City of Dubuque Arts & Culture News
Art on the River Driftless

Art on the River 'Driftless' Event on Friday

Debra Alleyne
Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator
City of Dubuque
563-690-6059 (office) 

July 30, 2018 - For Immediate Release

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Art on the River, the City of Dubuque’s annual public art exhibit, will feature seven new pieces of art in the Port of Dubuque. These new pieces will include light-based and kinetic artwork from artists celebrating the people, history, geography, flora, and fauna of the Driftless Region. The public is invited to attend the free, family-friendly opening reception for the exhibit on Friday, August 3, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the Grand River Center Terrace at 500 Bell St. The youth reception and tour, now in its third year, will be held from 4:30- 5:30 p.m. and is also open to the public.

This is the first year the exhibit’s opening reception will be held outdoors with the Mississippi Riverwalk serving as the “stage” for the event. “We are taking the reception to the Riverwalk. It’s summer! We want people to just get outside and enjoy the artwork!,” said Dubuque Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commissioner Mary Thomas Armstrong. 

Following brief remarks on the Grand River Center Terrace by Mayor Roy D. Buol, exhibit curator David Wells, and Marshallese Community leader Stanley Samson, there will be a presentation of a locally crafted Pacific Islander canoe at the Alliant Energy Amphitheater and a performance by local Marshallese community members representing their connection to the Driftless Region. 

Musical performances from a Marshallese group, youth musicians, and River Glen will be given at locations along the Mississippi Riverwalk for the enjoyment of attendees. The Peapods, a local plen air (painting outdoors) painting group, will be painting at the event as well, making it a true celebration of the arts on the river. Event attendees are encouraged to enjoy complementary local food from Da Shack, traditional Marshallese food, and Candle Ready Cakes while supplies last. A cash bar will also be available at the Grand River Center.  

In the event of inclement weather, the event will be relocated to inside the Grand River Center, which can be reached at 563-690-4500.

Pieces featured in the 2017-2018 Art on the River Exhibit, consisting of 11 works of sculpture, are eligible for People’s Choice award. To vote for your favorite, visit and voting is open until August 1. All the sculptures are for sale and can be installed in both indoor and outdoor areas. The exhibit is free, can be viewed sunrise to sunset year-round, and is accessible. For additional information, please contact Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Debra Alleyne at or 563-690-6059.

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