Call Detail
Colorado State University System Campus at National Western Center
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Entry Deadline: 1/24/20
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado

All locations on this RFQ are requested from artists and/or artist teams interested in creating site specific public artworks(s) for the Colorado State University System campus, Spur, at National Western Center. Colorado artists are encouraged to apply. The total budget for the project is $1,055,000 for eight locations, with budget ranges of up to $30,000-$400,000 per location. Deadline for submission is January 24, 2020.

CSU System Overview
“The Colorado State University System exists to support, enhance, and protect the unique missions of its constituent institutions and to encourage collaboration that benefits students and Colorado.”
– Colorado State University System Mission Statement

The Colorado State University System has three campuses, each with distinct roles and missions—Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado State University-Pueblo and Colorado State University Global.

The CSU campuses serve the state, region, country, and world, educating nearly 60,000 students annually. Highly skilled graduates number almost 9,000 per year, and more than 250,000 alumni live around the globe. The CSU System involves a total operating budget of more than $1.15 billion, with annual research expenditures at the Fort Collins campus totaling $375 million.
More information is available at

CSU and the National Western Stock Show
Colorado State University has a history with the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) dating back to the first Stock Show in 1906. The CSU System will build upon this history to create the CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center. Spur will provide educational outreach, connect youth and families to topics at the intersection of food, water, and health, and inspire lifelong learners to address local and global challenges.

In 2022, the Colorado State University System will open its doors to Spur, a space like no other: three buildings focused on water, animal and human health, and food and agriculture. On the banks of the South Platte River, within the redeveloped National Western Center, Spur will be a CSU campus that serves as a front door to the world-class research and education provided within each of the CSU System institutions.

The CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center (NWC) will expand CSU’s programs into a dynamic, growing, urban area, with strong links to cities and rural areas in the entire State of Colorado and the West, and ties to international audiences.

Engaging art experiences at Spur will bring visitors closer to the future of food, water and animal health. Spur is a unique opportunity to inspire current and future students, alumni, employees, and visitors and to reimagine the possibilities for art.

Spur will also expand upon the CSU System’s commitment to sustainability (CSU Fort Collins was the first Platinum rated campus for sustainability), creating facilities and programs that advance and demonstrate sustainable design.

CSU will be constructing three transformative facilities at the NWC: the Water Building, which will focus on innovation and research in water; the CSU Center for Food and Agriculture, focused on teaching and research and development in food and agriculture; and the Animal Health Complex, which will create spaces for exploration and services related to animal health.

All three facilities are intended to be busy, public spaces—CSU Spur is working with our education teams and NWC partners History Colorado the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to plan for world-class experiences for life-long learners that are unique to these three facilities.

The surrounding neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea provide a one-of-a-kind setting and are home to communities that CSU is committed to serving. The rich history of these neighborhoods, and the recent neighborhood plans that outline the communities’ goals for the future, create a foundation for community interaction that is the hallmark of a land grant university.  Please reference the Spur Art Masterplan available at

All costs associated with the public art project including, but not limited to, artist design fee, structural engineering, insurance, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, building or site modifications, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses and any other costs related to the project are covered by this budget. Colorado State University reserves the right to adjust budget allocations as necessary. Selected semi-finalists will be invited to propose artwork for the location listed below. In-state semi-finalists will receive $1,000 as an honorarium, and out-of-state semi-finalists will receive $1,500 as an honorarium for the creation of a design proposal.

There are eight artwork locations designated within the project scope for artists to apply for. All facilities will be LEED Gold or higher, so art will need to be LEED-compliant. The locations are as follows (refer to IMAGES 1-2 below). For more information, please reference the Spur Art Masterplan available at

a. Bridge – Interior and/or Exterior - Defining Landmark of the CSU campus - uplifting, eye catching, monumental beacon. (budget: up to $400,000)

b. Northeast Plaza and Façade of Animal Health Center – Awareness entry for the CSU campus. A transition moment in the district to an educational and experiential campus. (budget: up to $110,000)
c. Plaza of CSU Center – A welcoming space for entry to the CSU campus. Lounging, playful, entertaining. (budget: up to $100,000)

d. Water Building Backyard – This is where we play. All ages playground and interactive space. (budget: up to $125,000)

e. Water Building Alley – An imaginative artwork located on the ceiling, walls, paving, etc., of the Alley between the new architecture of the Water Building and the old McConnell building. This art activates the surrounding alley and invites guests to explore. (budget: up to $140,000)

f. Water Building Interior, Main Lobby. (budget: up to $75,000)

g. CSU Center Ag Discovery. (budget: up to $75,000)

h. Animal Health Center Main Lobby, recommended as Stair Activation. (budget: up to $30,000)

 Four selection criteria have been identified that apply to Spur public art selection and implementation. The Selection Committee will consider the following:

  • Innovation

Artworks high in innovation show new ways of thinking about existing materials, locations or connection with artwork in a public setting.

  • Engagement

Artworks high in Engagement thoughtfully and deliberately respond to the site and engage audiences. These artworks may include audience participation in the visioning or concept development and/or creation or fabrication of the artwork.

  • Imagination

Artworks that feature a high level of imagination use play, delight, surprise or entertainment to spur curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, or discussion.

  • Relevance

Artworks featuring relevant references related to the historic site, land use, cultural history, and surrounding communities.

 There are three different artwork typologies integrated into proposed plans to keep in mind for specific locations when submitting your application (refer to IMAGE 3 in the full RFQ):

Landmark: A visual announcement of place
Plaza: An area for social gatherings
Play: Engaging with details of surprise and delight

A PDF of this RFQ with reference images is available here.

All applications for this project are being accepted through the online platform, CaFÉTM( ). No hard copy or emailed submissions will be accepted. The applicant will be asked to submit digital images of art (see below for more information), a resume, and a brief statement of interest. There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉTM online application system. Assistance in using the CaFÉTM system is available during regular business hours by calling 303-629-1166, 1-888-562-7232 or email

Digital Images: In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit, via the CaFÉTM system, no less than six (6) and no more than eight (8) digital images of previously completed artworks. Instructions on how to use CaFÉTM and format images can be found at

Resume: Submit a current résumé, via CaFÉTM, that outlines professional accomplishments as an artist. If applying as a team, please submit a resume for each artist, with the lead artist’s resume first.

Statement of Interest: A statement of interest of 250 words or less must be submitted via CaFÉTM. It should briefly outline the interest in the specific opportunity and applicable experience.

In 1977, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Art in Public Places Act requiring that 1% of the construction costs of new or renovated state-owned buildings be used to acquire works of art for permanent installation at the project site. Colorado Creative Industries is responsible for implementation of the law. All works of art commissioned pursuant to this request are owned by the State of Colorado via Colorado State University. De-accession of the public art, if necessary, will follow the policies and procedures established by Colorado Creative Industries.

The Colorado Council on the Arts is committed to ensuring the broadest possible impact of its limited resources. The Program is open to all artists regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, national origin, age, religion, martial status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical handicap although certain projects may be limited or give preference to those residing in Colorado. Artists with a current grant with the State are not eligible to apply.

The Art Selection Committee will review all complete submittals. A short list of semifinalists will be invited to prepare and present a final proposal in person. In-state artists will be paid an honorarium of $1,000, and out-of-state artists will be paid an honorarium of $1,500. Final selection(s) will be made from the semifinalists’ proposals. The schedule is as follows:

Art Procurement and Selection Schedule

  • January 24, 2020 - Deadline for receipt of submittal via CaFÉ™ system
  • February 3, 2020 - Selection committee meets to select Semi-Finalists
  • Mid-February, 2020 - Notification of Semi-Finalist selection
  • March 20, 2020 - Artist presentations to the Art Selection Committee at the Colorado Office of Economic Development in Denver, CO
  • Late March/Early April, 2020 - Artist selected
  • 2022: Buildings scheduled for completion; artwork installation will be arranged in correlation with CSU.  See detailed Spur Facilities Design and Construction Schedule below.

 Spur Facilities Design and Construction Schedule*
Animal Health Complex (AHC)

  • 100% Construction Documents:  January 31 2020
  • Construction Start:  March 09, 2020
  • Construction Finish:  July 08, 2020

Water Building

  • 100% Design Development:  March 06, 2020
  • 100% Construction Documents:  August 2020
  • Construction Start:  October 2020
  • Construction Finish:  June 2020

 CSU Center for Food and Agriculture (CSUC)

  • 100% Design Development:  January 24, 2020
  • 100% Construction Documents:  June 2020
  • Construction Start:  October 2020
  • Construction Finish:  December 2021

 *Dates are subject to change.

If you require more information or clarification please contact: Ruth Bruno,


  • Art Masterplan for Colorado State University at National Western Center


  • Project Schedule
  • Architectural Drawings
  • Journey Mapping Workshop results

City and County of Denver Public Art Ordinance
National Western Center Campus Cultural Plan
National Western Center Public Art Masterplan
State of Colorado Public Art Program

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria