Call Detail
Sun Valley Neighborhood Public Art Project
Entry Deadline: 3/22/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 7
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Colorado

Public Art Project
Sun Valley Neighborhood
Budget: $120,000.00 USD
Eligibility: Open to artists residing in the state of Colorado
DEADLINE: Monday, March 22, 2021, 11:59 pm 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 Sun Valley Neighborhood in Denver. A selection panel of community representatives, arts and culture 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 also identified at least two exterior sites for potential art opportunities and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately $120,000 USD.

Sun Valley Neighborhood

·       Sun Valley is a formally recognized neighborhood in the City of Denver with a compact census tract of 0.64 square miles.

·       The neighborhood is bound by Colfax Avenue and the Broncos Stadium to the north, Federal Boulevard to the west, 6th Avenue and the light industrial district to the south, and the South Platte River to the east. Lakewood Gulch traverses the neighborhood, ending at the South Platte River just south of Colfax Avenue. The gulch travels through Rude Park at the west side of the neighborhood. The park contains a recreation center, bike paths, and a baseball field.

·       Sun Valley is home to a diverse population including Denver’s largest concentration of recent immigrants who bring their local customs and culture to the area. The Sun Valley Neighborhood is undergoing a massive redevelopment.

·       This historically low-density, low-income community along the banks of the Platte River is one of the most geographically central neighborhoods in the metro Denver region and home to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, the majority of whom live in subsidized housing.

·       The development plan includes the replacement of 333 obsolete public housing units with newly constructed, energy efficient developments on and off-site throughout the neighborhood.  In total, the Plan will create over 800 mixed-income units in four phases.

For more information on the Sun Valley Neighborhood and the Healthy Living Initiative, please visit:

Site, 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 live in and visit the Sun Valley neighborhood. The panel is very invested in the importance of families and youth in the community and the desire to create a space that is interactive, engaging, and safe for a diverse range of ages and abilities.

Sun Valley is significant historically as a gathering place and home for indigenous communities, the Chicano community, and more recent immigrant communities. The panel hopes to see artwork(s) that reflect the rich diversity of cultures over time.  Artworks should enhance the experience of families and communities in the area and the panel would like to see some direct community engagement in the design, installation and/or programming of the work.  Artworks could be created using diverse media including sculpture, light, sound and in-ground mosaic applications. Works that are innovative, inspiring, reflect the diverse cultures in the area and help to connect the neighborhood are desired. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display, although are not looking for two-dimensional artworks.

The panel has identified two potential sites for art. Selected finalists will create proposals which can include one or both sites.

1.       The first is a prominent location inside the Rude Park located at W. 13th Ave. and Decatur St. This location is near the entrance to the Lakewood Gulch Trail, a popular bicycle and pedestrian trail and could be a “gateway” or “beacon” artwork for the Sun Valley community.

2.       The second site is the future, reconstructed length of W. 10th Ave. between Decatur St. and Bryant St. This will be considered a “festival” street and artworks could be installed along this stretch of sidewalk; or embedded in the ground plane leading to the nearby Riverfront Park. Artists are asked to be mindful and respectful of the area’s functionality, access, and diverse users in the community.

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 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 residing in the state of Colorado. We are committed to building a public art collection that represents a broad diversity of artists based on 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 neighborhood, as well as the area’s history, urban landscape, surrounding neighborhoods, and in context with 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 the following items via (CaFÉ™).

1.       Six digital images

2.       Résumé

3.       Statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters

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 Department of Transportation and Infrastructure design and planning staff 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 $120,000.00 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 streetscapes in the Sun Valley Neighborhood. 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, March 22, 2021 11:59 P.M. MST            Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

May, 2021                                                                   Finalist Selection

September, 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 Sun Valley Neighborhood selection panel is comprised of 10 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

1.       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 community members from the art selection panel, Denver Transportation and Infrastructure representatives, Denver Housing Authority representatives the design team and public art program staff.  The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare and present the proposal in a virtual format.

2.       The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists and recommend an artist/artist team for the commission.

3.       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 one video file.
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 brief statement (2,000-character maximum) outlining the following:

·       Your interest in the Sun Valley Neighborhood public art project

·       Your design approach

·       Experience working on projects of this kind

·       Please also include information on your experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders

  • An additional question will be required in the application asking how the artist has engaged community and neighborhood members in the design, installation and/or programming of a past public art project.

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 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:
Brendan Picker, Public Art Program Administrator,, 720-865-5563.

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria