Call Detail
Carla Madison Portrait
Denver Public Art
1345 Champa Street
Denver, CO, 80204

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Colorado
Entry Deadline: 1/23/17
Application Closed
Media Images:6


Public Art Project
Carla Madison Portrait 
 Budget: $7,000 USD

DEADLINE: Monday, January 23, 11:59 PM MST

The City of Denver Public Art Program and the Carla Madison Recreation Center Art Selection Panel is seeking to commission a portrait of the late Denver City Councilwoman, Carla Madison, who died at age 54. The call is only open to Colorado artists. The portrait can consist of different media, including, but not limited to, paint, and can be part of a larger installation.  The portrait will be displayed in the under-construction 62,000 SF Carla Madison Recreation Center (currently under construction) located at East Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street, near East High School and City Park. The recreation center is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2017.

Carla Madison
Carla Madison served as the Denver District 8 City Council representative from 2007 to until her death in 2011. Carla’s friends and collogues described her as larger-than-life, vibrant, upbeat and adventuresome. Former Denver Mayor, and now Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper called her “flameout and eclectic.” Madison was also thoughtful and pragmatic in her approach to public policy, and she has had a long-lasting effect on the city. She loved Denver and championed City Park, where each summer she hosted an old-fashioned ice cream social with historic costumes and events. The event continues today. She had a unique sense of style and could be seen wearing colorful clothes and hats, often in orange, a color which according to her husband Paul Weiss “chose her.” She had a joy for life and was an enthusiastic bicyclist. If not on her bike, she would attend city functions in her orange Karmann Ghia or on her orange scooter. She was also an avid art collector. Her collection ranged from outsider folk art to pieces by the world-famous Christo, but it was her support for local artists that made her a true advocate in Denver’s burgeoning art scene. 

The portrait will be installed in the reception area of the Carla Madison Recreation Center under construction at East Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street. 
Parameters & Goals
The selection panel members have set forth specific goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating a unique and inspiring work in honor of late Denver City Councilwoman, Carla Madison. 

Materials & Media
The portrait can be created from a variety of different media, not limited to paint, and can be part of a larger installation.  

Appropriate & Unique
The selection panel seeks a unique, one-of-a-kind artwork that captures not only the likeness of Carla Madison, but also her spirt.  

Maintenance & Durability
All applicants are expected to consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art, along with time and budget. These projects are located in the public realm and may therefore be exposed to weather and physical stresses, as well as be subject to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Semifinalists 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 and the Department of Construction and Engineering 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.

This project is open to artists who currently live and work in the state of Colorado regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical handicap. Emerging artists are encouraged to apply.  Contact the Denver Public Art office with any questions regarding this designation. 

Applying for these opportunities
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit six digital images, a résumé, and a statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters via (CaFÉ™). From these applications, the selection panel will choose up to three semifinalists who will be brought in for an interview with the panel.

Semifinalists will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to visit the site and meet with project representatives, the design team and Denver Public Art staff.  If a formal proposal is requested, the artist will be provided an honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in person. Artists/teams selected as semifinalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form in order 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. Semifinalists will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium. From the interview or proposal, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission. The selected artist or artist team for the commission will collaborate with the Public Art Program staff and the design team for Carla Madison Recreation Center when finalizing their designs for installation.

Please visit: for examples of recent commissions.

Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group. In the case of teams, please submit a single résumé for the whole team, with one to two pages per team member.

Diversity and Inclusiveness
Denver Executive Order No. 101 establishes strategies between the City and private industry to use diversity and inclusiveness promote economic development in the City and County of Denver and to encourage more businesses to compete for City contracts and procurements. The Executive Order requires, among other things, the collection of certain information regarding the practices of the City’s contractors and consultants toward diversity and inclusiveness and encourages/requires City agencies to include diversity and inclusiveness policies in selection criteria where legally permitted in solicitations for City services or goods. Diversity and Inclusiveness means inviting values, perspectives and contributions of people from diverse backgrounds, and integrates diversity into its hiring and retention policies, training opportunities, and business development methods to provide an equal opportunity for each person to participate, contribute, and succeed within the organization’s workplace. “Diversity” encompasses a wide variety of human differences, including differences such as race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical disabilities, appearance, historically underutilized and disadvantaged persons, as well as social identities such as religion, marital status, socio-economic status, lifestyle, education, parental status, geographic background, language ability, and veteran status.

The budget for this commission is up to $7,000 USD which will be allocated to one or more artist(s)/artist team(s) selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s One Percent for Art Ordinance which allocates 1% of Capital Improvement Project budgets to be set aside for the commission of public artworks. 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, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. For all work done on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.

Tentative Timeline
(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments)

Monday, January 16, 11:59 MDT    Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system) February    Semifinalist Selection
March    Finalist Selection
April    Finalist Notification

Project Selection Panel
According to Denver’s Public Art policies, the project selection panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The Carla Madison Recreation Center selection panel is comprised of 11 voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria, writing a call for entry, reviewing applications, and selecting and interviewing semifinalists and finalists.

Selection Process
Up to three artists/artist teams will be selected as semifinalists, depending on the number of responses to the RFQ. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with project representatives, the design team and Denver Public Art staff. The selection panel will interview and/or review proposals from the semifinalists and recommend finalists for the commission. The semifinalists will receive an honorarium of up to $500 to prepare and present the proposal in person. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Public Art Committee, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, and Mayor Michael B. Hancock for final approval. All decisions of the City and County of Denver are final.

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 - In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six digital images of previously completed artworks, preferably portraits, through the CaFÉ™ system. 

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours by calling 303-629-1166 or 888-562-7232, or via email at If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he may call 720-865-5563 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues offices.

Statement of Interest- Please submit a statement briefly outlining your interest in the Carla Madison Portrait commission and experience working on projects of this kind (2000-character maximum) via CaFÉ™.

Résumé - 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 one to two pages per team member.

Please direct all questions about the project to Public Art Administrator, Rudi Cerri at or 720-
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