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Arts & Culture

Posted on: January 25, 2024

Call for Proposals Now Open for Art on the River 2024-25

The City of Dubuque, Iowa, is soliciting sculpture proposals for its 18th 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.

"Culture & Conversation" has been selected by a community planning committee as the theme for the 2024-25 exhibit 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. 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. The goal 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. 

Up to 11 sculptural works will be selected for the exhibition to be displayed at the Port of Dubuque from August 2024 to July 2025. There is no fee to apply, and artists can submit completed works or those to be fabricated by the August 2024 installation dates. Artists may submit up to three 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. Access to the online form is at www.cityofdubuque.org/AOTRapply

 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 special efforts are made to promote purchasing throughout the year. The City coordinates all financial transactions related to sales of artwork and retains a 25 percent 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 165 sculptures representing the work of 104 artists at the Port of Dubuque. This 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 www.cityofdubuque.org/artontheriver or by contacting the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs Manager Bonnie Spurling at bspurlin@cityofdubuque.org or 563.690.6059. 

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