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Denver Central 70 Cover Park “Bookends” Public Art Project
Budget: $200,000.00 USD for two sculpture locations
Eligibility: Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Thursday, December 15, 2022, 11:59 pm MST
The City and County of Denver’s Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create two original public artworks for the Central 70 Cover Park, located between Columbine and Clayton streets over Interstate 70 (I-70), in Denver, CO. A 16-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 “bookends” in the park for artworks and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately $200,000.00 USD.
We acknowledge that the land Denver’s Public Art Collection occupies - - land where we stand, live, work and learn - - is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado. Our nation was founded upon, and continues to enact, exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples. May this acknowledgement demonstrate a commitment to dismantling ongoing legacies of oppression and inequities, as we intentionally honor and celebrate the Indigenous communities in our city and express our gratitude for their ongoing and significant contributions. Let’s not forget that this land was theirs long before we made it ours.
About the Central 70 Project
The Central 70 Project reconstructs a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, adds one new Express Lane in each direction, removes the aging 57-year-old viaduct, lowers the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and places a four-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate. The four-acre park over the highway will reconnect the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods and incorporate public art. The construction will be complete by the end of 2022.
About the Public Park
As part of the Central 70 Project, a four-acre park between Columbine and Clayton streets will be constructed over I-70 and serve as an active, vibrant community asset with opportunities for sporting events, outdoor movies, concerts, farmers markets and more. The park includes an amphitheater, walking paths, garden areas, a soccer field, splash pad, tot lot and playground. It is also directly adjacent to Swansea Elementary School. Columbine and Clayton streets will cross the park on either end with additional park features on the outer edges of each street.
Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Neighborhoods
The Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods are located along the eastern bank of the South Platte River in north Denver. In addition to the river, major physical landmarks in the neighborhood include the Denver Coliseum, the National Western Complex, the Nestlé Purina factory, and the Swansea Elementary School. In the mid-19th century, the area was highly valued by industry and commerce because of the flat terrain and proximity to the South Platte River. With industry, especially smelting and meat packing, came settlement, housing and a strong workforce. Industry, railroads and housing grew together over the years. Although the smelters are now gone and the meat packing industry is diminished, a strong industrial presence remains, as does an established and diverse residential community. Strong community cohesion and civic pride bolster the neighborhoods even when presented with issues that cause major challenges for their quality of life, including gentrification. Many significant changes are on the neighborhoods’ immediate horizon, including new commuter rail transit stations, changes to I-70, and new development at the National Western Complex.
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 will visit the Central 70 Cover Park.
The panel is very invested in cultural diversity, local history and community resiliency, and aspires to create gathering spaces that are inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all. The panel hopes to see artworks that reflect the rich cultures of the area, both current and historical. The artworks should demonstrate a connection to the community and be inspiring, inter-generational and innovative, and have an educational focus. The works could also be playful and kid-friendly. Artists should consider the unique location of the park and accessibility for all. Electricity to the site is not available, therefore any lighting or other electrical needs should be solar- or wind-generated.
The panel has identified two “bookend” locations area for sculptural works. One sculpture will be located on the Columbine Street end of the park and one sculpture on the Clayton Street end of the park. Renderings are attached at the end of this document. Finalists will have the opportunity to meet with the selection panel as well as Colorado Department of Transportation and Denver Parks and Recreation staff, Denver Public Art staff and designers on the project to ask specific questions about the site.
Media & Materials:
Artworks could be created using diverse media. Durability and ease of maintenance are important at this location. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display.
Maintenance & Durability
This artwork will become a permanent addition to 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 will be exposed to physical stresses, as well as being subject to potential 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.
Who May Apply
This project is open to artists who reside in the state of Colorado. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to building a public art collection that represents a broad diversity of artists and encourages applicants from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities including artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, People of Color (BILPOC), people with disabilities, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, asexual, + (LGBTQIA+) communities. Denver Arts & Venues also encourages applicants at various stages in their career and applicants practicing a variety of artistic disciplines.
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 www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™).
1. Six digital images of past work
3. 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 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 Colorado Department of Transportation and Denver Parks and Recreation representatives, as well as Denver Public Art staff when finalizing their designs for installation.
Diversity and Inclusiveness
Denver Executive Order No. 101 establishes strategies between the City and private industry to use diversity and inclusiveness to promote economic development in the City and County of Denver and to encourage more businesses to compete for City contracts and procurements. The Executive Order requires, among other things, the collection of certain information regarding the practices of the City’s contractors and consultants toward diversity and inclusiveness and encourages/requires City agencies to include diversity and inclusiveness policies in selection criteria in solicitations for City services or goods when legally permitted. Diversity and Inclusiveness means inviting values, perspectives and contributions of people from diverse backgrounds, and integrates diversity into its hiring and retention policies, training opportunities, and business development methods to provide an equal opportunity for each person to participate, contribute and succeed within the organization’s workplace. “Diversity” encompasses a wide variety of human differences, including differences such as race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical disabilities, appearance, and historically underutilized and disadvantaged persons, as well as social identities such as religion, marital status, socio-economic status, lifestyle, education, parental status, geographic background, language ability and veteran status.
The budget for this commission is approximately $200,000.00 USD for both sites, which will be allocated to the artist or artist team selected. 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)
Thursday, December 15, 2022, 11:59 pm MST - Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
February 2023 - Finalist Selection
May 2023 - 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 Central 70 Cover Park selection panel is comprised of 11 voting members and five 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.
1. Three artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding both sites and have the opportunity to meet with community members from the selection panel, Colorado Department of Transportation and Denver Parks and Recreation representatives, as well as Denver Public Art Program staff. The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare the proposal and present it virtually.
2. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist or 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:
Brendan Picker, Public Art Program Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-865-5563
Materials to be Submitted
Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications can 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.
Digital Images—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 720-865-5563 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 Central 70 Cover Park 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
Résumé—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.
Survey – 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.
References – Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.
Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado