Call Detail

7/20 Memorial, Aurora, CO

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado
Entry Deadline: 2/6/17
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 8, Maximum: 10
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 8, Maximum: 10

The city of Aurora, CO and the 7/20 Memorial Foundation are working in partnership to honor those whose lives were lost or changed forever as a result of the tragic events of July 20, 2012. During a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” a lone gunman killed 12 people and injured 70 at a movie theatre in the heart of the community. This tribute is planned in the form of a memorial situated within a reflection garden and is intended as a place where the community and those affected by loss can remember loved ones, seek comfort, strength, peace and hope.


The city of Aurora has provided a site within the city’s model demonstration garden located at the Aurora Municipal Center. The city is building the surrounding garden, while the Memorial Foundation, a private non-profit, is focused on fundraising for the actual memorial and additional special features to enhance the site. The 7/20 Memorial Foundation includes family members of victims, survivors and others directly affected by the tragedy. The 7/20 Memorial and Reflections Garden will honor not only loved ones lost, but also the strength of survivors, heroes, the community, and all those affected by this tragedy, and by loss.


The Reflections Garden is located within the Aurora Water-Wise Demonstration Garden, located at East Alameda Parkway and Chambers Road in Aurora, just south of the Municipal Center building.  Designed and created by the city, many local businesses are interested in providing donations of the materials to be used within the Reflections Garden.

Transformation of the Bowl area, a native meadow, began this past summer and will progress in several phases. A paved pathway encircles the area and crushed gravel will connect the interlocking garden beds, which will be wheelchair accessible. The area will showcase native plants, flowering ornamental trees and several private seating areas. Thirteen benches will be placed throughout this area, in recognition of those who perished.  Staff will work with affected families to help design the areas around the benches.

 The 7/20 Memorial site will be approximately a 2,500 square foot dedicated space at the east end of the Reflections Garden. The beautiful and relaxing walk within the garden will help prepare visitors for a reflective and meditative experience upon arrival at the memorial site.                                                                                              


The 7/20 Memorial Foundation is seeking to create a place to reflect, and a place of solace and healing that is welcoming to all people. They would like the memorial to convey a sense of the strength of the community, positive energy, and love for those who have passed.  The Foundation is interested in symbols found in art and nature.  They are drawn to the spirituality inherent in natural phenomena such as wind, which can be both powerful and soothing; and sound, such as wind chimes, reflecting a sense of randomness.  They are not limiting this opportunity to only solutions incorporating wind and/or sound. Poetry, the poetic and the written word could also be appropriate in this context. The artwork should be enduring, both in material and in content, and convey a sense of the spiritual without embracing any specific religious theme or belief system. Sculptural seating elements can be considered as a component of the memorial.  The ideal solution will reflect the context of the water-wise demonstration garden (water features are not appropriate) and should not advance themes that are controversial, political, intended to shock, or directly reflect the violence experienced or the perpetrator.


Materials must be durable and appropriate for exterior applications within the Front Range climate of Colorado. Annually, temperatures range from sub-zero to more than 100 degrees, and temperatures can span more than 40 degrees within a day, or even a few hours. Snow, hail, wind and extreme sun are all environmental issues to contend with when proposing exterior art projects for this area. Solar powered or electrical lighting elements can be used at this site.


The Foundation, with the help of many, has reached its fundraising goal and has a minimum of $200,000 to commit to the design, fabrication and installation of a permanent memorial situated within the Reflections Garden.


Aurora is Colorado’s third largest city, rich in cultural diversity, and spans three counties in the eastern Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area. With more than 350,000 residents who enjoy access to quality education, Aurora embraces expansion, while preserving Colorado’s natural beauty. Aurora also hosts top national employers in aerospace and defense, bioscience, healthcare and alternative energy.

Situated on prairie grasslands, rolling hills and the Black Forest’s northern tip, Aurora offers a unique quality of life that blends an old-fashioned sense of community with a range of outdoor and leisure activities. Our residents enjoy a wealth of opportunities and are proud to call Aurora home.


The selection process is being managed by Aurora’s Public Art Staff, and all applications will be handled through the CAFÉ System of the Western States Arts Federation.  This application process is free. No hard copies will be accepted.

The ideal artist is comfortable working in the public sphere, enjoys working with people, has experience creating permanent exterior artworks in similar climates, and is willing to interact with the 7/20 Memorial Foundation Board in refining a final design concept for this site.  This call is open to artists who are legally residing in the USA.

Submission materials include:

·         8-10 images of relevant past work (Proposal images or concept sketches will not be reviewed)
·         A resume not to exceed two pages
·         A statement describing why this project is of particular interest to you, and the skills and background you bring to the table that make you uniquely well suited to meet the parameters of this project as described.
·         Names and contact information for three professional references.


2/6/2017 (11:59 pm mtn. time) – Deadline for submission of completed application materials
3/1/2017 – Notification of Finalists
4/20/2017 – Finalist Presentations
5/15/2018 – Desired date for project installation and completion


Questions should be directed to Roberta Bloom, City of Aurora Public Art Coordinator at  Additional Information can be found at

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