Call Detail
Public Art: Carpenter Recreation Center Atrium
Entry Deadline: 5/3/20
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 12
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado


The Thornton Arts, Sciences and Humanities Council (TASHCO), in collaboration with the city of Thornton, are seeking to commission large-scale, original public art. This work will be installed in the atrium of the Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center, located at 11151 Colorado Boulevard, 80233.   This project will produce public art work that will speak to the location, have a positive visual impact and welcome visitors to the facility. The final work should help push Thornton into a contemporary setting and help it become a destination-city; engaged in important conversations on art and culture.    


About the Location 

The Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center opened in 1994 and was named to honor the former Thornton Mayor who served for 20 years. The center is a 7,800-square foot facility and is one of Thornton’s most popular community buildings. The center has an indoor swimming pool, fitness center and weight room, indoor running track, gymnasium, community meeting rooms, and hosts both adult and youth programming.    


Key Themes and Objectives 

This is an opportunity to create large-scale public art that will create a positive impact on all who work at and visit this city facility. Artists are encouraged to think “outside the box” to create work that speaks to the building’s  kinetic energy and focus on health and wellness. Successful proposals will demonstrate a unique and creative interpretation of the space in addition to the following: 

  • Cohesive designs that apply to the designated area(s). 

  • Dynamic use of color, composition and style elements that create a strong visual impact. 

  • Interdisciplinary practice with an emphasis on creative and innovative materials, as well as technology.     

  • Experience in large-scale fabrication and installation of works.  

  • Holistic approach to place-making and (re)activation of a physical space. 

  • Strong understanding of contemporary art and its positive effect on public space and community identity. 

  • Understanding of the specialized needs and materials for durable, public art work.   

  • Understanding of the diversity and unique character that make the city of Thornton a special place to live, work, and play.       


This nationwide call is open to all artists, design teams, architectural firms, etc., age 18 and over, regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability. 

Preference will be given to those with a proven history of fabrication and installation of large-scale public work.  

Special consideration will be made for applicants who are confident in their ability to fabricate, complete, and install work to meet the demands of the spaces and strict deadlines.   

City of Thornton employees are not eligible. 


Timelines and Commitments 

The Carpenter Recreation Center is open Monday – Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The awarded artist will need to coordinate and schedule installation around operational hours. No special closures will be scheduled for the installation of the art. After hours installation may be an option  

Submission Deadline: May , 2020; 5 p.m. 

Review & Selection Process: May – June.  

Award and Installation: July – December.  

Final Project Deadline: December 31, 2020.  

Below is a list of 2020 closures and adjusted schedules for the Recreation Center: 

  • Closed – Annual Maintenance Shutdown; Saturday thru Sunday, May 16 – 24. 

  • Closed – Memorial Day Monday, May 25. 

  • Adjusted Scheduled – Thorntonfest; Saturday, June 6, 7a.m. – 12 p.m.  

  • Closed – Independence Day; Saturday, July 4. 

  • Closed – Labor Day; Monday, September 7.  

  • Closed – Thanksgiving Day; Thursday, November 26.  

  • Adjusted Schedule – Christmas Eve; Thursday, December 24. 

  • Closed – Christmas Day; Friday, December 25.  


Site Location and Footprint 

The Carpenter Recreation Center atrium is 1,274 square feet. The ceiling currently has a sky mural painted on it. Applicants can choose to incorporate the existing mural into their final design or install an updated design. Below are the areas available for art installation: 

  1. Ceiling 

At the highest point, the ceiling is roughly 22 feet and lowers to 9 feet. The total viable area is 54’.08” feet x 38’.06”. Any proposed suspended work must be lightweight and remain out of reach. Finalists will be given weight limits once the information is made available.  


  1. Tower  

The tower has a radius of 31’ 2”. At the highest accessible point, the dome reaches 33’.  This area receives the most natural light throughout the day which may affect any projection mapping proposals, but be incorporated into concept designs.   Suspended work must remain above the lower level and out of reach in addition to being light weight. Finalists will be given weight limits once the information is made available.  


  1. Wall Cut-Outs  

There are six cut-outs that surround the tower structure. Applicants can incorporate the current metal railings or propose an updated alternative. Art in this location will need to allow light to pass through and allow visibility for front line staff.  Each cut-out is roughly 6’.07” x 3’.11”. 


For the full RFP, project summary,  photos/plans, please visit the following link:


Submission Guidelines 

  1. The movement, safety and security of visitors is priority. 
  2. The artwork will be indoors. However, the work must be able to withstand a wide fluctuation in temperature and direct sunlight.  
  3. Materials used must be durable, light-weight (if suspended) and require little and/or easy maintenance.  
  4. Details and calculations for art will be needed if there are any connections to city infrastructure (electricity).  
  5. Details and calculations for suspended work will be needed. Materials should be light-weight and out of reach.   
  6. Award winner will be required to coordinate installation activities with city of Thornton staff. 
  7. Design should be pleasing and add beauty to the building/community.   
  8. Design cannot contain business promotions or advertisements. 
  9. Design cannot include any breach of intellectual property, brands, trademarks, or depictions of illegal activities. 
  10. Artists do not need to include the city of Thornton logo in their design(s).  
  11. Artists are encouraged to explore unique imagery, themes and materials.  
  12. The design must be family-friendly. 



The project budget is $46,000, which is inclusive of artist fees and project costs associated with fabrication, transportation, shipping, installation, insurance, etc.  


This project is made possible through funding provided by the Adams County Open Space Sale Tax.  The Open Space Sales Tax was approved by Adams County voters in 1999 as a 1/5 of one percent sales tax authorized through 2006. In 2004, voters approved an increase to ¼ of one percent, or 25 cents on a $100 purchase, and extended the sales tax through 2026.  Proceeds from the sales tax benefit parks, recreation, trails, and open space projects countywide  


Review Process and Award Approval  

This review process may be split into three rounds: 


Round 1: Portfolio Review   

The Carpenter Review Panel will consist of stakeholders, including community members, artists, and/or city staff. The panel will review a portfolio of applicants’ recent work. Applicants are encouraged to submit 4 – 10 images of their work. This work should  highlight their diverse skills and experience. Applicants are not required to submit concept designs for the site, but can choose to include them in this first review. Artist who do not submit concepts for the site will not be penalized.  


The panel will identify up to three finalists through this initial review.  The finalist(s) will be selected based on their skill level, artistic merit, and the overall impact of their work. The finalist(s) will be notified and move on the second round  


Round 2: Site-Specific Proposal  

A modest honorarium will be issued to the finalist(s) to create a site-specific proposal. This will include a schematic design, 3-D rendering, itemized budget, materials list, warranty information, implementation schedule, project narrative, and any additional materials requested by city of Thornton Staff. The Review Panel will review all proposal information and may schedule short conference/Skype calls to address any questions or concerns before casting their final votes.   


Round 3 (If needed): Public Forum and Additional Feedback 

The finalist may be asked to present their site-specific proposal in a public forum setting. This may include a larger group of community members, city staff, and/or Thornton City Council. Artists will be notified ahead of time if additional feedback is needed.  


Recommendations and Final Approval:  

If additional feedback is not needed, the recommendation process will begin. Please note that no project is officially awarded without final approval from Thornton City Council. A recommendation will be presented to TASHCO for approval. If approved, TASHCO will then present the recommendation to Thornton City Council. Council may request additional information at this time to support the public art recommendation or approve the award.    



The award process is initiated upon final approval by Thornton City Council Members. The award winner will then begin to enter into contracts and purchasing agreements with the city of Thornton.      


Timelines and Commitments  

Submission Deadline: May 3, 2020; 5 p.m. 

Review & Selection Process: May- June 

Award and Installation: July – December 

Final Project Deadline: December 31, 2020 

Submission Requirements  

By submitting your materials in response to this project RFP, you are agreeing to abide by all terms and conditions imposed by Weststaf for use of CAFÉ ( You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Thornton for any claim, cause of action, lawsuit and/or damages related to your use of CAFÉ for this RFP.   


 Incomplete and/or submissions that do not meet the scope of this project will not be accepted. Please ensure you have read all submission guidelines carefully before applying.  


 Please include all of the following materials to be considered for review: 

  • 4 – 10 images of completed, large-scale work. Please ensure this work showcases your creativity and ability to meet the demands of this projects. Please include the location and the date of completion for each work.     

  • Written statement or video detailing your creative process, drive and/or artistic philosophy.  

  • 2 – 3 professional references.  

  • Estimated budget outline or estimated major costs for the project (optional)  

  • Rough sketches or concept ideas for the project (optional)     


The finalist(s) will submit a site-specific proposal which may include following: 

  • Final design 

  • 3D Rendering 

  • Itemized budget. 

  • Implementation schedule  

  • Project narrative  

  • Materials list (including supplier information) 

  • Warranty information  

  • Maintenance information (including procedures, timeline, and estimated city costs) 

  • Contractors (if applicable)  

  • Liability Insurance (if applicable)   


Please submit all materials on 



Due to the impact of COVID-19, all timelines and budgets for this, and other public art projects are subject to change. These changes will be determined  by City Council. Staff will communicate any changes or delays to applicants as the information becomes available. All efforts are being made to continue supporting creative expression and artists. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate these challenging times.  


Additional Questions?  

Please contact Jesse Jimenez, Arts & Culture Coordinator at 720-977-5881 or 


Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria