Call Detail
City of Denver: East Colfax Avenue - Grant St to Columbine St
Entry Deadline: 12/7/12
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements Images:8

Call Type: Unspecified
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Unspecified

Arts & Venues Denver is seeking an artist, or artist team, for a site-specific public art commission that compliments the street improvements made along East Colfax Avenue between Grant Street & Columbine Street.

The selection panel has recommended a free-standing artwork for the site located near the intersection of Colfax Avenue, Franklin Street and Park Avenue. This commission is open to Colorado artists/artist teams working in all media. Estimated budget for artwork is $23,000.
Deadline is Friday, December 7, 5:00 PM MST.

About East Colfax Avenue
Colfax Avenue is a multi-modal, commercial and residential "main street" serving the residents, commuters, and tourists of Denver. East Colfax Avenue from Grant Street to Columbine Street is a diverse, progressive urban avenue spanning 20 blocks and serves the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, Congress Park. Ongoing revitalization continues to enhance pedestrian access along Colfax. Better Denver Bond funding enabled these improvements from Grant Street to Columbine Street, including over 130 new pedestrian lights.

Historical Significance:
Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the United States. It stretches 26 miles from Aurora, through Denver to Lakewood, Colorado. It has received titles such as “Gateway to the Rockies,” and more notoriously “the longest, wickedest street in America.”

Colfax was first called Golden Road as well as Grand Avenue and was later named after Schuyler Colfax, a powerful Indiana Congressman, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant. Initially, much of central Colfax Avenue was the wealthy and elite of Denver. The neighborhoods lining Colfax were filled with mansions. After the Silver Panic of 1893, a massive relocation to Denver's suburbs began. Many of the large homes built along Colfax were transformed into group homes or apartments; others were converted to commercial use and still hide behind deceptively modest store-fronts.

The car culture of the 1950s led to an increase in travel throughout the nation. Colfax's status as a major thoroughfare led to more tourist traffic along the street. The motels that currently line Colfax are a memory to the Highway 40 era. However, when Interstate I-70 was completed tourists no longer used Colfax as frequently and businesses and neighborhoods suffered. Over the course of 130 years, Colfax has evolved from a dusty, dirt road to a bustling trolley route and now an urban boulevard; always serving as a main street throughout the city. Take a walk along East Colfax and you will see Denver’s past, present and possibly future.

Public Art: Parameters & Goals
The Selection Panel members have set forth a set of specific goals and parameters for this public art with the hope of creating a unique and inspiring work of art to be incorporated into the fabric of the Colfax corridor:

Location: Due to limited open space along Colfax Avenue, a free-standing artwork in the green space near the intersection of Franklin Street and Park Avenue on Colfax Avenue has been recommended. Installations and sculptures of an appropriate scale and relevant materials would be considered here.

Materials & Media: The selection panel is open to three-dimensional artwork in all media and materials, including kinetic or light-based media. However, the panel notes that materials should highlight or complement the history or character of Colfax Avenue.

Appropriate & Unique: The selection panel seeks a unique, one-of-a-kind artwork for this commission that is appropriate to the color and vibrancy of the atmosphere and users of Colfax Avenue.

Durability & Maintenance: All public art projects in Colorado are exposed to weather, physical stresses and subject to vandalism and should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Semi-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 Subcommittee and the Department of Construction and Engineering to ensure conformity with City standards of maintenance and durability and ADA standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame.

By ordinance, one percent of the construction budget for the new construction of the east Colfax Avenue improvements will be dedicated to public art. For this commission, approximately $23,000 USD is available (this is inclusive of all expenses related to the creation of the artwork, including lighting (if proposed). All Colorado artists, in all mediums, including emerging artists, are encouraged to apply for this public art opportunity.

Applying for these opportunities
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit eight digital images, a résumé, and a statement of interest of no longer than 2000 characters via (CaFÉ™). From these applications, the selection panel will choose one to three semi-finalists who will be brought in for an interview with the panel. If a formal proposal is requested, the artist will be provided a $500 honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in person. Semi-finalists will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium. From the interview or proposal, artists will be selected for this commission.

Please visit for examples of recent commissions.

This project is open to artists who currently live and work in Colorado, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation or mental or physical handicap. Artists working in any media are eligible to apply. Artists are not required to have previous experience in public art. Emerging artists are encouraged to apply for this commission.

Can a team apply?
Applicant(s) may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaboration. In the case of teams, please submit a single résumé for the whole team (see details below).

Selected artists for the commission will collaborate with the Public Art Program staff and the design team for east Colfax Avenue when finalizing their designs for installation.

The budget for this commission is approximately $23,000 USD which will be allocated to the artists/team selected by the selection panel. 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, insurance, including Colorado Workers Compensation, small tools, materials, fabrication, transportation and installation, including 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 of any kind. For all work done on City property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.

Tentative Time Line
(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments):
Friday, December 7, 5:00 p.m. MDT Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
December, 2012 Semi-Finalist Selection
January, 2013 Finalist Selection
February, 2013 Finalist Notification

Project Selection Panel
According to Denver’s Public Art Policies, the Project Selection Panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The East Colfax Avenue: Grant Street – Columbine Street Selection Panel is comprised of eleven voting members and additional non-voting advisors.

Selection Process
Between one and three artists/artist teams will be selected as semi-finalists, depending on the number of responses to the RFQ. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with the design team and public art staff members. The Selection Panel will interview and/or review proposals from the semi-finalists and recommend finalists for the commission. The final recommendation of the Selection Panel will be presented to the Public Art Subcommittee, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs and Mayor Michael Hancock 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 without exception. 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 Images—In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit eight digital images of previously completed artworks through the CaFÉ™ system. Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works must submit a complete CaFÉ™ application including eight still images and written materials and then send an additional DVD of no more than five minutes to:

Arts and Venues Denver
Public Art Program: East Colfax Avenue: Grant Street – Columbine Street
Attn: Rudi Cerri
1245 Champa Street
Denver, CO 80204

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours by calling 303-629-1166 or 1-888-562-7232, or e-mail If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he may call 720-865-4302 to make arrangements to use a computer at the Arts and Venues Denver.

Statement of Interest—Please submit a statement of interest that briefly outlines your interest in the Lowry Fire Station project and experience working on projects of this kind (2000 character maximum) via CaFÉ™.

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.doc). Résumés over two pages will not be downloaded. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with one to two pages per team member.

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria