Call Detail
Denver Botanic Gardens Freyer-Newman Center
Entry Deadline: 11/26/18
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado
Event Dates: 1/1/17 - 1/1/17

Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create an original work of art for the future Freyer - Newman Center at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The facility is located near the main entrance to the Denver Botanic Gardens, at the corner of York St. and 11th Ave., Denver, CO The selection panel has recommended a site-specific artwork to be integrated into the exterior plaza of the Freyer - Newman Center. The commission amount is $300,000 USD.

Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens’ mission is to connect people with plants, especially plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world. To fulfill its mission, Denver Botanic Gardens has embraced four core values: Diversity, Relevance, Sustainability, and Transformation.

Not only do these core concepts relate to the natural environment and the care of living things within it; but these four ideas also apply to people and relationships. The Gardens strives to preserve diversity of plant life, as well as engage diverse audiences. Denver Botanic Gardens must speak relevantly to local, regional, and national communities. In all things, the Gardens strive to act as a catalyst for transformation of individuals and the environment.

Freyer - Newman Center
The fusion of science, art and education is the heart of Denver Botanic Gardens. It is rare that an institution contains breadth and depth in a variety of specialties related to human interaction with the natural world. At the Gardens, one can find preserved plant and fungi specimens, documented uses of plants, and historic botanical illustration. Contemporary botanical illustration programs extend the scientific art of documentation into the 21st century.
The Gardens’ holdings are unique in that horticulture, plant conservation and preservation, mycology and art unite to document human relationships with these elements and the larger environment. Housing each of these programmatic elements in a single facility — the Freyer - Newman Center — will make these assets more accessible to the public. Please visit the link at the bottom of this document for more information.

Materials & Media
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 the diverse community that visits and enjoys the Freyer - Newman Center. The panel is looking for artworks that create a distinct connection to the natural world and demonstrate the connection between the micro and macro, as well as honor human relationships to the natural environment. Artworks should enhance the experience of those that use and enjoy the Freyer – Newman Center and could engage multiple senses, harnessing tactile and auditory components to achieve aims. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display. Artists are asked to be mindful and respectful of the center’s functionality, its users, the neighborhood, as well as the mission of the center as a destination for science, art and education.

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 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.

Who May Apply
This project is open to artists who currently live and work in in the United States, 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. The selection panel is especially interested in artists that can demonstrate a deep understanding of the Denver Botanic Gardens and its mission, as well as the area’s history, landscape, and surrounding neighborhood. Colorado artists and artists working in media that is suitable for outdoor display are especially encouraged to apply.

Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group.  If applying as a team, please submit one résumé for the team, with 1-2 pages per team member.

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 between three and five semifinalists who will create site-specific proposals and be brought in for an interview with the panel. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. 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 and 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 Freyer - Newman Center design team when finalizing their designs for installation. 


The budget for this commission is $300,000.00 USD which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s One Percent for Art Ordinance resulting from improvements made to the Denver

Botanic Gardens. 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.


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

 Monday, November 26, 11:59 P.M. MST Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

December                                                           Semifinalist Selection

March                                                                   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 Freyer - Newman 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 request for qualifications, reviewing applications, and selecting and interviewing semi-finalists and selecting a finalist for the commission. 

Selection Process
Between three and five artists/artist teams will be selected as semifinalists, depending on the number of qualified responses to the RFQ. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with Garden representatives, the design team and public art staff.  The semifinalists will receive an honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in person. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the semifinalists and recommend a finalist for the commission. 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 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 will have the opportunity to upload up to two video files.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here: 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 Freyer - Newman Center public art project and experience working on projects of this kind (2,000 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 Brendan Picker at or by calling 720-865-5563.

For more information on the Denver Botanic Gardens Freyer - Newman Center, please visit:

Applicants are encouraged to watch this video:

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria