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REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (en español)
Public Art Project
Joseph P. Martínez Park
Budget: Approximately USD 100,000.00
Eligibility: Open to artists or artist teams residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Monday, October 2, 2023, 11:59 P.M. MST
The Denver Public Art Program is seeking to commission an artist or a team of artists to design a unique public art experience for Joseph (Joe) P. Martínez Park in Denver, CO. An 11-member selection panel of community representatives, arts and design experts, and civic leaders has been has been assembled to identify art opportunities and to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project. The artwork should embody the spirit, bravery and courage of Private Joe Pantillion Martínez. The committee has identified the Joe P. Martínez Memorial Plaza as a possible site for public art, with a total allocated budget of approximately $100,000.00 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 acknowledgment 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.
Villa Park Neighborhood
The Villa Park Neighborhood in Denver is set on undulating terrain that provides sweeping views of downtown Denver and the majestic Rocky Mountains. This community is nestled in West Denver, roughly two miles away from the heart of Downtown Denver. Natural features like Lakewood/Dry Gulch define its borders, and there are various parks adorning its path through the neighborhood along the waterways.
Villa Park's cultural heritage is embodied in its diverse populace. According to 2017 data, the neighborhood boasts a 70 percent Latino population with a significant immigrant community, which underlines its cultural diversity. These demographics enhance the neighborhood's multicultural environment, which can be observed in local businesses, food, festivals and community events. Villa Park is a lively and energetic community with a wide array of age groups, notably a considerable number in the 25-34 age bracket. The FasTracks light rail system, completed in 2013, facilitates seamless connectivity between the neighborhood and the rest of the city.
Private Joe P. Martínez
Private Joe Pantillion Martínez (July 27, 1920 – May 26, 1943) was a United States Army soldier from Taos, New Mexico. During World War II, he distinguished himself through his courageous actions on the Aleutian Islands. The remote Aleutian Islands, home to the Unangax̂ (Aleut) people for more than 8,000 years, became a contested battleground in the Pacific during the war. This thousand-mile-long archipelago saw invasion by Japanese forces, the occupation of two islands, a mass relocation of Unangax̂ civilians, and one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific. Martínez is particularly known for his brave assault on enemy foxholes under intense fire, an act which ultimately cost him his life. In recognition of his heroism and sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration in the United States. He notably holds the distinction of being the first Hispanic American to receive this honor for combat heroism on U.S. soil during World War II.
Joseph P. Martínez Park
Situated in the culturally diverse and multigenerational Villa Park neighborhood in West Denver, the valued Joseph P. Martínez Park is a vital asset. Spanning 12 acres and nestled alongside Lakewood Gulch, this park represents a crucial component of the more comprehensive open space network and contributes significantly to the regional trail experience. It's exhilarating to witness the community-driven master plan adeptly reimagining the park, harmoniously integrating Lakewood Gulch's ecological traits with opportunities for active recreation and play, as well as historical and cultural landmarks. The design for the park skillfully weaves together the community's cultural heritage with prospects for health, wellness and recreation with the site's natural characteristics and biodiversity, resulting in a rejuvenated space for leisure, relaxation and contemplation.
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 users of the park.
The selection panel, deeply invested in cultural diversity and local history, aims to create a gathering space that is inclusive, accessible and engaging. The artwork should encapsulate the spirit, bravery and courage of Private Martínez, and importantly, it should be experienced with multiple senses, offering a deeper, more immersive connection. The intent of this project, however, is not to be a direct representation or a memorial to Private Martínez. The goal is to draw from the inspiration of his values and life. The panel is interested in inviting artists, particularly those new to public artwork and the public art process, and especially those aspiring to transition into sculptural work, to apply for this opportunity.
The selection panel has identified the Joe P. Martínez tribute plaza as a prospective location for public art. Serving as the primary entrance to the park, the tribute plaza captivates visitors with its vibrant colors, an assortment of flora and blossoms, winding seating walls, and multiple informative panels that delve into the history and importance of Joe P. Martínez. Situated beyond the plaza is the event pavilion, used daily, which offers a panoramic view of both the lawn and the plaza, fostering interaction with these spaces.
Media & Materials:
Artworks could be created using diverse media including, but not limited to, sculpture, paint and mosaic applications. Durability and ease of maintenance are essential at these locations. 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 and be subject to potential vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Finalists are encouraged to consult a professional conservator before submitting 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 and American Disability Act (ADA) standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and complete work within 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 applicants, 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 Denver Public Art program staff, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) when finalizing their designs for installation.
The budget for this commission is approximately $100,000.00 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 Joseph P. Martínez Park 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 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, a contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. For all work done on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.
(Except for the online application deadline, the timeline is subject to adjustments)
Monday, October 2, 2023, 11:59 P.M. MST Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
October 2023 Finalist Selection
December 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 the City and County of Denver. The Joseph P. Martínez Park selection panel is comprised of 11 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 selecting an artist or artist team for the commission.
1. 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 selection panel, Denver Public Art Program staff and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR). The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare and present a proposal in person or virtually.
2. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist/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.
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.
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 for applying or using 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 720-865-5562 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 Joseph P. Martínez Park 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 that will be part of the CaFÉ™ application.
Applicants selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.
Rudi Cerri, Public Art Program Manager, email@example.com, 522-08-7295
Denver Public Art is also hosting a virtual pre-application meeting on Wednesday, September 18th, 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 or artist teams residing 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.