Call Detail
Boulder Creek Path: Arapahoe Underpass at 13th Street
Boulder Office of Arts + Culture Public Art Program
c/o Mandy Vink
1001 Arapahoe Ave
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Colorado
Entry Deadline: 5/19/17
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 2, Maximum: 8
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 2, Maximum: 8


The Boulder Office of Arts + Culture is seeking an artist, or artist team, for a site-specific public art commission to compliment the enhanced Boulder Creek Path: Arapahoe Underpass at 13th Street. This enhanced underpass and confluence point is just one area of the 5.5-mile multi-use Boulder Creek Path in central Boulder, Colorado.

Possible locations and themes for the Boulder Creek Path Arapahoe Underpass have been identified, with particular interest in the retaining walls of the underpass. Additional locations may include the 5-points pedestrian confluence just south of the underpass and the on-street crossing at 13th and Arapahoe. 3D work will not be considered for these locations, however a variety of 2D works and low-relief works will be considered (including murals, mosaics, sound, etc.), as all sites are contained within the floodplain. This commission is open to artists/artist teams working in all media. The estimated budget of $42,000 USD is all inclusive. The art selection process will be managed by Office of Arts + Culture Public Art Program.

About the Arapahoe Underpass

The Boulder Creek Path is a busy recreational and commuting corridor for pedestrians and bicyclists that parallels Boulder Creek. This section of the Boulder Creek multi-use path is a popular route for a range of users, from the visiting tourist to the avid cyclist.  The underpass provides connections to the Civic Area Central Park, Boulder High School, local and regional transit stops, the general downtown including the Pearl Street mall four blocks north and popular cycling routes. The Broadway multi-use path connects to the Boulder Creek multi-use path on the south side of the underpass. The Broadway path provides more distant connections to the University of Colorado-Boulder main campus, the site of the University’s proposed convention center and hotel (Grandview Avenue near Broadway) and to University Hill. This immediate underpass connects the path with a variety of cultural amenities: Boulder County Farmers Markets, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Dushanbe Tea House, and regularly-programmed activities and cultural offerings in Central Park, including the Glen Huntington Band Shell.

Challenging existing conditions of the Arapahoe Underpass allowed for a construction project to provide a safer, more accessible and less flood prone underpass along the Boulder Creek Path at Arapahoe Avenue, near 13th Street. Enhancements include improved site lines, a widening of the underpass path, reduced approach grades, reduced high-water closures of the underpass, improved lighting, and overall safety improvements.

For more details on the Boulder Creek Path: Arapahoe Underpass at 13th Street, visit the following resources:

Boulder Creek Path: Arapahoe Underpass at 13th Street project website:

Boulder Civic Area Master Plan:

Public Art: Parameters & Goals

The Selection Panel identified specific goals for this public art with the hope of creating a unique work of art that references the past, present and future of this transit project:

Appropriate & Unique: The selection panel seeks a unique, one-of-a-kind artwork.

Location: The Arapahoe Underpass is a unique site that features (see highlighted sites in image on p. 2):

·       a large retaining wall at the underpass

·       a confluence of multiple trails just south east of the underpass

·       an on-street pedestrian crossing to the north at Arapahoe and 13th

The selection panel is aware that, within the budget parameters, the project will result in a concentrated focus in one of these areas. However, the panel is interested in the possibility of a work that encourages movement through the various locations included in the above bullets, and work that has presence in multiple locations, if even just hints of a larger artwork within the underpass.

Applicants should be aware that additional public art opportunities are anticipated within and adjacent to the Arapahoe Underpass. These will be separate calls, but will be reviewed in a holistic approach. Immediate, complementary public art projects include temporary and permanent public artworks within the Civic Area, additional opportunities along the Boulder Creek Path, and site-specific opportunities for University Hill.

Materials & Media: Due to the project’s location within the floodplain, 3D work will not be considered for these locations. However, a variety of 2D will be considered including murals, mosaics, form liner designs, sound, light-based media etc. The Boulder Creek Path includes multiple modes of transportation, and work should support and encourage safe flow through the site.

Durability & Maintenance:   All public art projects in Colorado are exposed to weather, physical stresses and subject to vandalism and should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Semi-finalists are encouraged to consult with a professional conservator or fabricator prior to the submission of a final proposal. Artist proposals awarded contracts will be reviewed by the selection panel, the Office of Arts and Culture, the Technical Review Committee (a project-specific technical group comprised of city staff), the Boulder Arts Commission, and the City Manager’s Office to ensure conformity with city standards of construction, maintenance and durability, and ADA standards.  All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame. 

Applying for these opportunities

In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit up-to eight digital images, up-to 2 video or audio samples, a résumé or CV, and a statement of interest of no longer than 2000 characters via (CaFÉ™).  From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five semi-finalists who will be brought in for an interview with the panel. If a formal proposal is requested, the artist will be provided an honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in person.  Semi-finalists are strongly encouraged to conduct a site visit, and will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium.  From the interview or proposal, artist(s) will be selected for this commission. 

Eligibility:   Applicant(s) may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaboration.  In the case of teams, please submit a single résumé for the whole team (see details below).

Selected artists for the commission will collaborate with the Arapahoe Underpass Project Management Team and Arapahoe Underpass Area Technical Review Committee when finalizing their designs for installation. Public art commissions must go through applicable review and permitting processes.

Applicants are encouraged to review a sample public art contractual agreement prior to applying for any public art opportunities. The draft contract can be found here:



The budget for this commission is approximately $42,000 USD which will be allocated to the artists/team selected by the selection panel.  This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to, honorariums for semi-finalists, the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering, insurance, including Colorado Workers Compensation, small tools, materials, fabrication, transportation and installation, including 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 of any kind.  For all work done on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied. The project timeline reflects a project that will be integrated within existing construction.  Budget will need to include all foundational and infrastructural supports.

Tentative Time Line

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

Friday, May 19, 2017, 11:59 p.m. MDT                 Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

May 22 - 30, 2017                                                    Semi-Finalist Selection

June 1, 2017                                                             Notify Semi-Finalists

June 1 – June 19, 2017                                            Proposal Development and Site Visit 

Week of June 26, 2017                                           Semi-Finalists present Proposals,       Community Engagement

August, 2017                                                            Finalist Notification

Project Selection Panel

The Arapahoe Underpass Public Art Selection Panel is comprised of five voting members. The Technical Review Committee is comprised of roughly ten additional non-voting advisors.  

Selection Process

Between three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as semi-finalists, and will receive a $1,000 honorarium. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with the Selection Panel and Technical Review Committee during a site visit. The Selection Panel will interview and/or review proposals from the semi-finalists and recommend finalists for the commission.

Additionally, community engagement is a vital component in Boulder’s decision-making process. Semi-finalists should be prepared to present or have their proposals presented to the public in some fashion during the decision-making process. The final recommendation of the Selection Panel will be presented to the Boulder Arts Commission and the city manager for final approval.


Materials to be Submitted

Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered without exception. 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 up-to eight digital images of previously completed artworks through the CaFÉ™ system.  Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works may include up-to two videos and up-to two audio attachments.

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 1-888-562-7232, or e-mail  If you do not have access to a computer, call 303-441-4342 to make arrangements to use the Office of Arts and Culture computer.

Statement of Interest:  Please submit a statement of interest that briefly outlines your interest in the Boulder Creek Trail: Arapahoe Underpass at 13th Street project and experience working on projects of this kind (2000 character maximum) via CaFÉ™. 

Résumé/CV:  Submit a one- to two-page current résumé or CV, via CaFÉ™ that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist.  Please name your résumé file accordingly: Last name.First initial (i.e. Smith.J.doc).  Résumés over two pages will not be downloaded.  If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with one to two pages per team member. 

Questions about the project:  Please contact Mandy Vink, Public Art Coordinator and Arapahoe Underpass Public Art Project Manager: 303-441-4342 or

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