Call Detail
Swansea Recreation Center
Entry Deadline: 2/5/24
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 9
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado
Budget: $200,000.00


Public Art Project

Swansea Recreation Center – Exterior Artwork

Budget: Approximately $200,000.00 USD

Eligibility: Artists or Artist Teams residing in the United States

DEADLINE: Monday, February 5, 2024, 11:59 P.M. 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 Swansea Recreation Center located at 2650 East 49th Avenue, Denver, CO 80216. A 13-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 artwork for the allocated total budget of approximately $200,000.00 USD.

Denver Public Art is also hosting a virtual pre-application meeting on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 5:30 p.m. for interested applicants. The meeting will cover project background and goals, and the application process for this Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Attendees will also get information on 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.

Land Acknowledgement

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.

Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Neighborhoods

The Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods are located along the eastern bank of the South Platte River in north Denver. In addition to the river, major physical landmarks in the neighborhood include the Denver Coliseum, the National Western Center Complex, the Nestlé Purina factory, Swansea Elementary School and the newly built Central 70 Cover Park. In the mid-19th century, the area was highly valued by industry and commerce because of the flat terrain and proximity to the South Platte River. With industry, especially smelting and meat packing, came settlement, housing and a strong workforce. Industry, railroads and housing grew together over the years. Although the smelters are now gone and the meat packing industry is diminished, a strong industrial presence remains, as does an established and diverse residential community. Strong community cohesion and civic pride bolster the neighborhoods even when presented with issues that cause major challenges for quality of life, including gentrification. Many significant changes are on the neighborhoods’ immediate horizon, including new commuter rail transit stations, changes to I-70, and new development at the National Western Center Complex.

Swansea Recreation Center

The outdoor pool at the Swansea Recreation Center is aging and needs a full replacement. Rather than replace an outdoor pool that can only be used during the summer season, Denver Parks and Recreation will design and build a new indoor pool that will extend recreation possibilities for the community through all seasons. This project will provide an additional building that includes an indoor pool and support services associated with the expanded programming including office space, dressing rooms, storage and chemical rooms. This new pool will also address a significant aquatic service gap as the nearest indoor recreation center pool is nearly four miles away.

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 visit the Swansea Recreation Center.


The panel is very invested in local history, cultural diversity, community pride and resiliency. The panel hopes to see artwork(s) that reflect the rich cultures of the area, both current and historical. The recreation center serves a large population of youth and the panel hopes to commission artwork that inspires young people to explore their own creativity.  Artists should demonstrate a connection to the community and/or the recreation center, and the panel also encourages artists to incorporate a community engagement component, one that prioritizes youth engagement. While not required, the artwork could be functional, offering a dual purpose such as seating. Electricity to the site is available, providing lighting and/or kinetic opportunities for the artwork. The selection panel encourages artists who have yet to receive a public art commission to apply for this opportunity.


The panel has identified the outdoor plaza or landscape bed as the two preferred locations for artwork. Art can be sited in either or both areas. Finalists will have the opportunity to meet with the art selection panel as well as Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) and Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) staff, Denver Public Art staff, and designers on the project to ask specific questions about the site.

Media & Materials:

Artworks could be created using diverse media, including, but not limited to stone, metal, plastic, concrete and/or fiberglass; sculptural applications are preferred. The artist should consider the color scheme and architectural design of the main entry. A rendering of the main entry is provided at the end of this document. 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 American Disability Act (ADA) standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved timeframe.


The budget for this commission is approximately $200,000.00 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 Swansea Recreation Center. 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 the online application deadline, the timeline is subject to adjustments)

Monday, February 5, 2024, 11:59 P.M. MST          Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

March 2024                                                            Finalist Selection

May 2024                                                               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 Swansea Recreation Center selection panel is comprised of 12 voting members and one additional non-voting advisor. 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. 

Selection Process

  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, and Denver Public Art Program, DOTI and DPR staff. The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare a proposal and present it 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.

Application Requirements

Applying for these opportunities

In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items via (CaFÉ™).

  1. Six digital images of past work
  2. Résumé
  3. 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 the Denver Public Art Program staff, the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI), and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) when finalizing their designs for installation.

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 ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.

Digital Images

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

Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here:

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

Statement of Interest

Please submit a brief statement (2,000-character maximum) outlining the following:

  • Your interest in the Swansea Recreation Center project
  • Your relationship to or experience with the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods and/or the Swansea Recreation Center
  • 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 who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.

Eligibility Criteria

Who May Apply

This project is open to artists residing in the United States. 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.

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.

Please direct all questions about the project to:

Megan Deffner, Public Art Program Administrator,, 720-365-9326