River Arts Center

The Clinton Art Association founded the River Arts Center in 1962 in Clinton, Iowa.  It has been referred to as a "hidden treasure" in Clinton.  The goal of the River Arts center is "...promoting awareness of the arts and providing opportunities for the community to actively participate in a quality arts environment..."

Clinton Art Association is proud to offer seven different Art Exhibits per year. Each Exhibit lasts approximately six weeks with our Member's Exhibit in November coinciding with our annual membership drive.

Artists are typically chosen from the Clinton and surrounding areas. The exhibits vary in media and scope, and each is an exciting and creatively stimulating display of originality and interest.

If the exhibiting artist so chooses, we offer a "Meet the Artist" reception for each exhibit,
where you will have the opportunity to personally meet the artist and discuss the techniques and interests of the artist, as well as the journey they have taken on their path to becoming known and appreciated in the art world.

Clinton Art Players Theater

Located on the 'first floor' - the basement level - of the River Arts Center is a theater with tables and chairs and even a snack bar complete with popcorn and soda. We always display a "Now Showing" marquee in the window and advertise in the paper, so you will know what our next fun event is going to be, and when we are staging a production for your pleasure.

We're one of the best-kept secrets in Clinton! While we don't have specific hours we're open, we're always open for business when we have a Play, Poetry, or a Party! The Clinton Arts Players are very active, and you are sure to enjoy our productions! Admission to various events are either very nominally priced or free making the Theater available to everyone. Again, our facility is friendly to the physically challenged, as we have an elevator that can transport them safely from floor to floor.

The plays we present are originally scripted, as well as works of other playwrights. Our actors are regularly involved locals, but we also feature theatrical artists whom we are proud to host. Our productions fall across genres; offering dramas, comedies, spoken work, and even musicals! We are always family-friendly. Plays are scheduled on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays so you have your choice of attendance times.

Our "Poetry and Popcorn" is a popular regular event. We cordially invite you to come join us for an afternoon of music and verse. We're sure you will enjoy the selections of themes based on the season/holiday at hand. Halloween, for example, may be themed "Edgar Allen Poetry," a February theme was "Poetry and Passion," and a June production was "Poetry and Posies". Poetry and Popcorn is free admission, with a small charge for concession items. Come Join the fun!

The Gift Shop

We're certain you will find something that you will love so much you will have to buy it for yourself or gift someone dear to you. Gifts of art are always unique; they please in the way no commercially-made gift ever could. We carry a wide range of inventory; you will find jewelry, greeting cards, hand-blown glass, handcrafted wood, and home decor, to name just a few. The items we offer for sale are not only original and art, but you will find our prices are very reasonable, adding to the exceptional value you will get for your shopping dollar. Don't be intimidated! We can prove to you that great art is not necessarily expensive!

Our selections come from our local members as well as individual artists from across the country. Some of our items are "fair trade" items as well, which offers an opportunity to indigenous peoples or artists in underdeveloped nations to market their goods without tariff or impediment of governmental controls. These artisans offer excellent quality, as do all the artists we represent, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have contributed to the continuance of traditional art where it benefits not only our community, but well beyond.

Rainbow Pottery

Attached to the River Arts Center Gallery is Rainbow Pottery. Whether you're contemplating a rainy day inside with your kids, want to find something 'different' to do with them, or want them to be able to make something special for grandma, Rainbow Pottery is the first place to consider. Kids of all ages enjoy the opportunities we have for them to make something unique, personalize and be very proud that they created a lasting piece of art themselves!

One of the favorite Mom-and-Grandma gifts our children choose over and over again is a small plate with the child's name and date on the rim and their hand print in the center. These unique gifts serve as a lasting memory of those small child hands, preserved and dated in glazed ceramics.

Our knowledgeable and friendly staff of volunteers will help them (or you!) get started, answer any questions and offer as little or as much guidance as your child needs. For groups of children, whether a birthday celebration or an outing sponsored by your organization, we will always make sure we have enough volunteers on hand to give each child personal attention.

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Latitude: 41.841027 Longitude: -90.189783 Elevation: 590 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Dee Ketelsen

Seasons Open

Open Every Season

Hours Open

Wednesday through Sunday 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. Rainbow Pottery is open Wednesday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m.


Free Admission for the Gallery. Prices vary at Rainbow Pottery.

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