Call Detail
Hispanic History and Heritage Project
Entry Deadline: 8/1/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 15
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 15
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Colorado
Budget: $87,000

Hispanic History and Heritage Project

Call for Artists


This project will commission 3-D, interactive, site-specific work that will celebrate the history and cultural contributions of the Hispanic community in Thornton, Colorado. The work will be challenged to move away from a monolithic approach and explore multilingual, multicultural, and multiethnic themes to bring light to the nationalities, generations, gender identities, and weave the story of the Hispanic Diaspora.

The City of Thornton, in collaboration with the Thornton Arts, Sciences and Humanities Council (TASHCO), is seeking to commission original public art for Pecos Park, a public park located in Ward 1 of Thornton, Colorado. Both parties are seeking a strong visual impact and a project that will push Thornton’s public art program into a contemporary setting.

Artists are strongly encouraged to explore contemporary materials, themes, and utilize interdisciplinary practices to meet the scope of the project in addition to unique and exciting use of technology. This project asks artists to go beyond the use of static imagery/statuary to engage visitors and activate the park with a contemporary, innovative, and permanent public art piece. Artists will be required to research the Hispanic community in the City of Thornton, and Pecos Park area, and reflect their engagement and learnings in the final design for the artwork.


The commissioned work will help build a diverse and engaging collection of public art that is personal to Thornton and informed by the community. The artwork will establish Thornton as an innovative and exciting destination city, engaged in contemporary conversations on art and culture. It will also pay homage to the historic and present Hispanic community in Thornton, CO.

Site Location and Footprint

This project is part of the Council-approved, 5-year public art plan and has been assigned to Pecos Park in Ward 1. The park includes a small skatepark, picnic gathering area, and playground. It is located in a historical and current majority Hispanic community.

Additional and specific site details will be provided to semifinalists.

Objective and Key Themes

Prior to 2018, Thornton’s public art collection utilized similar materials (masonry and bronze). In 2020, emphasis was put on cutting-edge design, viewer activation, and a piece’s relation to physical space. Successful artists will challenge themselves to think creatively and "outside the box" in order to engage viewers and expand art in Thornton through use of contemporary design, materials, and technology. Click links below to learn more about the city's commission process and view other projects that have been approved by Thornton City Council:

1.      Public Art Commission Process

2.      Current Public Art Projects


Applicants will ensure to meet the scope of this project in addition to the following:

1.      The movement, safety and security of visitors are a priority.

2.      Materials used must be durable for Colorado’s climate and require little and/or easy maintenance.

3.      Detailed engineering drawings (stamped by a local Colorado engineer) for artwork will be needed whether or not there are any connections to existing infrastructure/landscaping (electricity, engineering, irrigation, etc.).

4.      Designs need to account for additional external factors which may affect the condition of the artwork in addition to other precautionary measures (e.g., direct sunlight, extremes of annual rain or snowfall, fluctuating temperatures, air moisture or dryness, acidity of rainfall, flooding, wind, vibrations, air pollutants, vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic; animal interaction with artwork – potential for nesting, droppings, etc.; and human interaction with artwork – touching, sitting, climbing, vandalism).

5.      The award winner will be required to coordinate installation activities with City of Thornton staff and subcontractors as needed.

6.      Award winners will be required to provide detailed records, guidelines, and procedures to assist staff with future maintenance and repair.

7.      Design cannot contain business promotions or advertisements.

8.      Design cannot include any breach of intellectual property, brands, trademarks, or depictions of illegal activities.

9.      Artists do not need to include the City of Thornton logo in their design(s).

10.   The design must be family friendly.

11.   Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.


The project budget is $87,000, which is inclusive of the artist's fee, materials, fabrication and execution of work, equipment rentals, licenses, permits, insurance, etc.

This project is made possible through funding provided by the Adams County Open Space Sales Tax. The Open Space Sales Tax was approved by Adams County voters in 1999 as a 1/5 of one percent sales tax authorized through 2006. In 2004, voters approved an increase to ¼ of one percent, or 25 cents on a $100 purchase, and extended the sales tax through 2026. Proceeds from the sales tax benefit parks, recreation, trails, and open space projects countywide.

Review Process and Approval

The public art process facilitated by Thornton staff will be split into several rounds. Reviews and selections are done by community stakeholders who donate their time to ensure that the commission process is fair and meets the needs of the community. We thank artists in advance for their patience.

Round 1: Portfolio Review  

The panel will review portfolios of artists' recent work. Applicants are required to submit images of work that highlight their diverse skills and experience. Artists are not required to submit conceptual designs but can choose to include them in this first review. Artists who don’t submit concepts for the site will not be penalized.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Artists who have not thoroughly read and/or do not meet the requirements of this call will also not be considered.

Round 2: Semi Finalist Deliberation

The panel will meet to discuss top scores and advocate for their favorite applicants. Up to three semifinalists may be identified for a project. Panel members will make a motion and approve the semifinalists. Semifinalists will be issued a modest honorarium to create a site-specific proposal.

Round 3: Design Presentations

Semifinalists will be invited to present their proposal to the panel via Zoom. This gives the artist an opportunity to address any questions or concerns. Semifinalists will produce a well-researched and thorough, site-specific proposal that meets the needs of the project in addition to the following:

  • Final design
  • Artist statement and project narrative
  • 3D rendering and/or images of final piece within the physical space (context)
  • Itemized budget, including insurance, travel, install, foundational, and contractor costs
  • Estimated engineering, production, fabrication, and installation schedule
  • Preferred pay schedule
  • Materials list including supplier information
  • Warranty information
  • Maintenance information, including procedures, timelines, and future cost estimates

NOTE: Proposals are due to Hannah Leathers, Thornton Public Art Coordinator, one week before the scheduled presentations. Incomplete or late proposals will not be accepted.

Round 4: Final Deliberation

Each panel member will discuss each design and cast a final vote. Artist presenters will be scored on the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality
  • Project feasibility
  • Community activation/engagement
  • Project goals
  • Overall proposal

Round 5: Council Recommendation and Final Approval

Once a finalist has been identified, the recommendation process will begin. Please note that no project is officially awarded without final approval from Thornton City Council.

The finalist recommendation and concept will be presented by the panel to the Thornton Arts Sciences and Humanities Council (TASHCO) for approval prior to City Council review. If approved, TASHCO will present the recommendation to Thornton City Council which may 1) request additional information to support the public art recommendation at that time or 2) approve the award. Upon final approval from Thornton City Council, the award winner will begin the contract and purchasing agreement process with the city of Thornton.

NOTE: If a significant amount of time has passed after Thornton City Council approval of the finalist recommendation and/or the approved design has changed from its original concept for any reason, staff is required to present the recommended design to City Council for approval before work can proceed.


Below are important 2023 project dates. Staff will communicate any changes to applicants via email as needed.

  • Open Call: June 30 - August 1, 2023
  • Round 1 & 2: Mid to late August 2023
  • Round 3 & 4: Late October 2023
  • TASHCO Approval: November 2023
  • Council Approval: December 2023

The commissioned piece will have a final project deadline of December 31, 2024.

The finalist will be asked to submit the following:

  • Implementation schedule
  • Itemized budget including shipping, insurance and installation costs.
  • Project narrative
  • Materials list (including supplier information)
  • Warranty information
  • Maintenance information (including procedures, timeline, and estimated city costs)
  • Contractors (if applicable)

Additional Questions?

Please contact Hannah Leathers, Public Art Coordinator at 720-977-5881 or    

Application Requirements

Please include all of the following materials to secure your place in the first review:

  1. Portfolio: 4 - 15 images of existing work. Please ensure this work showcases your creativity, and ability to meet the demands of this project scope.
  2. Statement: Written statement or video detailing your creative process, drive, and/or philosophy.
  3. Resume/CV with references

Eligibility Criteria

This is an opportunity to create a piece that will not only spark conversations, but, have a positive impact on all who visit this space. Requirements for the final proposals and selected artist are as follows:

  • Cohesive and forward-thinking design that applies to the designated area(s).
  • Dynamic use of color, composition and style elements that create a strong visual impact.
  • Experience and/or ability to produce large scale fabrication and installation of impactful, landmark works.
  • Holistic and nontraditional approach to place-making and (re)activation of a physical space with consideration to viewing in all seasons, special consideration of Colorado’s intense weather conditions.
  • Strong understanding of the role artists play in a growing city and the positive effect art has on public space and community identity.
  • Strong understanding of audience/viewer engagement and activation.
  • Understanding of the specialized needs and materials for durable, long-lasting outdoor public artwork.
  • Ability to present well-researched and prepared proposals to a committee of stakeholders which include residents, elected officials, and city staff.
  • Ability to meet the needs of a community and site within the allotted budget and timeframe.
  • Understanding and commitment to the diversity and unique character that make the city of Thornton a special place to live, work, and play.
  • Experience researching or socially engaging with local communities in public art processes.
  • Priority will be given to applicants with lived experience as a Hispanic person.