Call Detail
Carla Madison Recreation Center Project
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:8


Denver Public Art
Carla Madison Recreation Center Project
Budget: $45,000 USD
DEADLINE: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 11:59 MST

The Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program and the Carla Madison Recreation Center Art Selection Panel has released a Request for Qualifications for artists who wish to work on a public art project for the soon-to-be-finished Carla Madison Recreation Center. The Carla Madison Recreation Center will be the first urban recreation Center in the state of Colorado, located on the corner of Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street in central Denver. This unique location provides an opportunity to connect to and extend City Park into the urban environment along Colfax Avenue, the longest continuous street in the nation. The City Park Esplanade which extends south from City Park along the eastern portion of the Recreation Center’s site provides opportunities to restore the historic connections to East High School and the historic Esplanade. This pivotal location also provides an opportunity to strengthen connections between the renewed energy of a quickly redeveloping Colfax and the adjacent historic residential neighborhoods to the north and the south. In coordination with Denver Public Schools, Denver Parks and Recreation is working to build a facility that provides greatly needed recreation opportunities to a currently underserved population in the surrounding areas. The 68,000 SF facility will include swimming pools, a gymnasium, fitness areas, community gathering spaces, classrooms and outdoor amenities. The site will be designed in a way to create a new venue for community gathering. The selection panel is interested in commissioning an artist or group of artists to collaborate with the design team to activate one or more exterior sites connected with the facility.

History and Surrounding Area

· City Park
City Park, Denver’s premier regional park, is near the project site, and contains the Denver Zoo; the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and IMAX; tennis courts; horseshoes; baseball, football and soccer fields; two lakes; historical monuments; picnic sites and two playgrounds. The City Park Esplanade (Sullivan Gateway) is adjacent to the future recreation center.

· East High School
East High School, which is adjacent to the project site, opened in 1875 at 1600 City Park Esplanade St. with a total enrollment of 2,500 students, and was the first high school in Denver. The first graduating class was in 1877. In early 1991, the East High building was declared an official Denver Historic Landmark by the Denver Landmark Commission and the Denver City Council. East has been repeatedly honored as one of America's top high schools.

· Colfax Avenue
Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the United States. It stretches 26 miles from Aurora, through Denver to Lakewood, Colorado. It has received titles such as “Gateway to the Rockies,” and more notoriously “the longest, wickedest street in America.”

 · Carla Madison
Named in honor of former District 8 City Council representative Carla Madison. Madison, recognizable by all for her      colorful personality and love of art.  Served on council from 2007 until her death in April 2011.

Public Art: 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 of art for those who visit and enjoy the recreation center.

Location: There are three primary locations that the Art Selection Panel have identified. These include: the eastern façade, which faces the recreation parking lot; the small plaza area between the recreation center and East High School, and the “breezeway” between the plaza and the entrance to the recreation center. Renderings are attached to the end of this RFQ.

Materials & Media: The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials.

Appropriate & Unique: The selection panel seeks a unique, one-of-a-kind artwork that is appropriate for the Carla Madison Recreation Center and for the diverse community that utilizes it. The artwork should speak to the historical nature of the Esplanade, City Park, the adjacent East High School, and the uniqueness of Colfax Blvd. The artwork should also attempt to incorporate themes of movement, transportation, and the idea of a “journey”. The artwork can also speak to the literary connections made in the area, including East High graduate, Neal Cassidy and the historic statue celebrating Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Durability & Maintenance: All public art projects in Colorado are exposed to weather and physical stresses, and are subject to vandalism. The artwork should be fabricated of highly durable, low- maintenance materials.

Applying for this Opportunity
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit eight 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.
Semi-finalists 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 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 semi-finalists 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 1-2 pages per team member.

The budget for this commission is up to $45,000 USD which will be allocated to one or more artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s One Percent for Art Ordinance which allocates 1% of Capital Improvement Project budgets 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 23, 11:59 MST                 Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ system)
February                                                           Semifinalist Selection
April                                                                   Finalist Selection
May                                                                    Finalist Notification

Colorado Artists
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.

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.

Diversity and Inclusiveness
Denver Executive Order No. 101 establishes strategies between the City and private industry to use diversity and inclusiveness to 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.

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 Central Denver 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 semi-finalists 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 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 ImagesIn order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit eight digital images of previously completed artworks through the CaFÉ system. Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works must submit a complete CaFÉ™ application and include links to the work uploaded online, such as through YouTube or Vimeo.

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.

Statement of InterestPlease submit a statement briefly outlining your interest in the Central Denver Recreation Center project and experience working on projects of this kind (2000 character maximum) via CaFÉ™.

RésuméSubmit 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 1-2 pages per team member.

Please direct all questions about the project to Rudi Cerri at or by calling 720-865-5562

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