Call Detail
Smiley Branch Library, Public Art Project
Entry Deadline: 11/18/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements Images:6

Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Colorado
Event Dates: 10/21/19 - 11/18/19

Smiley Branch Library
4501 W. 46th Ave., Denver, CO 80212
Budget: $10,000 USD
Eligibility: Artists or Artist teams residing in COLORADO

DEADLINE: Monday, November 18, 2019 11:59 p.m. MST

The City of Denver’s Public Art program seeks to commission a Colorado artist or a team of artists to create a site-specific public artwork at the Smiley Branch Library located at 4501 W. 46th Ave. in the Berkeley neighborhood in Denver.

While keeping the integrity of the original design, Smiley Branch Library will undergo significant renovations in order to provide the vibrant and evolving community with current and future library services.

Smiley Branch Library - History
The Smiley Branch Library is part of the Denver Public Library system and is a one of nine libraries built more than 100 years ago and partially funded by the Carnegie Corporation. It was named after William H. Smiley, a Denver school principal (1892 to 1912) and superintendent of Denver Public Schools (1912 to 1924). The library is located within Berkeley Lake Park and is on the National Register for Historic Places.

The library will undergo a renovation through bond-funded capital improvements to this 100-year-old building, which was built in 1918. Renovations include a redesign of the community room downstairs, renovated space on the main floor, bathroom replacements, and updates to power, data, security, and HVAC systems.

Denver Public Library Vision, Mission, and Values

Vision - A strong community where everyone thrives.

Mission - Together, we create welcoming spaces where all are free to explore and connect.

Values: Welcoming – we make our resources, services and expertise accessible for all, recognize the inherent dignity in each person, and provide safe places where everyone can be themselves. Curiosity – we foster a culture of exploration, innovation and forward thinking by creating environments that support learning and growth.

Connection – we are neigbors. We foster relationships, and listen and act to build and strengthen our community. We bring people together to share information, ideas and experiences.

Equity – we work to change practices, structures and policies, and the attitudes that drive them, to provide opportunites for every person in our community to thrive. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating inequitable systems.

Stewardship - we are accountable to our community, using our resources responsibly. We lead with honesty and integrity, protect privacy and preserve and share the full history of our Denver community.

PUBLIC ART at Smiley Branch Library

The art selection panel is seeking an artist or a team of artists who may engage the neighboring community and highlight its strong connection to this facility.

Possible Location for Art:
The selection panel has identified several locations for the artwork:

  • Exterior Location: front of library to have a welcoming area for people that linger in space. Artwork which lends itself to human interaction.

  • Interior Main Level Walls: alcoves above fireplace or adjacent walls near circulation desk  for two-dimensional murals or paintings that highlight the historical significance of the library;  

  • Artist in Residence -artist willing to work with community by offering creative workshops for community participation, while creating a permanent public art project for thesite.

Materials & Media
The selection panel is open to two and three-dimensional artwork in all media, materials and formats, including interactive, kinectic, tactile, sound or light components.

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 physical stresses, as well as vulnerable to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Finalists are encouraged to consult with a professional conservator or fabricator 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 to artists residing in 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 disability. Artists working in any media are eligible to apply. Artists are not required to have previous public art experience. Emerging artists are encouraged to apply. Contact the Denver Public Art office with any questions regarding eligibility.

Applying for This Opportunity
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit six digital images of previous work, 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 finalists who will create site-specific proposals and present them to the selection panel. Artists/teams selected as finalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form 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. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. Finalists will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium. Finalists will be asked to provide three professional references. 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 design team when finalizing their designs for installation. 

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 one page per team member.

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.

The budget for this commission is approximately $10,000 USD which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s 1% for Public Art Ordinance resulting from the construction budget to make improvements to the building. 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)
November 18, 2019: 11:59 MST                    Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

December 2019                                                Finalist Selection

January 2020                                                     Finalist Proposals

February 2020                                                   Finalist Notification

Art Selection Panel
According to the Denver Public Art Policy, the Art Selection Panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The Smiley Library selection panel is comprised of 10 voting members. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria, writing a call for entry, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing finalists, and identifying an artist to recommend for the commission. 

Selection Process
Between three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and may meet with site stakeholders, the design team and Public Art staff. Finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in person. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist for the commission. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Public Art Committee for feasibility, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, and the Mayor of Denver 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 through the CaFÉ™ online 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. IMPORTANT: if submitting audio or video files, do not use them as your very first image. They may be submitted under items 2-6.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ can be found at Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here: If an artist does not have access to a computer, they may call 720-865-5564 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues offices.

Statement of Interest Submit a statement outlining your interest in the Smiley Branch Library public art project and why it is of special interest to you (2,000-character maximum). 

Résumé Submit a one to two-page current résumé via CaFÉ™ that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist relevant to this project. Please name your résumé file accordingly: Last name. First initial (i.e. Smith.J.pdf). Résumés that are more than two pages for an individual artist will not be downloaded. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with one page per team member.

Please direct all questions about this project to:
Mary Valdez, Public Art Administrator,720-865-5564,  




Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria