The Art in the Park

[Click on any art piece to learn more or to view a larger image.]


Plate Steel, Curved, Welded / 1990

Sculptor: Eric Shaw (1965-1996)

Eric Shaw: "Inspiration for my art is primarily derived from nature … In many of my works, I take elements of plant and animal life, human forms or ancient structures and combine them to create unique forms that are a synthesis, like a double exposure. … I strive to celebrate the rich heritage of life and the structural beauty of the parts of our earth.”

Gift of Eric's Parents,

Blossom and Jay Shaw, Iowa City, Iowa (2017)

Location: near the Garden of Eat'n


This copper kinetic sculpture, created in Door County, Wisconsin is a memorial donation. 

If you look very closely, you will see that the inside and the outside rotate in opposite directions. 

Gift of ?

Location: in the Knot Garden


Medium: Stainless Steel

Year: circa 2007


Stephanie Sailor / Lawrence, KS

"The Seedling" represents the first phase of life for a plant, once it has trudged through the earth to feed off sunshine rays. The stem is thin and tenuous, originally unable to support the weight of the future foliage. This is the moment marked by unbounded possibilities, quite similar to ourselves as we start new stages in life.

Gifted by Bob & Donna Wahlert (2007)

Location: near McKay Plaza


Medium of Art Piece? / Year?

Artist: Glenn Williams

Germination means to sprout or grow. It is the process of coming into existence. the piece is intended to serve as a metaphor for this growth as it relates to the human condition. Those plants that have to struggle for life in the beginning tend to become more resilient as a result of that struggle. In essence, what doesn't destroy us, makes us stronger.

Gift of the Tri-State Garden Club in conjunction with an arts grant from the City of Dubuque. This sculpture honors the efforts of the Tri-State Garden Club in establishing and maintaining this rose garden.

Location: Rose Garden


In the early 1900s, Union Park, a north-end Dubuque park regularly drew hundreds of visitors. Located on the other side of our deer fence, it was the place for entertainment until July 9, 1919. That day a sudden rainstorm caused a flash flood that tore through the valley, damaging the park’s structures and killing five people.

This sculpture (two children with umbrella) survived the tragedy.

Location: near the Visitor Center


The lizard was originally part of a National Mississippi River Museum promotion for the "Lizards on the Loose" exhibit in 2009.

There are multiple lizard friends hiding on this lizard.

The types of lizards painted on it are explained on sheets printed behind the statue itself; the local artists who painted the lizard are named on the back of its base.

Purchased for the Dubuque Arboretum using donated funds.

Location: near the Children's Garden


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, downtown Dubuque had gas-operated lighting. The lamplighter walked from light to light in the early evening and then extinguished the lights the next morning. 

In 1916, the gas lights were changed to electric. With urban renewal, the city took the lamps out and offered them to nonprofit organizations. The Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens acquired three of these lights. Jackson Tuckpointing sandblasted them, and Paulson Electric rewired them. [If you look closely, you can see the fine machining on them.]

They are genuine antiques, and yet they keep our parking lot illuminated.

Location: near the Visitor Center


The frog statue was part of the 2005 "Toadally Frogs" exhibit and promotion at the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque.

Local artist Terry Mozena painted it.

The Japanese letter on the front of the frog means "flowers."

An anonymous donor purchased the frog for the Dubuque Arboretum.

Location: near the Children's Garden

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