Call Detail
22nd Annual Art on the Streets (Public Art Exhibit)
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Entry Deadline: 2/12/20
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 10

Entry Fee (22nd Annual Art on the Streets (Public Art Exhibit)): $25.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 3
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 3
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Colorado

Art on the Streets celebrates the power of art in public places, while turning the streets of Downtown Colorado Springs into a yearlong outdoor sculpture gallery. More than 300 artworks have been exhibited Downtown since AOTS began in 1998, and the district is home to more than 50 permanent works, over 30 of which have been purchased through AOTS.

Selected artists each receive a $2,000 honorarium. All selected artists are also eligible for the following awards:

  • $10,000 Juror Award
  • $2,500 Juror Award: Second Place
  • $1,000 Juror Award: Third Place
  • $500 Jurors’ Honorable Mention
  • $1,000 People’s Choice Award

This year represents the 22nd year of this program, and up to 12 artists will be chosen to exhibit. In addition to the honorarium, each artist is offered two nights of complimentary lodging in Colorado Springs, one of which will be used during installation, and one of which will be used to attend the exhibition's Launch Party event.


  • February 10, 2020: Submission deadline 
  • March 13, 2020: Selection notification to artists
  • May 18-29, 2020: Installation of works
  • June 4, 2020: Exhibit Opening / Launch Party and Presentation of Juror Awards
  • May 2021: Exhibit Closing / Work reclaimed by artists


Selected artists are chosen through a jury process in which artistic quality serves as the primary criterion. Secondary criteria include installation, maintenance and safety concerns, as well diversity of works included in the annual exhibit. All works will be evaluated for stability by a structural engineer contracted by Downtown Ventures. While sculpture tends to dominate the entry pool, other types of public art suitable for an outdoor experience are encouraged, including murals as well as interactive and multimedia works.


Downtown Colorado Springs is an urban environment, and works should be suitable for placement in a setting that is accessible to the public 24/7. Artists should also consider Colorado weather, which can include extreme sun, strong winds, freezing/moisture, and fluctuations between hot and cold.

Art on the Streets also has the ability to work with artists on larger and/or site-specific installations. We welcome proposals that move beyond a single sculpture that might include (but are not limited to) interactive, temporary or multimedia work. Proposals of this type do need to consider how the piece will be publicly accessible and/or documented to be accessible for the duration of the one-year Art on the Streets exhibit.

Selected artwork for the Art on the Streets exhibit will be exhibited throughout the 40-square-block Downtown district, with most works clustered in the busiest 10- to 15-block core.

In addition, a few special sites (see below) offer the opportunity to display works that fit a more specific set of criteria. Please note the following criteria DO NOT need to be met for work to be considered for Art on the Streets as a whole. If works are being submitted for the following sites, please indicate in comments about submitted proposal within artist statement.

Mural Opportunity Sites

Art on the Streets accepts mural proposals in addition to sculpture and multimedia works. Staff have identified a portfolio of priority sites for murals throughout the Downtown area – please visit to view. Mural proposals may reference one of these sites specifically or may be submitted for consideration for any available site. Though an in-situ presentation of proposed mural is preferred for site-specific proposals, concept drawings or samples of previous work are also fine – it is understood that final dimensions will vary based on site selected. Artists should note that acceptance of mural proposals will be pending approval of site owner in addition to exhibit jurors. Artist must specify whether paint or vinyl laminate will be used to render the image on the selected wall – it will be Artist’s responsibility to purchase paint or order laminate; Art on the Streets will fund installation costs as needed including lifts, scaffolding and skilled labor.

