Call Detail
Wastewater Management Building
Entry Deadline: 7/26/22
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Colorado
Budget: 55,000.00 USD

Public Art Project
Wastewater Management Building
Budget: $55,000.00 USD
Eligibility: Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 11:59 pm MST 

The City of Denver’s Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create an original public artwork, or series of artworks, for the Wastewater Management Building project located at 2000 W. 3rd Ave., Denver, CO 80223. A 10-member selection panel of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and civic leaders has been assembled to identify art opportunities, and to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project. The selection panel has identified the entry plaza of the Wastewater Management Building for potential art opportunities and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately $55,000.00 USD.

Valverde Neighborhood
The Valverde Neighborhood is located on the west side of Denver, just west of I-25 and the South Platte River. The name “Valverde” means “green valley” from the Spanish, valle (valley) and verde (green). European settlers saw the beautiful green area buffering the South Platte River as a valley of flourishing green, natural vegetation and trees. 

From the earliest inhabitants to the European settlers, the Valverde area has changed dramatically over the years. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the South Platte watershed was the ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute nations; and several other indigenous nations have historic ties to this area including the Apache, Comanche and Shoshone. When prospectors discovered gold in 1858, thousands of gold-seekers traveled west, and eventually indigenous nations were forcibly removed from their lands. In 1888, the Town of Valverde was incorporated and quickly established municipal buildings including a town hall, jail and school. A modest business district formed along West Alameda Avenue east of Tejon Street. In 1902, the City and County of Denver was created, and Valverde was incorporated into the new city.

Today, the Valverde neighborhood is home to a community that predominantly self-identifies as Latino, and is comprised of a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses. Most of the industrial use is concentrated in the northeast section of the neighborhood near the I-25 and 6th Avenue Freeway interchange. Alameda Avenue to the south and Federal Boulevard to the west are the main thoroughfares that skirt the boundaries of the neighborhood, and where most commercial use is concentrated. Many of the residential lots are single-family homes, mostly located in the eastern and southern sections of the neighborhood.

Wastewater Management Division
Part of the larger 33-acre Central Platte Campus, Denver’s Wastewater Management Division (WMD) was established in 1966. In the almost 60 years since, it has grown to more than 300 employees and is the base location for over 200 operations and fleet vehicles. The WMD is responsible for planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the city’s storm and sanitary sewer systems. It maintains more than 1,500 miles of sanitary sewer and 800 miles of storm drainage facilities. WMD is home to the Operations, Engineering and Finance & Administration sections of the Division. The building is open to the public, but currently all permitting and bill payment processing has been moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is discussion about reopening the permitting counter, but no decisions have been made as of the date of this RFQ.

Additionally, the Wastewater Management Division is home to other sections of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) including Street Maintenance and Improvement and Solid Waste. The Street Maintenance and Improvement team repairs and improves public streets with services that include paving, pothole patching, curb and gutter repairs, and curb ramp installation. Solid Waste is responsible for trash, recycling and compost collection, household hazardous waste, graffiti abatement, and more.

What is the building’s architectural style?
The building’s use of concrete materials is reminiscent of the great public works projects constructed throughout the nation during the 1930s, influenced by iconic art-deco style architecture of the period such as the Rockefeller Center and Empire State Building. Vertical lines and tall narrow windows deliberately emphasize the building’s height to create a sense of identity for the civic complex and to dramatically contrast with the network of highways and ramps at the interchange of I-25 and 6th Avenue.[1]

Goals, Site, Media & Materials
The selection panel members have set forth specific goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating unique and inspiring works of art for employees who report to the building daily.

The panel is invested in creating a space for employees of the building to gather and take pride in; one that is inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all. The panel is committed to celebrating the civic complex, and elevating staff voices and the important work they do every day. The panel hopes to see artwork(s) that celebrate and complement the architectural style of the building. The building is adjacent to the South Platte River and there is an opportunity to tell the story of wastewater management and the processes of returning water to the environment safely, as well as the story of climate change and its impact on wastewater management. Artists should also consider the existing artwork on the eastside of the building and how it could relate to the new work(s). 

The panel has identified the entrance plaza as the preferred location for art. The plaza is currently considered somewhat stark and unwelcoming. Artwork in this location could enliven the space and provide a sense of welcome for those visiting or reporting to the building.

Media & Materials:
Artworks could be created using diverse media including, but not limited to, paint, sculpture, and mosaic applications. Works that are engaging and help to tell the story of the building, neighborhood and surrounding communities are encouraged. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display, although is not looking for murals.

Maintenance & Durability
As this permanent artwork will be accessioned into the Denver Public Art collection, all applicants must consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art, along with time and budget. These projects are in the public realm and may therefore be exposed to physical stresses, as well as be subject to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Finalists are encouraged to consult with a professional conservator prior to the submission of a final proposal. Artist proposals awarded contracts will be reviewed by the City of Denver’s Public Art Committee to ensure conformity with city standards of maintenance and durability, as well as ADA standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame.

Who May Apply
This project is open to artists that reside in the state of Colorado. The City and County of Denver is committed to building a public art collection that represents artists from a broad diversity of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, and mental or physical disability. The selection panel is especially interested in artists who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the building’s occupants and the neighborhood, as well as the area’s history and urban landscape. 

Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group.  If applying as a team, please submit one résumé for the team, with no more than one page per team member.

Applying for these opportunities
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items via (CaFÉ™).

  1. Six digital images of past work
  2. Résumé
  3. Statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters

From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five finalists who will create site-specific proposals and be interviewed in-person or virtually. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. Artists/teams selected as finalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form for their proposals to be considered, which will be provided upon notification. As directed by Executive Order 101, this form must be submitted for all city solicitations of proposals. Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program staff can provide guidance on filling out this form.

Based on the interview and proposal, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission. The selected artist or artist team will work with Public Art Program and Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) staff when finalizing their designs for installation.


The budget for this commission is approximately $55,000.00 USD which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s 1% Percent for Public Art Ordinance resulting from improvements made to the Wastewater Management Building. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to, the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering consultation, insurance (including Colorado Workers Compensation), tools, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, any building or site modification required, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. For all work done on City property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.

(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments)

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 11:59 P.M. MST                  Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
August 2022                                                             Finalist Selection
December 2022                                                        Selected Artist or Artist Team Notification

Project Selection Panel
According to Denver’s Public Art policy, the project selection panel plays an active role in the commission of public art for Denver. The Waste Management Building art selection panel is comprised of 10 voting members. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria for a request for qualifications, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing finalists, and selecting an artist or artist team for the commission.  

Selection Process

  1. Three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with community members from the art selection panel, Denver Transportation and Infrastructure representatives, and Denver Public Art Program staff. The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare the proposal and present it in-person or virtually.
  2. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist/artist team for the commission.
  3. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Public Art Committee, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs and the mayor of Denver for final approval.

*All decisions of the City and County of Denver are final.

Please direct all questions about the project to:
Megan Deffner, Public Art Program Administrator,, 720-865-5564.

[1] P Denver WW. Barber Architecture. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2022, from

Application Requirements

Materials to be Submitted
Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.

All materials must be submitted online, via the CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.

Digital ImagesIn order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six digital images of previously completed artworks through the online CaFÉ™ system. Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works must submit a complete CaFÉ™ application and will have the opportunity to upload one video file.

IMPORTANT: If submitting audio or video files, do not use them as your very first image. They must be submitted last in your image sequence.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at

Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here:

If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he/they may call 720-865-5564 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues. To request this RFQ in an alternate format (such as Braille, large print or accessible electronic format) please contact

Statement of InterestPlease submit a brief statement (2,000-character maximum) outlining the following:

·        Your interest in the Waste Management Building public art project
·        Description of your general concept and design approach
·        Please also include information on your experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders

RésuméSubmit a one to two-page current résumé via CaFÉ™ that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist. Please name your résumé file accordingly: Last name.First initial (i.e. Smith.J.pdf).  Résumés that are more than two pages will not be downloaded. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with no more than one page per team member.

SurveyApplicants will also be required to fill out a short demographic survey that will be sent to the email on file from the CaFÉ™ application.

References – Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.

Denver Public Art is also hosting a virtual pre-application meeting on Wednesday, July 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for interested applicants. The meeting will cover project backgrounds and goals, and the application process for these three Requests for Qualifications: Bible Park Playground, Larimer Bridge – Connecting Auraria, and the Wastewater Management Building. Attendees will also get information on through which artists may apply. This event will be hosted on Zoom. Interested applicants are asked to register to get information on how to join prior to the event.

Eligibility Criteria

Who May Apply
This project is open to artists that reside in the state of Colorado. The City and County of Denver is committed to building a public art collection that represents artists from a broad diversity of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, and mental or physical disability. The selection panel is especially interested in artists who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the building’s occupants and the neighborhood, as well as the area’s history and urban landscape.

Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group.  If applying as a team, please submit one résumé for the team, with no more than one page per team member.