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See Dubuque Through Artists’ Eyes

At the Bluff Strokes Paint Out October 6-12, 2019.

Attend Bluff Strokes Paint Out to see #WhereIowaStarted from an artist's perspective.

Bluff Strokes

What's it all about?

Sixty artists from 12 states will paint scenes throughout Dubuque and Dubuque County October 6-12. ($10,500 will be handed out in awards!) Art will be sold to the public on Saturday, October 12 while a special Patron Party will be held Friday evening, October 11. ($125 admits two and $100 will be applied to an art purchase!)

Dana Hamann

Build your collection.

“We purchased our first original painting at Bluff Strokes’ first Paint Out and found we enjoyed it so much due to its connection to our city and its reminder of a great evening. Since then we have looked forward to attending Bluff Strokes each year and adding new pieces.” - Dana Hamann


Plein Air Painting in Dubuque

“Plein air” (French for “open air”) painting died out in the early 1900s, when abstract painting overtook the art world. A plein air resurgence started in California in 1985. Since then, thousands of artists seek beautiful and interesting sites throughout the country for workshops and competitive “paint outs.” Bluff Strokes was organized to share Dubuque’s unique beauty and resources with this growing community of artists and to support the artistic development of local artists. Each year they host a Paint Out to attract artists to Dubuque for inspiration, fun, and socializing.

Field of Dreams

Special Wednesday Night Event

Thirty to fifty artists will converge on the Field of Dreams in Dyersville for an evening paint Wednesday, October 9, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The public is invited to view the artists painting their impressions. Watch for details.

Bluff Strokes 2019

Discover why artists come back year after year to paint and explore the Dubuque area. Art will be available all day Saturday at Steeple Square for viewing and sale. Friday evening Patron Party passes are available at Premier Bank locations and River Lights Bookstore. $125 pass admits two for light supper and beverages and includes $100 voucher for an art purchase.

Bluff Strokes

The Mighty Mississippi

Dubuque fronts one of the three great rivers of the world and sustains a vibrant river life of boating, fishing, and commerce. It offers many scenic panoramas as well as intimate and interesting riverfront scenes.

Bluff Strokes

Historic Architecture

Dubuque has grown and evolved for over 250 years, creating a rich legacy of architecture from many periods. Historic neighborhoods and homes abound.

Fenelon Place Elevator Dubuque Iowa


Streets curve and criss-cross European style, and hidden neighborhoods are made for discovery in meandering walks. Unique monuments like the Fenelon Place Elevator and the Shot Tower beg to be captured and interpreted.

Bluff Strokes

Picturesque Parks

Overlay all of this with world class parks. Eagle Point features spectacular Mississippi River overlooks and prairie architecture buildings and the Dubuque Arboretum features an English Garden, a Japanese Garden, and the largest US hosta collection.

Pete's Thai Kitchen

Unique Local Food and Drink

Artists love local and unique restaurants, of which Dubuque has an abundance. It has a rich local craft beer scene and an array of coffee shops. This year’s Bluff Strokes Paint Out will feature Jubeck’s craft beer and Pete’s Thai catering.

Start Exploring

Use Bluff Stroke’s “Paint Dubuque” website with handy guides to discover the perfect place to capture in your next masterpiece.