Call Detail
Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Public Library Campus
Entry Deadline: 11/16/20
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: International
State: Colorado
Event Dates: 9/21/20 - 11/16/20

Public Art Project
Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Public Library Campus
Budget: $600,000.00 USD
Eligibility: International
DEADLINE: Monday, November 16, 2020, 11:59 P.M. MST

The City of Denver’s Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create original public artworks for the Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Public Library Campus. The campus is located in the heart of Denver and the Golden Triangle Creative District.  A selection panel of community representatives, arts professionals, and civic leaders has been assembled to identify art opportunities, and to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project. The selection panel has identified at least three exterior sites for potential art opportunities and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately $600,000 USD.

The Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world.

The mission of the Denver Art Museum is to enrich the lives of present and future generations through the acquisition, presentation, and preservation of works of art, supported by exemplary scholarship and public programs related to both its permanent collections and to temporary exhibitions presented by the museum.

The Denver Central Public Library
The Denver Public Library's vision is a strong community where everyone thrives. Its mission is: Together, we create welcoming spaces where all are free to explore and connect. And its work is centered on its 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 neighbors. We foster relationships, listen and act to build and strengthen our community. We bring people together to share information, ideas and experiences.
  • EQUITY We work to change inequitable practices, structures and policies, and attitudes that drive them, to provide opportunities for every person in our community to thrive. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating oppressive 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. 


The Denver Civic Center
Both the Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Public Library sit within the Golden Triangle Creative District and are adjacent to Denver’s Civic Center Park. Bounded approximately by Grant to Cherokee streets and 14th to Colfax avenues, Denver’s Civic Center is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an example of the City Beautiful movement and beaux arts design principles in the areas of community planning and development, landscape architecture, architecture, and art. The Civic Center area is known as the center of the civic life of the city, with numerous arts, government and cultural institutions as well as hosting festivals, parades, demonstrations and protests throughout the year. Notable nearby buildings include The Colorado State Capitol, Denver City and County Building, The McNichols Civic Center Building, History Colorado, the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building and the Colorado Judicial Center.

Materials & Media
The selection panel members have set forth specific goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating unique and inspiring works of art for the diverse communities that visit and enjoy the shared campus of the Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Library. The panel is looking to commission artworks that will be beacons or gateways for the community and will draw visitors to the campus. Artworks should enhance the experience of those that use and enjoy the campus and could engage multiple senses, harnessing tactile, light and auditory components to achieve these aims. Works that are innovative, inspiring, and help to connect the campus are desired. As most ground space on the campus must remain open for public activity, the footprints for the works are relatively small, therefore, works that utilize vertical, overhead or other space-conserving strategies are encouraged. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display, although is not looking for two-dimensional artworks. Artists are asked to be mindful and respectful of the campus’s functionality, programs and users, the neighborhood and district, as well as adhere to the mission of both institutions as destinations for art, education and community. Artists should strongly consider the context of this particular site which is at the center of activity that demonstrates the many challenges our society is currently facing. Two examples of these challenges include protests against racial and other injustices and the congregation of a growing population of people experiencing homelessness.

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. Finalists 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 internationally, 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 who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the campus, as well as the area’s history, urban landscape, surrounding neighborhoods, and current social and cultural events.

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 no more than one page 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 3,000 characters via (CaFÉ™). From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five finalists who will create site-specific proposals and be interviewed in a virtual format. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. 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. Based on the interview and proposal, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission. The selected artist or artist team will work with the Public Art Program staff and the Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Library design and executive teams when finalizing their designs for installation.

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 $600,000.00 USD which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s 1% Percent for Public Art Ordinance resulting from improvements made to the Denver

Art Museum and Denver Central Library. 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 16, 2020 11:59 P.M. MST      Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

January, 2021                                                   Finalist Selection

April, 2021                                                        Selected Artist or Artist Team Notification

Project Selection Panel
According to Denver’s Public Art policy, the project selection panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Library selection panel is comprised of 14 voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria for a request for qualifications, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing finalists, and for selecting an artist or artist team for the commission. 

Selection Process
Three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Library representatives, the design teams and public art staff.  The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in a virtual format. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist/artist team 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 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 ImagesIn order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six digital images of previously completed artworks through the online 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.

IMPORTANT: if submitting audio or video files, do not use them as your very first image. They must be submitted last in your image sequence.

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 Denver Art Museum/Denver Central Library Campus public art project, your design approach and your experience working on projects of this kind (3,000 character maximum) via CaFÉ™.  Please also include information on your experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders.

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 no more than one page per team member.

Survey – Applicants will also be required to fill out a short demographic survey that will be sent via the Survey Monkey website t

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria