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REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS
Public Art Project
The Urban Farm in Denver
Budget: Estimated at $100,000.00 USD
Eligibility: Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, 11:59 pm MST
The City of Denver’s Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create original public artwork(s) for The Urban Farm located at 10200 Smith Rd., in the Central Park neighborhood of Denver, CO. An 11-member selection panel of community representatives, arts and design 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 two outdoor locations within the farm property for potential artworks and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately $100,000.00 USD.
Central Park Neighborhood
Central Park is a neighborhood northeast of downtown Denver. The neighborhood is located on the former site of the decommissioned Stapleton International Airport, which closed in 1995. It is the largest neighborhood within the city of Denver and the land is comprised of a variety of land uses, mostly suburban residential development, light industrial, former agricultural and open space. The Central Park Neighborhood contains 12 specifically named sub-neighborhoods, 11 schools and 50 parks. In 2021, the population was estimated at 27,000.
The Urban Farm
The Urban Farm strives to provide the opportunity for urban youth to engage and participate in local food and agricultural systems by removing the barriers to entry such as land access, time, location and finances. The Urban Farm began in 1993 when its founders started a program for 15 youth to learn about horses at a private farm. The Urban Farm has since moved to its present-day location in Denver on a vast 23-acre property uniquely located on the old airport’s former weather station. The farm has since expanded its programming to include animal husbandry and horticulture in addition to equestrian activities and serves more than 22,500 individuals annually as of 2021.
The property is adjacent to the Sand Creek Greenway and near Denver’s Central Park. This prairie land was historically inhabited by the Arapahoe, Cheyenne and Ute tribes.
The Urban Farm inspires excitement for learning through practical work experience in a farm setting while fostering respect, responsibility, curiosity, caring and grit. The Urban Farm was established and is maintained by The Urban Farm, a Colorado non-profit corporation, for the people of the City and County of Denver and for the general public in cooperation with the Denver Parks and Recreation Department.
For more information about The Urban Farm please visit: https://www.theurbanfarm.org/
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 the diverse communities that visit The Urban Farm.
The panel is very invested in cultural diversity, local history and sustainability, and aspires to create gathering spaces that are inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all. The panel hopes to see artwork(s) that reflect the rich cultures of the area, both current and historical. The artwork(s) should be welcoming and interactive, and have an educational or agricultural focus. The works could also be playful and kid-friendly as well as functional. Artists should consider the unique location of the farm and accessibility for visitors and staff, and consider incorporating a vertical element to promote visibility from within and outside the farm property. Any lighting or other electrical needs should be solar- or wind-generated.
The panel has identified two main areas as potential sites for public art. The first is the main community event area, near the entrance to the farm. The second is the children’s area, where families and youth meet for activities. Selected finalists have the opportunity for a site visit and will be able to meet with the art selection panel as well as Denver Public Art and Urban Farm staff to ask specific questions about the two sites. Artists can decide to propose for either one or both of the sites.
Media & Materials:
Artworks could be created using diverse media including, but not limited to, paint, sculpture, and mosaic applications. Durability and ease of maintenance are important at these locations. Works that are engaging and help to tell the story of the land and the goals of The Urban Farm, are encouraged. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display.
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 and County 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.
Applying for these opportunities
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items via www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™).
- Six digital images of past work
- Statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters
From these applications, the selection panel will choose three 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 the Public Art Program staff, City of Denver Parks & Recreation staff and The Urban Farm staff when finalizing their designs for installation.
The budget for this commission is approximately $100,000.00 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 Urban Farm. 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)
- Monday, August 29, 2022, 11:59 pm MST - Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
- September 2022 - Finalist Selection
- October 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 and acquisition of public art for Denver. The Urban Farm art selection panel is comprised of 11 voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria for a request for qualifications, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing finalists, and finally for selecting an artist or artist team for the commission.
Three artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the sites and have the opportunity to meet with community members from the art selection panel, Denver Parks & Recreation representatives, Urban Farm staff and Public Art Program staff. The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare the proposal and present it in person or virtually.
The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist/artist team for the commission.
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.
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 (www.callforentry.org). There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.
In 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 https://www.callforentry.org/uploading-images-audio-and-video-files/.
Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here: https://www.callforentry.org/artist-help-cafe/.
If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he/they may call 720-865-5575 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 DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org
Statement of Interest
Please submit a brief statement (2,000-character maximum) outlining the following:
- Your interest in The Urban Farm public art project
- Your design approach and experience working on projects of this kind
- Please also include information on your experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders
Submit 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.
Applicants will also be required to fill out a short demographic survey that will be sent to the email on file from the CaFÉ™ application.
Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.
Please direct all questions about the project to:
Meg Pursell, Public Art Program Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-865-5576
Denver Public Art is also hosting a virtual pre-application meeting on Wednesday, August 10, 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: Green Valley Ranch, Federal Boulevard and 25th Avenue, and the Urban Farm. Attendees will also get information on CallForEntry.org 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.
Who May Apply
This project is open to artists who reside in the state of Colorado. We are committed to building a public art collection that represents a broad diversity of artists based on race, ethnicity, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age and disability. The selection panel is especially interested in artists who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the farm’s mission, and the area’s history and urban landscape, as well as creating work(s) in context with current social, cultural and environmental events.
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.