Call Detail
39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel Public Art Project
144 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80204

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Colorado
Entry Deadline: 11/12/18
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 6, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 6, Maximum: 6

39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel Public Art Project

Budget: approximately $400,000 USD

Eligibility: International Artists or Artist Teams

DEADLINE: Monday, November 12, 2018 11:59 p.m. MST


The City of Denver’s Public Art Program, now in its 30th year, seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create multiple artworks for the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel Public Art Project. The new 12-acre recreational greenway between Franklin and Steele streets will serve as a safe community gathering space as well as reduce flood risks to nearby homes and businesses. The goal of the artwork is to celebrate the Clayton and Cole neighborhoods and help instill a sense of continuity throughout the Greenway by providing a progression or a narrative to unify the public spaces. The specific locations for proposed artworks are to be determined once a short list of semifinalists is selected. This commission is open internationally to artists or artist teams. The budget is approximately $400,000 USD.

 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel 

The historic Montclair basin is the largest in Denver with no natural drainage. Instead of floodwater flowing through the historic Montclair creek, which was built in the early 1900s, water runs through neighborhood streets. This project will replace the city's aging infrastructure with green infrastructure that can better control storm water and improve public safety and water quality. The Greenway will stay mostly dry, and convey water only in storm events. In addition to protecting neighborhoods from damaging floodwaters, the Greenway will provide other neighborhood benefits that will be enjoyed year-round including: a multi-use path, gathering spaces and community gardens.

 The Clayton neighborhood is primarily residential with some large industrial sites along the greenway. The neighborhood is named for the historic former George W. Clayton Trust and College located on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. The college is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 The Cole neighborhood is largely residential with industrial sites, several which have been redeveloped, or are slated for redevelopment, into mixed-use centers. Most of the neighborhood consists of single-family housing units. The neighborhood became part of Denver in 1874. It is named for Carlos M. Cole, a former superintendent of Denver Public Schools.

 The Cole and Clayton neighborhoods, since the early 1900s, have had a rich multicultural history. The African American, Mexican American, Japanese American and Irish American communities have made the neighborhoods their home. The Japanese community moved in after their release from the Colorado internment camps after the Second World War. The Irish, along with other immigrants, worked for the railroads. The Cole neighborhood was the home to the Tramway Building and Denver Rock Drill Company, who manufactured driving/steering parts for the railcars, giving Cole a strong transportation history.

For more information on the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel, please visit:

The Site for the Artwork

The artwork sites can be located throughout the greenway if the artworks do not impede floodwater drainage or interfere with the multimodal connectivity of the greenway. The specific locations for proposed artworks are to be determined once a short list of semifinalists is selected.

 Materials & Media

The selection panel is open to two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional artwork in all media, materials and formats including interactive art, environmental art, sound art and landscape art.

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 exist in the public realm and are exposed to weather and physical stresses, and are vulnerable 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. Selected artist proposals will be reviewed by the City of Denver’s Public Art Committee and other appropriate city agencies to ensure conformity with city standards of maintenance and durability, as well as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved timeframe.


This project is open internationally to all artists, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical disability. Artists working in any media are eligible to apply. Artists are not required to have previous experience in public art. Emerging artists, Latino artists, and artists representing under-resourced communities based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability are encouraged to apply for this commission. 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™). If applying as a multi-person collaborative team, please submit a single résumé with no more than one page per team member. From these applications, the selection panel will choose up to five semifinalists who will be brought in for an interview with the panel. If a formal proposal is requested, the artists will be provided an honorarium of $1,500 to prepare and present the proposal in person. Semifinalists will receive more specific information regarding the site, and meet with project representatives, the design team and Denver Public Art staff. Semifinalists will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium. The selected artist or artist team will collaborate with Denver Public Art staff and the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel design team when finalizing their designs for installation.

 Please visit: for examples of other public artworks in the city’s collection.

 Diversity and Inclusiveness

As directed by Denver Executive Order 101, artists/teams selected as semifinalists will be required to submit a Diversity and Inclusiveness form which will be provided upon notification. 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 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.

 Denver Arts & Venues is committed to diversity, equity and inclusiveness in all our programs, initiatives and decision-making processes.


The budget for this commission is approximately $400,000 USD. These funds come from the City of Denver’s One Percent for Public Art Ordinance which allocates 1% of capital Improvement project budgets of more than $1 million to be set aside for the commission of new public artworks. The final 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, permits, 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.


Tentative Timeline

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

 Monday, November 12, 2018 11:59 p.m. MST                     Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

December                                                                                          Semifinalist Selection

January 2019                                                                                      Finalist Selection

February                                                                                             Finalist Notification


Art Selection Panel

According to Denver Public Art policy, the art selection panel plays an active and crucial role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel public art selection panel is comprised of voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The art selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria, writing a call for entry, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing semifinalists, and recommending a finalist.


Selection Process

Up to five artists/artist teams will be selected as semifinalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the project. The selection panel will interview semifinalists and/or review proposals from the semifinalists and recommend a finalist for the commission. The semifinalists will receive an honorarium of $1,500 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 - The applicant must electronically submit six 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 YouTube or Vimeo.

 Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications may 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 720-865-5562 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues.

 Statement of Interest - Please submit a statement briefly outlining your interest in the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel Public Art Project and experience working on projects of this kind (2000-character maximum).

Résumé Please submit a one to two-page current résumé 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 page per team member.

Please direct all questions about the project to Public Art Administrator Rudi Cerri at 720-865-5562 or

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