Transit Gallery: Art on the Streets at the Downtown Transit Center

Two of the pieces in the 22nd annual exhibit will be selected through a partnership with Mountain Metropolitan Transit to be installed at the Downtown Transit Center. There are three existing concrete pedestals available at the Transit Center, located at the corner of N. Nevada Avenue and Kiowa Street. Pedestal #1 can accommodate a piece that is up to 3' deep, 3' wide, and 5' high. Pedestal #2 can accommodate a piece that is up to 32" deep, 52" wide, and 5' high. Pedestal #3 can accommodate a piece that is up to 3’ deep and 4’ wide, with no height restriction. Additional floor space and wall space are available inside the Transit Center lobby (10-foot ceiling clearance). When considering pieces for installation at the Transit Gallery, jurors will give special consideration to works that include an interactive component.

Alleyway Activation: Suspended wire grid

The site of the AFTA award-winning AOTS sculpture Poly Poly by Sean O’Meallie (2015) is available for proposals from new artists this year. This site consists of 14 horizontal 1/4” cables anchored between the historic Hibbard and Carlton buildings at 15 S. Tejon St. Total site dimensions are 31’ H x 20’ W x 31” D. Each 1/4” cable is rated to support a 900 lb. maximum stress load (12,600 lb. maximum stress). Artwork must withstand 40 MPH winds from all directions. Beneath the cables is an east-west service alley which receives heavy large vehicle and pedestrian traffic. No part of the installation can extend below the bottom cables. This block of Tejon Street is one of the busiest in Downtown Colorado Springs with restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, business offices and residences, U.S. Bank and the headquarters of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Proposed works MUST be designed to fit site parameters – to obtain a detailed diagram of the site, please email at least two weeks in advance of submission deadline (02/10/20).

Again, the above criteria DO NOT need to be met in order for work to be considered for Art on the Streets as a whole. If works are being submitted for the above sites, please indicate in comments about submitted proposal within artist statement.


Virgil Ortiz is one of the most avant-garde artists of his time. Through his exploration of working with clay and various media–graphics, fashion, film and video, Ortiz fuses historic events with sci-fi and fantasy, yielding imagery that is both provocative and futuristic. Raised in a creative environment filled with storytelling, collecting clay, gathering wild plants, and producing figurative pottery, he remains influenced by his grandmother and mother, both renowned Cochiti Pueblo potters. Ortiz’s works are exhibited in museum collections around the world, including the Stedelijk Museum- Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Paris’s Fondation Cartier pour I’art Contemporain; Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; Virginia Museum of Fine Art; and the Denver Art Museum.

Michael Tavel is a nationally recognized architect and urban designer in Denver. He has a BA in Sculpture from the University of Toledo and a Masters of Architecture from UC Berkeley. He has taught in many media from life drawing to architecture, landscape, and planning at UC Berkeley, CU Denver, and CU Boulder. His firm, SUN Studio, specializes in sustainable urban neighborhoods and designed the Geos Net-Zero Energy neighborhood in Arvada, Colorado. He has a particular interest in how the creative culture of urban life can be tied to our relationship with natural processes.  Published writings include “Open Contact: Phenomenal Experience and Natural Processes;” “Climate Responsive Urbanism;” and “The Culture of Green Neighborhoods.” In the mid-1990s, Michael worked with other area artists to conceive of and launch MCA Denver.

Joy Armstrong is the development director for Inside Out Youth Services, after spending nearly 15 years in the art museum world. Her passion lies in the investigation of intersections between visual and performing arts, expression of identity, personal healing, and community coalescence through participatory creative practice. Armstrong is proud to be a longtime juror with Art on the Streets, a community advisor for the Colorado Springs Public Art Master Plan, and collaborator with local and national fine artists and activists. She holds a BA in studio art and communications, an MA in contemporary art history, and is a doctoral student in educational leadership, research, and policy.


Art on the Streets (AOTS) is managed as a program of Downtown Colorado Springs, through Downtown Ventures, Inc. The program is presented by founding sponsor U.S. Bank, with additional support from generous corporate and individual donors.

Designated as a Certified Creative District through the State of Colorado's creative district program, Downtown Colorado Springs recognizes the power of public art in placemaking. Downtown is the heart of Colorado Springs' cultural community, and the arts play a central role in economic development, tourism, and quality of life.

