Call Detail
Denver International Airport Concourse Expansion Colorado Public Art; B-East
Entry Deadline: 9/7/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 6
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Colorado
Budget: 300,000.00 - $450,000.00 USD

Denver International Airport (DEN) seeks to commission a Colorado-based artist or artist team to create a dynamic, site-specific work of suspended public artwork for the Concourse Expansion Program. With the Concourse Expansion Program, four locations across all three concourses have been identified for the inclusion of public artwork. This Request for Qualification (RFQ) is seeking to select an artist for the B-East expansion site. A separate RFQ will be released for the selection of the three other project sites. A selection panel of community representatives, arts and culture professionals and civic leaders has been assembled for the selection, with a budget range of $300,000.00 - $450,000.00

DEN is known for its remarkable public art collection, cultural exhibits, public events, and iconic architecture such as the canopy of our Jeppesen Terminal. With the opportunity of the Concourse Expansion Program, DEN is excited to unveil a new artwork by a Colorado artist, creating a memorable experience that passengers have come to expect from our world class public art collection and airport. 

Since opening in 1995, Denver International Airport (DEN) has grown to become the 16th busiest airport in the world and the fifth busiest airport in the United States in 2019. With more than 69 million passengers traveling through the airport in 2019, DEN is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. With over 30,000 employees on campus. DEN is the primary economic engine for the State of Colorado, generating more than $33.5 billion for the region annually, and supporting nearly 260,000 indirect jobs.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused DEN’s traffic to fall in April 2020 to just 4% of its April 2019 traffic volume, DEN quickly made major adjustments to its operations and maintenance budget, renegotiated its major contracts and provided relief to all its airline and concessions partners. DEN ended the year at 49% of 2019 traffic, with strong debt service coverage, significant cash on hand, and poised for a 2021 rebound in traffic. With its strong domestic market, DEN has exceeded the average recoveries of U.S. airports by about 15%. DEN ended 2020 as the 3rd busiest commercial airport in the U.S., and 7th busiest in the world, demonstrating the relative strength of its market.

DEN is one of the few major U.S. airports with room to expand its current facilities to accommodate significant future growth. Encompassing 53 square miles (34,000 acres, or 137.8 square kilometers) of land, DEN is twice the size of Manhattan Island, and is larger than the city boundaries of Boston, Miami or San Francisco. The four busiest airports in the U.S. – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles International, and Dallas Fort Worth – could collectively fit into DEN’s property, with land left over.

For images of facilities, visit:

Denver’s Public Art Program was established in 1988 as an Executive Order under then Denver Mayor Federico Peña. The order, enacted into Ordinance by Denver City Council in 1991, directs that 1% of any capital improvement project over $1 million undertaken by the City be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects. Over the past 30 years, the City of Denver has invested more than $40 million in public art for over 300 works.  

According to Denver's Public Art policy, the project selection panel plays an active role in acquiring public art for Denver. Denver International Airport’s selection panel is comprised of 11 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 selecting an artist or artist team for the commission.

The permanent art collection at DEN today consists of 33 public artworks by local, national, and international artists that can be found along Peña Blvd., the Jeppesen Terminal, all three concourses, the Westin Hotel, DEN Plaza, and the RTD A-Line platform.  When the airport opened in 1995, DEN’s art collection was heralded as one of the most innovative airport art collections in the world.

In 2020, the airport adopted the DEN Public Art and Exhibits Master Plan, designating impactful, thoughtful locations within the DEN campus for art integration that will enhance and improve passenger experience. DEN aims to connect the community and its diverse international audience to the environment and culture of the vibrant City of Denver and the unique State of Colorado.  Public art locations were carefully strategized to ensure that new artworks are integrated into the airport environment with careful consideration and flexibility to accommodate the inevitable changes to the airport operations as we continue to grow.  DEN must maintain site lines to way finding, passenger amenities, and commercial opportunities within the airport environment.

The $1.5B Concourse Expansion Program is DEN’s largest capital improvement project since the airport first opened in 1995, aiming to meet the needs of DEN’s growing operations.  It expands all three concourses, adding 39 gates for a 30% gate capacity increase.  Additionally, we have added thoughtfully designed passenger amenities including dining and shopping options, a variety of comfortable seating choices, expansive restrooms, charging stations, pet relief areas and outdoor observation decks.

The Concourse Expansion Program aims to bridge the existing concourse with the new expansion areas through a simplified design approach, visual decluttering of the interior space and improvements to the passenger experience through increased natural lighting, accessible views to the outdoors, and intuitive wayfinding.

Sustainability is a top priority of this program with all concourse expansion areas designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.  The program had a heavy focus on sustainable materials, and each project is designed to use 30% less energy than typical airport facilities by:

  • Utilizing rooftop photovoltaic energy generation
  • Energy recovery of exhaust and outdoor air
  • Modern exterior and interior lighting
  • Increased natural lighting throughout the concourses

The Concourse Expansion Program is anticipated to complete construction by the end of 2022 with all public art installations being integrated post-construction.

For this Request for Qualification (RFQ) DEN is seeking to select an artist or artist team to create an original work of art for the Concourse B-East expansion site. To date, Concourse B is DEN’s busiest concourse and currently serves United Airlines, DEN’s largest airline partner. In 2019, Concourse B served 28 million passengers with 55% of the population connecting to another flight and 45% of passengers originating their travels at DEN or consider Denver and the surrounding region a final destination. Typically, DEN sees the largest volume of domestic business travelers within Concourse B.

DEN is seeking to commission a piece of suspended artwork within the threshold between the existing concourse and the expansion area. The artwork should act as a landmark for passengers as they travel through the concourse and offer a sense of arrival. The artwork has a maximum footprint of 42ft (L), 22ft (W), 11ft (D) or total available artwork volume of 10,164 ft3.

For images and further information on the project site listed above please refer to the site plan or visit:

The selection panel and DEN have set forth specific goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating a memorable, exciting, and inspiring artwork for the millions of passengers and international guests of the airport. The airport seeks to:

  • To activate the Concourse B-East expansion area with dynamic site-specific suspended artwork
  • Reflect the individual personality of Concourse B and its travelers
  • Speak to the international audience of DEN while also highlighting the culture of the vibrant City of Denver and the unique State of Colorado
  • Have the artwork act as a landmark or meeting point, and provide a sense of place
  • Have the artwork aid in pulling the passenger down the concourse as they move towards the new expansion and to their flight
  • Provide a sense of wonderment and relief to the environment
  • Complement the iconic architecture of DEN


  • A daytime and nighttime presence utilizing the natural lighting that Colorado is known for with over 300 sunny days a year and four distinct seasons
  • Subject matter that promotes a calm experience for travelers in a bustling environment
  • Artworks that are proportional to scale and volume of the space
  • Artwork with low maintenance and minimal operational costs
  • Presence of required wayfinding and commercial signage

All applicants are expected to consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art, along with time and budget. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Finalists are encouraged to consult with a professional fabricator and/or 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.

The budget for this commission is approximately $300,000.00 - $450,000.00 USD. A final budget and commission will be awarded based upon finalist’s artwork proposal, materials used, and volume of space activated.

The funds for this public artwork come from the City of Denver's 1% Percent for Public Art Ordinance designated by the Concourse Expansion Program at Denver International Airport. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the art 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, permits, transportation, installation, any building or site modification required (structural support, lighting, mechanical adjustments, etc.), travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, a contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other associated costs. Installation for all locations will take place during off-peak operation hours including nights and weekends. For all work done on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame.

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 the 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, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical disabilities, appearance, historically under marginalized and disadvantaged persons, as well as social identities such as religion, marital status, socio-economic status, lifestyle, educations, parental status, geographic background, language ability, and veteran status.

Please direct all questions about the project to Samantha Weston, DEN Public Art Program Administrator / 303-817-7266

Application Requirements

In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items via (CaFÉ™)

  1. Up to 6 digital images of past public artwork, designs, or artwork relevant to this opportunity
  2. Résumé
  3. Statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters

From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five finalists for this project site to prepare a more in-depth art proposal. Artist(s) will receive more site-specific information and supplementing documents to aid in the proposal process.  Finalists will be invited to present their concept design to the selection panel in person. Expenses related to travel, design concept and presentation materials will be offset by a set stipend. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Denver Public Art Committee and the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs for a vote of approval.  Finally, the Mayor of Denver will approve and confirm the selection.   

Artist(s) 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, Denver International Airport, and the Design-Build teams when finalizing their designs for installation.

*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™ website. Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here:

Digital Images – In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit 6 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 first image. They must be submitted last in your image sequence.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at :

Statement of Interest- Please submit a brief statement (2,000 character maximum) outlining the following:

  • Your interest in Denver International Airport and the Concourse Expansion Program
  • Your design approaches
  • Your experience working on public art projects of this nature
  • Your experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders

Résumé – Submit a 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). Limit your résumé to no longer than two pages. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with no more than one page per team member.

SurveyApplicants will be required to fill out a short demographic survey that will be sent via Microsoft Forms to the email on file from the CaFÉ™ application.

References – Selected finalists will be required to provide three professional references.

Eligibility Criteria

This project is open to all artists residing in the state of Colorado. Denver Public Art is 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 ability. Emerging artists and those with no prior public art experience are encouraged to partner and consult with experienced professionals such as architects, fabricators, and designers. Artists from under resourced or marginalized communities based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and or disability are encouraged to 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. All members within the artist team must reside within the state of Colorado.