Call Detail
Renewable Energy Project
Entry Deadline: 4/5/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 5
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 15
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado


The city of Thornton, in collaboration with the Thornton Arts, Sciences and Humanities Council (TASHCO), is seeking to commission original public art. This project will commission 3D, site specific work that will have a strong visual impact, engage visitors (specifically, youth), compliment the space-themed park, and push Thornton into a contemporary setting.

Artists will be challenged to present work that utilizes some form of renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.) that activates the piece and engages viewers. Artist are encouraged to explore contemporary materials, themes, and utilize interdisciplinary practices to meet the scope of the project in addition to unique and exciting use of technology. 


This work will help build a diverse and engaging collection of public art that is personal to Thornton and informed by the community. The artwork will establish Thornton as an innovative and exciting destination-city; engaged in contemporary conversations on art and culture. 

Site Location and Footprint

This project is part of the council-approved, 5-year public art plan and has been assigned to Ward 1.

This piece will be installed at a new park located at 88th Avenue and Santa Fe. The newly constructed park is outer space themed and includes solar system and atomic details along with new playground.

The working area is approximately 15-feet by 20-feet, with no height or weight restrictions. The surface is crushed granite fines, not concrete. Additional foundational needs will need to come out of the project budget.  Two trees are planted on the north side of the location, behind the boulder seating. These may impact project who propose solar energy.

Please click the link below to view plans/graphics of the site:
click here for site plan

Objective and Key Themes

Prior to 2018, Thornton Public Art Collection pieces utilized similar materials (masonry and bronze). In 2020, emphasis was put on future-forward design, viewer engagement/activation, and a piece’s relation to physical space. Successful artists will challenge themselves to think creatively and "outside the box" in order to engage viewers and expand art in Thornton through the use of contemporary design, materials, and technology. 

This is an opportunity to create public art work that will not only spark conversations, but have a positive impact on all who visit this space. Finalists are encouraged to think critically and provide well-researched proposals/designs that meet the scope of the project in addition to the following:

  • Cohesive and forward-thinking design that applies 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 creativity, innovative materials, and technology.    
  • Experience in large scale fabrication and installation of impactful, landmark works.
  • Holistic and nontraditional approach to place-making and (re)activation of a physical space; considering viewing in all seasons, weather conditions, and lighting conditions. 
  • Strong understanding of the role artists plays in a growing city and the positive effect art has on public space and community identity.
  • Strong understanding of audience/viewer engagement and activation.
  • Understanding of the specialized needs and materials for durable, outdoor public art work. 
  • Ability to present well-researched and prepared proposals to a committee of stakeholders which include residents, elected officials, and city staff.
  • Ability to meet the needs of a community and site within the allotted budget and timeframe. 
  • Understanding and commitment to the diversity and unique character that make the city of Thornton a special place to live, work, and play. 


The public art process is guided by transparency, inclusivity, and diversity. The public art subcommittee is committed to creating space for underrepresented and diverse voices in creative industries. Artists and creative teams committed to work around equity, diversity, and inclusion are strongly encouraged to apply for consideration. 

The city of Thornton is an equal opportunity employer. The city reaffirms its commitment to comply with all appropriate federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination.

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


Applicants will ensure to meet the scope of this project in addition to the following:

  • The movement, safety and security of visitors is priority.
  • The work must be able to withstand a wide fluctuation in temperature and direct sunlight.
  • Materials used must be durable, and require little and/or easy maintenance.
  • Details and calculations for art will be needed if there are any connections to city infrastructure (electricity).
  • Work needs to take into account additional external factors which may affect the condition of the artwork in addition to other precautionary measures (e.g. direct sunlight, extremes of annual rain or snowfall, temperature, air moisture or dryness, acidity of rainfall, flooding, wind, vibrations, air pollutants, vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic; animal interaction with artwork – potential for nesting, droppings, etc.; human interaction with artwork – touching, sitting, climbing, vandalism).
  • Award winner will be required to coordinate installation activities with city of Thornton staff.
  • Award winner will be required to provide detailed records, guidelines, procedures to assist staff with future maintenance and repair. 
  • Design cannot contain business promotions or advertisements.
  • Design cannot include any breach of intellectual property, brands, trademarks, or depictions of illegal activities.
  • Artists do not need to include the city of Thornton logo in their design(s).
  • The design must be family-friendly.


The project budget is $35,000, which is inclusive of artist's fee, materials, fabrication and execution of work; equipment rentals; licenses, permits, 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 Approval

This public art process will be split into several rounds:

Round 1: Portfolio Review (Four Hours)

The panel (consisting of project and community stakeholders) will review a portfolio of artists' work. Applicants are encouraged to submit 5 – 10 pieces of work that highlight their diverse skills and experience. Artists are not required to submit concept designs, but can choose to include them in this first review. Artist who do not submit concepts for the site will not be penalized.

Round 2: Semi Finalist Deliberation (Four Hours)

The panel will meet to discuss top scores and advocate for their favorite applicants. Up to three semifinalists may be identified for a project. Panel members will make a motion and approve the semifinalists. Semifinalists will be issued a modest honorarium to create a site-specific proposal. Artists will be invited to present their proposal to the panel via Zoom along with Q&A.

Round 3: Design Presentations (Four Hours) 

Semifinalists will produce a well-researched and creative site-specific proposal that meets the needs of the project in addition to the following:

  1. Final design
  2. 3D rendering and/or images of final piece within the physical space that give an idea of scale and impact.   
  3. Itemized budget, including insurance, travel, install, foundational, and contractor costs
  4. Production and implementation schedule
  5. Artist statement and project narrative
  6. Materials list, including supplier information
  7. Warranty information (if available)
  8. Maintenance information, including procedures, timelines and future estimated city costs.

Proposals will be due to Jesse Jimenez, Arts & Culture Coordinator, one week before the scheduled presentations. 

Round 4: Final Deliberation (Two Hours) 

Each panel member will complete a score card. Presenters will be scored on the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality
  • Project feasibility
  • Community activation/engagement
  • Project goals
  • Overall presentation

Panel members will review each presentation, design, and scorecard to identify the best candidate.

Round 5: Council Recommendation and Final Approval 

Once a finalist has been identified, 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 the TASHCO board for approval. If approved, TASHCO will then present the recommendation to Thornton City Council. Council may request additional information to support the public art recommendation at that time or approve the award.

Upon final approval from Thornton City Council, the award-winner will then begin to enter into contracts and purchasing agreements with the city of Thornton.


Below are important 2021 project dates. Staff will communicate any changes to applicants via email as needed.

  • Open Call: March 1 – April 5
  • Round 1: April 6 – 12
  • Round 2: April 22
  • Round 3 & 4 : June 3
  • TASHCO Approval: July 2021  
  • City Council Approval: October 2021

The commissioned piece will have a final project deadline of December 31, 2022.

Submission Requirements

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

Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

  • 3 -10 images of completed work. Please ensure this work showcases your creativity and ability to meet the demands of the project scope.
  • Written statement explaining how your work will not only diversify the Thornton Public Art Collection, but also engage and/or collaborate with the Thornton community.
  • Written statement explaining how your work supports efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion or how you plan to incorporate these themes into your work and/or creative process.
  • What’s your favorite color?
  • Resume/ CV

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria