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REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (en español)
Public Art Project
Sand Creek Trail
Budget: Approximately $60,000.00 USD
Eligibility: Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Monday, August 14, 2023, 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 Sand Creek Trail in Denver, CO. A 10-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 a location for potential artworks and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately $60,000.00 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.
Sand Creek Regional Greenway
The Sand Creek Regional Greenway (SCRG) is a 13.5-mile regional trail that spans the cities of Aurora, Denver and Commerce City, as well as Adams and Arapahoe counties. Its creation was a shared effort between neighborhood associations and environmental groups, non-profit organizations, city and county governments, and passionate residents. In 1997, the Sand Creek Regional Greenway was designated a Legacy Project by Greater Outdoors Colorado. The SCRG non-profit organization was formed the following year to continue fundraising and to manage greenway development across jurisdictions. The trail officially opened in 2002 and was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2012.
There are seven Sand Creeks found throughout Colorado. Though the greenway is not named after the Sand Creek Massacre, it is essential to acknowledge that its name continues to serve as a reminder to massacre survivors and their descendants. Applicants can learn more from Arapaho, Cheyenne and Arapaho-Cheyenne communities in collaboration with History Colorado here.
Sand Creek Regional Greenway Trail Improvements
Cities along the Greenway continue to develop trails within their boundary lines in partnership with SCRG. In 2016, the Denver Segment Master Plan set forth plans within the City and County of Denver. The most recent improvements include a three-mile paved trail from Peoria Street to Quebec Street, with an improved parking lot at the Smith Road trailhead. The Smith Road trailhead is a connection point between nearby residential areas, industrial and commercial spaces, non-profit organizations like The Urban Farm, and facilities like the Denver County Jail. The trailhead also reflects the significant transformation of the region due to ongoing development. Communities who have lived in adjacent residential areas for years have fond childhood memories of the creek and nearby lake.
In addition to trail modernization, the restoration of native plant species and riparian wildlife habitat is also a priority. Cottonwood trees, cattails, milkweed, bees, butterflies, toads, waterfowl, mule deer and coyotes are among the many flora and fauna living along the waterway.
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 enjoy the Sand Creek Regional Trail.
- Artwork should celebrate cultural diversity and richness, local history, and stories of the land.
- Artwork should embrace the powerful connections between wildlife, plant life and humans.
- Artwork should be inclusive and accessible, and enjoyed in multiple ways by engaging senses like touch, sound and sight to captivate people of all ages and abilities.
- Artwork should be approachable and fun.
- Artwork should be a destination where trail users can gather.
The panel has identified two potential sites for public art. One potential location is near the trailhead adjacent to the Smith Road parking lot. A second location is at a nearby trail intersection. All sites, regardless of location, will require selected artists or artist teams to coordinate and communicate closely with the design team. Selected finalists will have the opportunity for site visits and to meet with the art selection panel, Denver Public Art staff and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) members to ask specific questions about the preferred sites.
Media & Materials:
Artworks could be created using diverse media, including, but not limited to: reliefs, sound elements and sculptural applications. Durability and ease of maintenance are important at these locations. Works that are engaging and help to tell the stories of the area are highly encouraged. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials 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 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.
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 guide you in 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 Denver Public Art Program staff and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) when finalizing their designs for installation.
The budget for this commission is approximately USD $60,000.00 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 Sand Creek Trail project. 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), 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 performed on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.
(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments)
Monday, August 14, 11:59 p.m. MST Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
August 2023 Finalist Selection
September 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 acquisition of public art for the City and County of Denver. The Sand Creek Trail art selection panel is comprised of 10 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 to five 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 Public Art Program staff, and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR). The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare a 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.
All meetings are held virtually via the Microsoft Teams platform. Selected artists and artist teams will be expected to download the free Microsoft Teams app and schedule platform testing prior to any presentations and interviews.
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 Denver Arts & Venues at DAVLanguageAccess@denvergov.org and these services will be provided to you free of charge.
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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 720-865-5576 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 Sand Creek Trail project
- Your design approach and experience working on public art projects
- 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 located within this CaFÉ™ application.
Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.
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, July 17th, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for interested applicants. The meeting will cover project backgrounds and goals, and the application process for this Requests for Qualification. 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.
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, Two-Spirit+ (LGBTQIA2S+) communities. Denver Arts & Venues also encourages applicants at various stages in their career and applicants practicing a variety of artistic disciplines.