Introduction: Maquoketa Art Experience, Maquoketa, Iowa


The Maquoketa Art Experience anchors the heart of this quaint Eastern Iowa downtown, just miles from the Mississippi River.

On any given day, visitors can stop in to view an exhibit by a local or regional artist, grab a cup of coffee and chat with old and new friends, enjoy a talk about local history, take a class for adults or youth, engage with a visiting artist, see a performance by a University of Iowa string quartet, watch area residents share their talents at a Coffeehouse, see a play such as “Our Town,” meet up for a knitting/crocheting session, and much more. It’s all in keeping with the nonprofit’s mission to make art of all kinds accessible to everyone.  

Maquoketa is situated midway between Dubuque and Davenport and is the midpoint of the Grant Wood Scenic Byway, a 75-mile stretch that winds through beautiful settings that inspired this iconic American artist. MAE showcases a growing cadre of artists who are homegrown or who have moved to the community. It also develops and cultivates an expanding interest in art for residents and visitors to the community by supporting lifelong learning, sustaining the area’s cultural heritage, and incorporating art appreciation in our everyday lives.

Fiber art is shown regularly at MAE, such as this piece by Colleen Curry. Image courtesy of Maquoketa Art Experience. 

MAE brings art to people of all ages in the form of exhibits featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings and more; dance, musical and theatre performances; art classes for adults and youth; storytelling, prose-writing and poetry activities. 

The newly renovated facility features a state-of-the-art sound system, a professional art hanging system, a concert-worthy baby grand piano, a classroom, meeting room and event space. Located in a large space that was formerly four separate storefronts, MAE hosts a gift shop with items made by local artisans. 

MAE was established in 2008, with the idea that engaging residents of Maquoketa and surrounding areas in diverse creative activities can build a stronger community. The organization continues to grow and look for new and exciting ways to connect people through the arts.

Rotating exhibits in MAE’s two galleries include sculpture, paintings, quilts and more. Often, the exhibiting artists give a talk at an artist’s reception about their work. Shown here are plein air paintings exhibited by Thomas Buchs. Image courtesy of Maquoketa Art Experience.

With rotating exhibits and numerous opportunities for creativity and entertainment, the Maquoketa Art Experience is a must-see destination for visitors. Its calendar of proposed activities is ambitious and expanding due to the excitement caused by the growing list of committed community volunteers. The organization is committed to building partnerships with entities that enhance its mission. Those include the local public library, the Jackson County Historical Society, the local newspaper, the University of Iowa ArtShare program, area art teachers and schools, the YMCA and youth summer camp programs, to name a few. MAE is free and open to the public. 

Visit to learn more and connect on Instagram at @maquoketaart 

Published by Artdose Magazine

Founded in 2013, Artdose Magazine LLC is an independent print and digital art magazine committed to connecting and supporting the visual arts in the Midwest. Published by Frank Juárez, the magazine is premised on the belief that we all share common goals of introducing, engaging, and offering diverse art experiences. Artdose Magazine LLC appears in print as a bi-annual art magazine, through a weekly art e-newsletter and on Instagram and Facebook. About Frank Juárez Frank Juárez is an award winning art educator, artist, publisher, art coach, and former gallery director living and working in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.. Organizing local and regional art exhibitions, community art events, facilitating presentations, supporting artists through professional development workshops, use of social media and networking has placed him in the forefront of advancing and promoting local artists and attracting regional and national artists to collaborate, network and exhibit in Wisconsin.

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