Art on the Streets is a celebrated Downtown tradition, currently in its 21st year, that enlivens the urban experience for the 17,000 individuals who work there, as well as for residents and tourists. Annual exhibits are heavily promoted by Downtown Colorado Springs, including regional and national press outreach, a GPS-based smartphone tour of the exhibit, and a full-color exhibit brochure distributed throughout Downtown. It is also available online at

AOTS has influenced purchase and permanent installation of many of the works of public art in Downtown Colorado Springs. More than 300 artworks have been exhibited throughout Downtown Colorado Springs since AOTS began in 1998, and Downtown Colorado Springs is home to more than 50 permanent works, more than 30 of which have been purchased through AOTS.


  • Artists may submit one (1) work per application. Up to three images may be included to represent the work. For sculpture, artists should consider a suggested minimum dimension of 3 feet, vertical or horizontal, and scaled to outdoor spaces. For murals, concept drawings or samples of previous work are fine – it is understood that final dimensions will vary based on site selected. All artists should consider that their work will be exhibited outdoors and accessible to the public for a period of approximately 11 months.
  • Artists may submit multiple proposals, through multiple applications, with a discounted application fee of $10 for every application after the first $25 fee. To submit multiple works, please use the following process: 1. Submit your first application and pay the $25 application fee. 2. Contact staff to receive a coupon code for subsequent applications, to activate the discounted application fee.

Entry Submissions:

All materials should be submitted in digital format through CaFE™ at

A three-step guide to using the CaFE™ system:

  1. Login or new users register on CaFE to create a user name and password.
  2. Format images to system specification then upload images of work.
  3. After uploading images click "Apply to Calls", search for "21st Annual Art on the Streets", and click "Apply to this Call."

All submissions must include:

  • Full contact information: Name, address, phone and email.
  • Narrative description of the artwork including title, medium/media, dimensions (in feet, h x w x d), weight, price of artwork and any applicable notes.
  • A current, professional resume
  • Two-paragraph maximum artist’s statement incorporating comment about submitted proposal.
  • Installation plan (see details below)
  • Non-refundable entry fee of $25, payable by VISA or MasterCard at time application is submitted, plus any discounted fees for multiple applications.

Questions? Please contact Director of Urban Engagement Claire Swinford by calling 719-886-0088, or via email: Entries must be received by 5:00 p.m., MST, on February 10, 2020.


  • What you will provide: Each selected artist bears responsibility for the installation of his/her work. Artists must deliver (or ship) their work and assist in its installation. All selected artists must provide a detailed plan for the installation of their artwork, to include any engineering specifications, all required equipment and supplies, unique considerations for non-metal media, and other significant factors affecting exhibition for an extended period of time. Receipt of a W9 Taxpayer Identification Form is required prior to payment of honorarium.
  • What we will provide: Reasonable installation expenses are covered by Art on the Streets, including additional labor and equipment needs in some cases, as long as these needs have been specified in the installation plan. A $2,000 honorarium will be awarded to each selected artist, so please calibrate installation costs accordingly. Cost of materials, labor and supplies over and above those stated in the installation plan will be deducted from honorarium. AOTS shall make emergency repairs when necessary.
  • Liability: AOTS, its sponsors and the City of Colorado Springs shall not be liable for any loss incurred due to a faulty connection between the artwork and the surface it is attached to. Please call 719-886-0088 with any questions BEFORE submitting your entry and installation plan.
  • Timing: Installation will occur from May 18-29, in the weeks prior to the exhibit's Launch Party in June 2020. Should the artist request a change in the installation plan, AOTS reserves the right to deduct additional/unexpected expenses (for example, a change in delivery/installation schedule of the artwork that results in additional equipment rental costs).
  • Questions: If you have any questions regarding AOTS's installation process and support, please call staff prior to applying. 719-886-0088

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria