Home Features Premier Event: 2018 Art on the River

Premier Event: 2018 Art on the River

The City of Dubuque Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission for 2018 is taking Art on the River in a new direction: Art on the River: Driftless. This Driftless themed show is focused on artists and artwork that draw inspiration from the people, culture, flora, and fauna of the Driftless Area in which Dubuque is situated.

The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, August 3rd from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the terrace at the Grand River Center. There will also be a youth reception, music, and tour from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

The arts commission partnered with curator David Wells to help acquire the artwork that comprises this year’s remarkable show. David Wells is Director of the Edgewood College Art Gallery and is an independent community-based curator in Madison, WI. His accolades and experience over the past 30 years is extensive. He is no stranger to Art on the River and has been a previous juror for the exhibition and loves the space. His current projects include Art on the Rooftop at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center and GLEAM: Art in a New Light, an annual light installation project developed with Olbrich Botanical Gardens. His work in Dubuque, Art on the River: Driftless, will unveil seven unique works of outdoor sculpture.

“This year we can all feel proud and excited to see that the City of Dubuque has renewed its commitment to Arts and Culture by recognizing the value of this program and funding it,” said Debra Alleyne, City of Dubuque Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator. “In a year when the program underwent such a metamorphosis, the commission and I really felt that we should kick things into high gear and try something different. We felt that this theme would really connect with our local residents and regional visitors.”

The youth musician’s reception, now in its third year, begins at 4:30 p.m. These musicians represent the blossoming talent available here in Dubuque with the entertainment ranging from hip-hop and R&B, to classical instrumentalists.

The Art on the River’s reception is geared towards making the event accessible and enjoyable for all ages and cultures in our community, particularly to captivate the next generation of arts enthusiasts.

The opening reception will be held at the Grand River Center’s terrace from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The program will include a welcome from Mayor Roy Buol, David Wells, and Stanley Samson, the Marshallese Community Leader. After the presentation, entertainment and food will be available for free along the Riverwalk, including music by local musician River Breitbach and dance celebrating Marshallese culture and tradition. Local plein air painters, the Plein Air Painters of Dubuque (PPODS), will also be painting scenes along the river for all to view.

All attendees are encouraged to download the free GPS enabled audio guide that lets you be your own docent at participating arts and cultural sites. This app contains photos, bios, and even exclusive audio extras from the artists themselves. The event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public.

The following sculptures were chosen for this highly competitive exhibit and will be on display through August 2019. Selections are, in no particular order:

  1. Natures Quintet by Stephanie Sailor of Waterloo, IA
  2. Nexus by Sam Spiczka
  3. Ribbon Song by Billhenry Walker of Eau Claire, WI
  4. Rogue Sprung by Jeremy Rudd of Dyersville, IA
  5. Star Gazing Ring with Orion and Taurus by Martha Glowacki of Saulk City, IA
  6. Mobi (kinetic) by Kevin Burnette of Amhurst Junction, WI
  7. Universe (kenetic, light-based) by John Bannon of Arlington Heights, IL

After the opening celebration, continue your evening along the Riverwalk with food, drink, and entertainment specials at Tony Roma’s and Stone Cliff Winery. The Port of Dubuque Marina will host outdoor games for the kids and an outdoor movie at dusk.

Art on the River is part of the Dubuque City Council’s Arts and Culture initiative and to-date has exhibited over 100 pieces on the Riverwalk. The current 2017-2018 Art on the River Exhibit, consisting of nine works of sculpture, will remain exhibited until the opening of the new exhibition on August 3. All the sculptures are for sale and can be installed in both indoor and outdoor areas. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite sculpture for the People’s Choice award at CityofDubuque.org/ArtOnTheRiver2017.

For additional information, please contact Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Debra Alleyne at dalleyne@cityofdubuque.org or call (563) 690-6059.

Editor’s note: Article contributed by the City of Dubuque, edited by Julien’s Journal.

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