art on the River Initiatives as a high priority in the 2020-2022 policy agenda.

The City of Dubuque (Iowa) is now soliciting sculpture proposals for consideration for the 2024-25 Art on the River public art sculpture exhibit, to be held along the Mississippi Riverwalk in the Port of Dubuque from August 2024 through July 2025. The theme for the 2024-25 exhibit is "Culture & Conversation": 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. 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. Up to eleven sculptural works will be selected for the 18th edition of this annual temporary public art exhibit. There is no fee to apply and artists can submit completed works or those to be fabricated by the August 2024 install dates. Artists may submit multiple works for consideration; a separate application must be completed for each artwork. Online applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, March 1, 2024. Selected artists receive an $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.


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