Call Detail
High Line Canal Underpass @ Mississippi & Parker Rd.
Entry Deadline: 6/22/20
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 6
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Colorado

High Line Canal Underpass Public Art Project 

Budget: $50,000 USD 

Eligibility: Artists residing in the State of Colorado 

DEADLINE: Monday, June 22, 2020; 11:59 P.M. MST 


The City of Denver’s Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or artist team working with sound and/or light for the High Line Canal Underpass at South Parker Road and East Mississippi Avenue in the Washington Virginia Vale Neighborhood in Denver. Construction on the underpass is slated for completion in the fall of 2021. The underpass culvert will span approximately 246 feet as a multi-use trail for cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross under South Parker Road. The artwork should not impede with one’s safety while traveling through the underpass. The underpass will be lit by standard lights throughout tunnel length. The goal of the public art commission is to create a sound or light artwork that is safe and fun, providing an unexpected surprise and delight experience for pedestrians and cyclists who travel through the underpass. The light and/or sound component may be installed at the entry or exit points of the underpass, but not run through its interior.  The artist will be responsible for coordinating electrical connections.  

The commission amount is $50,000 USD.  

High Line Canal Underpass Improvements 

The City and County of Denver will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with a safe, comfortable and intuitive connection beneath South Parker Road at East Mississippi Avenue. The project will remove the concerns of pedestrians attempting to cross over South Parker Road. The multi-use path will eliminate the gap along the bike route, providing increased safety and improved user experience.  

High Line Canal Trail 

The High Line Canal Trail is a popular stretch of path through Denver’s southside suburbs, winding for 71 miles between Aurora and Roxborough State Park. The trail is owned and operated by Denver Water and follows the canal that keeps Denver watered. The trail passes through many parks, each of which offer different amenities (drinking fountains, picnic tables, restrooms, parking, recreation facilities).  


At the heart of the Washington Virginia Vale neighborhood sits the Four Mile House, the Denver landmark that served as a stage stop, wayside inn and tavern to travelers on the Cherokee Trail.  

The Four Mile House was built in 1858 as the last stagecoach stop between Kansas City and Denver. This is Denver’s oldest remaining building and serves as a museum and community park. It was frequently a traveler’s last stop along the Cherokee Trail and served as a place to wash off the dust, have a hot meal and possibly a good night’s sleep before heading into the cow town of Denver.  

Cherry Creek Drive runs through the Washington Virginia Vale neighborhood offering green spaces, paths and a quick route to the Cherry Creek neighborhood. 

Washington Virginia Vale Neighborhood  

Washington Virginia Vale is a neighborhood in southeastern Denver. The neighborhood is roughly bound by Alameda Avenue, South Cherry Creek Drive and South Quebec Street. The western border of the neighborhood merges into the city of Glendale, an enclave of Denver. Washington Virginia Vale is home to George Washington High School, McMeen Elementary School, Place Bridge Academy, Garland Park and two other small city parks. The Consulates General of México, Peru and Guatemala are all located in the neighborhood. Washington Virginia Vale Neighborhood boasts appealing single-family homes from the 1950s and 1960s with mature trees that keep the streets  shaded. The neighborhood has a diverse mix of large multifamily housing complexes and commercial development, especially along Leetsdale Drive.  

Materials & Media 

The selection panel is open to sound and/or light artwork suitable for an outdoor environment. Artwork must be durable and able to withstand human touch, and meet all ADA regulations. Artists are asked to be mindful and respectful of the underpass’s functionality and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. 

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 will 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 before the submission of a final proposal. The chosen proposal 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. The selected artist/team is expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame. 


This project is open to artists who currently live and work in the State of 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. The selection panel is interested in artists who can demonstrate an understanding sound or light art, the area’s residents, history and surrounding neighborhood.  

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. 

Applying for these opportunities 

In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit six digital images and/or videos, a résumé and a statement in the artist’s interest in the project in collaboration with a writer no longer than 2,000 characters via (CaFÉ™). From these applications, the selection panel will select up to five finalists 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. Finalists 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 will collaborate with the Public Art Program staff and the High Line Canal Underpass design and construction team when finalizing their designs for installation. 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 guide on filling out this form.  

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 mean 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 $50,000 USD, which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. 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, the timeline is subject to adjustments) 

Monday, June 22, 2020; 11:59 P.M. MST              Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)  

July 2020 Finalist Selection  

August 2020 Artist Selection and Notification 

Project Selection Panel 

According to Denver’s Public Art Policy, the art selection panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The High Line Canal Underpass art 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, selecting and interviewing finalists, and identifying an artist or artist team for the commission.   

Selection Process 

Up to five artists, sound and/or light artists will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with site representatives, the design team and public art staff. The 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, 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—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. 

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, he/she may call 720-865-5575 to use a computer at the Denver Arts & Venues offices. 

Statement of Interest—Please submit a statement outlining your interest in the High Line Canal Underpass public art project and why it is of special interest to you (2,000 character maximum) via CaFÉ™.   

Résumé—Submit 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 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 to the email on file from the CaFÉ™ application. 

References – Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references. 

Please direct all questions about the project to: 

Mary Valdez, Public Art Program Administrator,, 720-865-5564 


Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria