Call Detail
Dixie State University Science - Engineering & Technology - Utah Public Art
Utah Public Art Program
300 S. Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Utah
Entry Deadline: 4/24/20
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 10
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 10
Dixie State University in partnership with the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management and the Utah Division of Arts & Museum Public Art Program is requesting artist or artist team qualifications for the creation of site-specific artwork(s) for the Dixie State University Science, Technology and Engineering Building in St. George, Utah.


The College of Science, Engineering, and Technology offers Bachelor's degrees, Associate of Arts or Science degrees and Associate degrees in Applied Science. A Dixie State University education provides experience through undergraduate research while preparing students for their career. 

Courses offered in the Science, Engineering and Technology departments are well planned and designed to give students the best education possible. Classes and laboratories are designed to stimulate and increase students’ desire to learn and succeed.

This new building will enable the university to expand its academic offerings in computer, electrical and mechanical engineering along with biology, chemistry, physics, geology, physiology and genetic counseling. Graduates in these programs will go on to fill regional health care and technology workforce shortages.

Additionally, the facility will allow Dixie State to create technology, engineering and biotech pipeline programs with Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah and local tech industry partners.

Standing five stories high and consisting of 122,000 square feet of classrooms, laboratories and support spaces, the new Science, Technology & Engineering Building at Dixie State University will help meet the ever increasing demand for state-of-the-art science and engineering facilities required by so many of the majors offered by the university.  Disciplines that will be taught in this building include Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Genetics, Geo Sciences, Prototyping, Thermofluids, Mechatronics and Computer Sciences, to name a few.  From the beginning of the project, the various departments belonging to this building have expressed excitement to cohabitate and a desire for increased cross-disciplinary collaboration.

One key architectural response to this desire for collaboration was inspired by an oasis within a desert.  In a harsh desert environment, an oasis provides shelter, resources, and comfort sought out by all walks of life.  An oasis brings many unlikely life forms together to a place of cohabitation where all can enjoy the amenities that the oasis has to offer.  Strategically placed throughout the SET building are many shared “oasis” spaces for both students and faculty of all disciplines to enjoy, including a café, a variety of study areas, public roof-top terraces, and student and faculty break rooms.  In the main student study areas on each floor these “oases” are marked by a slat-wood ceiling design intended to evoke the feeling of being under a canopy of trees. The spaces where light peaks through tree branches in a canopy was geometricized and represented as voided triangles with carefully selected light fixtures to create an ambiance different from other areas of the building.  These main student study areas are located along the main pathway through the building creating a common ground for all disciplines to study, recharge, meet, and interact.

The location of this building and its relationship to campus also promotes interaction.  The SET Building sits at the extreme south end of its site and engages with the a main student thoroughfare, providing views into some of the building’s most interactive labs as well as a featured view into the mechanical room which will highlight the beauty of the intricate mechanical design required to make the science and engineering labs function.  Two tiered classrooms above span across the student thoroughfare and reach out towards the fountain.  On the north side of the building is an engineering yard just outside of the prototyping and project labs where engineering students can wheel out large projects to work in the open air.  The engineering yard also provides an open space outside for students to showcase their work to the public on certain occasions such as the Dixie Design Days event.

The exterior building materials were selected from a color palette to be “of the desert”.  The base of the building is clad in Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) panels, which becomes a visual plinth that the building rests upon.  A glass curtain wall system populates the north and south facades, allowing for daylighting into the science labs and views out across campus and to the desert landscape beyond. 

The south curtainwall is equipped with sunshades to mitigate glare and solar heat gain. The east and west facades are clad with Copper metal panels which are expected to patina to a rich dark brown color in Southern Utah’s arid environment. Copper’s thermal, conductive, geological, chemical and microbial properties seem to give this metal a special relevance and meaning to each discipline in this building, making this building material particularly appropriate for a building that celebrates different forms of knowledge coming together to spark innovation and collaboration.

The Selection Committee asks that interested artist consider:
Active Learning / Active Life is the vision for Dixie State University and informs this facility design as well as the learning and teaching in the College of Science, Technology and Engineering.

The College is creating a space to design and make. The intent is impact and less as spectator or lecture. This building will be a dense “beehive” of activity with “do space” for students and faculty working in “maker spaces.” The aim is innovation, collaboration and inspiration.

The science themed and rich materiality of the building design provides many opportunities for the integration of an artist’s interpretation into the architecture and site. 

The Selection Committee is open to artist suggested sites, both interior and exterior, but has identified areas that would likely not be ideal sites for public art: west side exterior, stairwells, glass / windows, or north portion of student lounge. The southern exterior sidewalk / plaza is a fire lane and cannot be obstructed. Lastly, the windows into the laboratories facing the plaza are designed to allowing viewing into and out of the labs and should be considered for any proposals involving those areas.

The attached plans and elevations have been marked with some of the potential sites as identified by the Committee understanding that artists may see other opportunities / sites.

Dixie State University is a public comprehensive university dedicated to rigorous learning and the enrichment of the professional and personal lives of its students and community by providing opportunities that engage the unique Southern Utah environment and resources.

Dr. Richard B. Williams, President of Dixie University writes, “As a regional state university, we promote our campus-wide culture of learning by providing our students with rigorous instruction and personalized attention delivered by a talented roster of highly trained and educated faculty. We are proud to offer nearly 60 undergraduate programs and 44 highly sought after bachelor degree programs. As part of our mission, Dixie State has also maintained its role as a community college in providing several educational and vocational opportunities to our students. We embrace and celebrate a culture of values and we take pride in fostering a spirit of service, citizenship, diversity, ethics and collaboration – all of which are hallmarks of a true university.”

St. George is the county seat of Washington County, Utah. It is located in the southwestern part of the state near the Arizona and Nevada borders. The city lies in the northeasternmost part of the Mojave Desert, adjacent to the Pine Valley Mountains near the convergence of three distinct geological areas: the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin. The city is 118 miles (190 km) northeast of Las Vegas and 300 miles (480 km) south-southwest of Salt Lake City. The St. George area is well known for its natural environment and proximity to several state and national parks.

As of the 2018 U.S Census estimates, the city had a population of 87,178, and the St. George metropolitan area had an estimated population of 171,700.  St. George is the seventh-largest city in Utah and most populous city in the state outside of the Wasatch Front.

St. George was identified as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. in 2018. St. George ranked most secure and best place to live in the United States in 2006, and was rated among the top 10 best small cities in the country for business and careers by Forbes.

The Virgin River Anasazi were St. George’s earliest residents, inhabiting the area from approximately 200 B.C. to 1200 A.D. They left behind rock art and ruins of their dwellings. The reason for their departure is unknown to this day. The Paiute tribe arrived between 1100 and 1200 A.D., utilizing the area as a hunting ground for deer, rabbits and other animals. The Paiutes also grew crops along the riverbeds, including corn, wheat and melons. In 1776, the Dominguez-Escalante Party became the first recorded European-Americans to visit the area. Fur trappers and government survey parties followed.

St. George became the county seat of Washington County in 1863. In 1911, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of St. George’s settling, the Dixie Stake Academy building was constructed. The LDS Church operated the academy until 1933, when it became a two-year college within Utah’s higher education system. The new Dixie College campus opened in the southeastern corner of the city in the 1960’s. 
(courtesy and

$340,000 is available for all related expenses of this Public Art commission(s) including (but not limited to) artist fees, fabrication, insurance, shipping, travel, installation, documentation, etc.

Resident US citizen or legal resident artists / artist teams are eligible to apply for this project. Utah artists are strongly encouraged to apply.  Art Selection Committee members, staff and Board of Utah Arts & Museums, and VCBO Architects are not eligible to apply for this commission.  

Register at and follow the directions for registration and submitting material for this Public Art Request for Qualifications    

1. Letter of Interest: Briefly describe your interest in this project and how your work may relate. If you have a concept in mind you may include that information. 5000 Maximum Character Limit

2. Visual support materials: Visual representations of your work in up to ten still images and/or up to six moving image files – for total of 10 samples maximum. (jpg files under 5MB –Video files: MOV, MP4, WMV, 3GP, AVI, ASF, MPG, M2T, MKV, M2TS under 100 MB - Audio files: AIFF, WAV, XMF, MP3 under 10 MB

3. CV/Resume: Upload up to three pages.

Faxed or e-mailed applications cannot be accepted. The Art Selection Committee reserves the right to withhold the award of a commission or re-release the call for entries.  

Complete applications packages must be submitted on or before April 24, 2020 by 11:59 pm (MST) via CaFE.

The Selection Committee will review all preliminary material properly submitted.  Finalists will be selected from the first phase of applicants and asked to present a working proposal to the Selection Committee on July 16, 2020. Contacts and as much information as possible will be provided to the finalists to assist in research and development of a proposal.

An honorarium will be offered to the finalists to help defray the costs associated with development of a proposal and travel. This honorarium will be applied toward the commission amount for the artist(s) awarded the commission. Final selection(s) will be made from the finalists interviewed. 

February 2020 - Release RFQ
April 24, 2020 - Deadline for receipt of preliminary materials
May 14, 2020 - Committee Review 
July 16, 2020 – Finalists presentations
May 15, 2021 – Substantial completion of the project

Clint Bunnell - State of Utah, Division of Facilities Construction & Management
Shane Christensen - Dixie State University (DSU,) Assistant Professor of Art
Tyler Froelich - VCBO Architecture 
Paul Morris - DSU, Vice President of Administrative Affairs
Eric Pedersen - DSU, Dean of College of Science, Engineering & Technology
Richard Williams - DSU, President

If you have any questions about this or other projects, information is available at: 
Or contact:  Jim Glenn at 801-245-7271 or
All images courtesy VCBO Architects and Dixie State University
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