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REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS
Public Art Project
Athmar Park Library
Budget: Approximately $20,000.00 USD
Eligibility: Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Tuesday, July 18, 2023, 11:59 P.M. MST
The City of Denver’s Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create an original public artwork for the Denver Public Library: Athmar Park Branch located at 1055 S. Tejon St., Denver, CO 80223. An 11-member selection panel of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and civic leaders has been assembled to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project. The selection panel has identified one potential outdoor location for the artwork for the allocated total budget of approximately $20,000.00 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.
Athmar Park Neighborhood
Located in the west area of Denver, the Athmar Park Neighborhood is bounded by West Alameda Avenue, Federal Boulevard, West Mississippi Avenue, and the South Platte River and Interstate 25. The area that became the Athmar Park Neighborhood, was originally agricultural lands, primarily celery farms and wheat fields. The eastern portion of the neighborhood was originally part of the Town of Valverde before it was annexed into Denver. It became the official subdivision of Athmar Park in 1902, as the City of Denver slowly began annexing the area. There is some mystery as to the origins of the name, “Athmar,” however, it is thought the neighborhood was named after Athea and Mary, the wives of the first developers.
After World War II, the neighborhood experienced its first housing boom. Many of the small brick bungalows that define the area were constructed at this time. In June 1965, the South Platte River overran its banks and flooded much of Downtown Denver and surrounding areas. The flood impacted Athmar Park, consuming homes and businesses. The infamous flood was one of the worst natural disasters in Denver’s history, killing 21 people and causing more than $500 million in damages.
Today, the Athmar Park Neighborhood is a close-knit, welcoming and active community. The Athmar Park Neighborhood Association is an active registered neighborhood organization that hosts holiday parties, park play dates, picnics, a weekly running club, a farmer’s market and summer outdoor movies.
Athmar Park Library
The Athmar Park Branch Library originally opened in a storefront on South Raritan Street in 1963. The current building was built in January 1971 as the Prince of Peace Church, designed by architect William C. Muchow. The library moved into this former church in 1994 after a major remodel of the interior and exterior grounds.
The Denver Public Library Athmar Park Branch provides essential services to the people of Southwest Denver and remains a community hub where neighborhood residents come to access services, as well as programs that provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen this growing community. The branch serves a diverse service area with Spanish and Vietnamese speakers representing a large percentage of customers; families also represent a large segment of customers. The branch’s collection and programming reflect the neighborhood’s diversity and address the community’s needs and interests.
Two public artworks can be found at the branch: outside the main entrance, the “Anemotive Tower/Windsong” metal kinetic sculpture, by artist Robert Mangold and inside the library, “Beatrix Potter Characters,” painted by artist Jo Ehr.
The Athmar Park Library will undergo a renovation to better meet the needs of the community. Improvements include an addition to the building to improve the layout, views and functionality, improved staff and youth spaces, open shelving, and improvements to building systems including the HVAC, surveillance, electrical, IT, and communication systems.
William C. Muchow
William C. Muchow (known as the Dean of Architects) was a prominent architect in Denver who worked on a broad range of projects over his 40-year career. During that time, his office, Muchow Associates Architects, designed more than 800 projects, mostly in Colorado. According to the Denver Public Library’s website, Muchow was “a creative driving force that inspired many of his young proteges. Today, those individuals rank among Denver’s most successful of local architects.” The remodeling of Prince of Peace Church (which later became the Athmar Park Library Branch) in 1962 was listed in the Contemporary Architects 1994 edition as one of Muchow’s prominent designs.
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 library patrons and members of the community.
The Athmar Park Library is a community hub, and the panel would like the artwork to reflect the diversity of the neighborhood. The panel is invested in artwork that engages youth but also considers intergenerational audiences. The panel is interested in artwork that is designed at the human-scale, can serve multiple functions and can engage the senses. The neighborhood has a long-standing lowrider and cruising culture, and the panel is interested in artwork that reflects this important history and tradition.
The panel has identified the outside entry as the main area for public art. The art could be located on the left or right side of the building entrance.
Media & Materials:
The selection panel is open to three-dimensional artwork that considers the architectural significance of the building. Artworks could be created using diverse media including, but not limited to, concrete, rock and stone. 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 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.
The budget for this commission is approximately $20,000.00 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 Athmar Park Library. 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)
- July 18, 2023 11:59 P.M. MST Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
- July 2023 Finalist Selection
- September/October 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 of public art for Denver. The Athmar Park Library art selection panel is comprised of 11 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.
- 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 selection panel, Denver Public Library, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Denver 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 720-865-5564 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 DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.
Statement of Interest
Please submit a brief statement (2,000-character maximum) outlining the following:
- Your interest in the Athmar Park Library Public Art project
- Description of your general concept and design approach
- 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 when submitting the CaFÉ™ application.
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 Thursday, June 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for interested applicants. The meeting will cover project backgrounds and goals, and the application process for these two Requests for Qualifications: Athmar Park Library, and Pauline Robinson Library. 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. If you cannot attend, a recording will be available on the Denver Arts & Venues Vimeo channel.
Denver Arts & Venues complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender or language. It is your right to request oral or written language assistance services in your primary language, if needed. Please contact Amber Fochi at email@example.com and these services will be provided to you free of charge.
Who May Apply
This project is open to artists who reside in the state of Colorado. The selection panel is especially interested in artists who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the library, its users and the neighborhood, as well as the area’s history and urban landscape. 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, Two-Spirit + (LGBTQIA2S+) communities. Denver Arts & Venues also encourage 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™).
- Six digital images of past work
- 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 the Denver Public Art Program, Denver Public Library (DPL), and Department of Transportation and Infrastructure staff when finalizing their designs for installation.
Please direct all questions about the project to:
Megan Deffner, Denver Public Art Program Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-865-5564.