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Fort Lewis College, Health Sciences Building - Request for Qualifications
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Entry Deadline: 1/7/22
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado
Budget: 193,000


 Qualifications are requested from artists and/or artist teams interested in creating site-specific public artwork(s) for the Health Sciences Center at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. .



Fort Lewis College (FLC) is the Southwest's crossroads of education and adventure. The 247-acre Fort Lewis College campus is in southwestern Colorado, situated at 6,872 feet atop a mesa overlooking the Animas River Valley and historic downtown Durango. The blend of small classes, dynamic academic programs, and a liberal arts perspective leads to transformative learning experiences that foster entrepreneurship, leadership, creative problem solving, and life-long learning. The unique and beautiful mountain campus, on a mesa above historic Durango, Colorado, inspires an active and friendly community with a spirit of engagement, exploration, and intellectual curiosity. One goal is to foster and maintain diversity on campus. In 2008, Fort Lewis was designated as one of six Native American-serving, non-tribal colleges by the U.S. Department of Education. Because of its unique origins as a military fort turned Indian boarding school turned state public school and following the 1911 mandate to provide a tuition-free education for qualified Native Americans, Fort Lewis College today awards more degrees to Native American students than any other four-year, baccalaureate-granting institution in the nation - about 26% of all degrees awarded.

The campus' distinctive architectural theme utilizes locally quarried sandstone to acknowledge the region's Native Puebloan building style and evoke the Four Corners' landscape and colors. Fort Lewis College is a signatory to the Second Nature Carbon Commitment, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, with interim emissions reductions targets every five years. As of 2020, FLC has reduced climate-changing emissions by 62%. Action to achieve the carbon commitment includes composting, recycling, alternative transportation, renewable energy, and more.



The Health Sciences Center project encompasses an addition to the existing Whalen Gymnasium. The building will be a recognized center for research and entrepreneurship in Health Science studies; creativity in wellness and health; and will link the adventure of the unmatched outdoor world of Durango to the field of Health Sciences and the pursuits of FLC students. The plan includes 42,000 square feet for new classrooms and lab space for Health Sciences, including an adaptive exercise lab, new study and gathering spaces, new women’s varsity locker room and faculty and staff offices. FLC’s newly formed Health Sciences department is one of the growing programs, containing the following areas of study - Exercise Physiology;  Exercise & Health Promotion; Nutrition Science; Public Health; Sports Administration and Coaching. This new building will be the arena for study and application of knowledge. A single facility will allow FLC to take advantage of commonalities and shared facilities to achieve space efficiencies and to reinforce the academic mission of the Health Sciences Department. Students will use principles of health, movement, and nutrition to learn how to prevent and mitigate chronic disease and how to improve human performance through the development of lifelong health and fitness. FLC programs hone professional skills and scientific knowledge through meaningful research, engaging classroom discussions, and practical real-world experiences that prepare our students to launch your career or continue onto graduate school.

Durango is a known hub for outdoor pursuits, health and wellness, and numerous student and professional athletes train on and near campus. The state-of-the art facilities at the new Health Science Center will link the study of nutrition, exercise science and physical therapy to real world applications through an adaptive exercise lab, as well as entrepreneurial outreach and research services to professional athletes. The studies in the new Health Sciences Center will also advance health promotion and disease prevention in the community. In Public Health, FLC students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep large groups of people healthy in a way that individualized medicine cannot. Students learn how social factors, policy, genetics, education, and the environment impact the health of whole communities and ways they can use this knowledge in methods of disease prevention, health promotion and protection, and caring for communities.

The building supports additional course offerings, establishes unique research opportunities in Durango’s high-altitude environment, and enhances the community experience, as the attached Whalen gymnasium is a key destination during gameday and commencement events. 


BUDGET: $193,000

The public art budget is $193,000. All costs associated with the public art project including, but not limited to, artist design fee, structural engineering, insurance, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, building or site modifications, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses and any other costs related to the project. Selected semi-finalists will be invited to propose artwork for one or all of the locations listed below.  Out-of-state semi-finalist artists will receive $1,500 and in-state semi-finalists will receive $1,000 as an honorarium for the creation of a design proposal.



The Art Selection Committee is looking to commission a new artwork for the Health Sciences Center. The committee is open to considering both interior and exterior artworks, and there are various sites  for artwork both on the inside and outside of the building. On the interior of the building, the main site for artwork is a two-story stairwell located off the secondary entrance. This stairwell will be well-utilized and visible from the exterior of the building. On the exterior, there is a large stone veneer wall on the quad-facing side of the building which could accommodate an art installation and would be highly visible. As well,  a free-standing artwork to be located in a turfed area on the exterior of the building is another possibility. All possible art locations have a significant presence along the northern edge of the campus quad and will be experienced by students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis.

The committee is interested in an artwork that considers the demographics of the campus  and the goals of the wider FLC community. An artwork that considers the uses of the Health Sciences Center and various areas of study and research would also be an appropriate thematic approach.

The Selection Committee will consider the following:

  • Artistic excellence
  • Technical competence
  •  Conceptual compatibility
  • Resistance to general wear, vandalism, or theft
  • Ease of maintenance, minimal and low cost maintenance
  • Ability to withstand the intense sun and snow, wind and temperature extremes and fluctuations characteristic of the area
  •   Contribution to diversity of the State’s public art collection



All works of art purchased or commissioned pursuant to this request are owned by the State of Colorado via Fort Lewis College. De-accession of the public art, if necessary, will follow the policies and procedures established by the Colorado Creative Industries.



The Art Selection Committee will review all complete submittals. A short list of semi­finalists will be invited to prepare and present a final proposal in person and be paid an honorarium of $1,000 for in-state artists and $1,500 for out of state artists. Final selection(s) will be made from the semi­finalists’ proposals. The schedule is as follows:


January 7, 2022, 11:59 pm - Deadline for receipt of submittal via CaFÉ™ system

January/February  2022 – Selection Committee meets to select Semi-finalists

February/March 2022 – Artist presentations of final proposals

March/April 2022 – Artist selected for commission and contracting process

Spring 2023 – Estimated installation date for artwork



About Fort Lewis College

About Health Sciences Center

Video of Health Sciences Center

A full PDF of this RFQ, with building and site images, can be viewed here.



If you require more information or clarification, please contact Ruth Wilson, Administration & Partnerships Director, Colorado Creative Industries at 303-880-6671 or .

Application Requirements



All applications for this project are being accepted through CaFÉ™ ( ). No hard copy submissions will be accepted. There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system. Applications must be submitted through CaFÉ™ to be considered and the review committee will only consider materials submitted within the online application.


Digital Images. In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six to eight digital images of previously completed artworks through the CaFÉ™ system. Instructions on how to use CaFÉ™ and format images can be found at  Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours by calling 303­629­1166, 1­888­562­7232 or e­mail


Resume: Submit a current résumé, via CaFÉ™, that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist. If applying as a team, please submit a resume for each artist, with the lead artist first.


Statement of Interest: A statement of interest in 250 words or less must be submitted via CaFÉ™.  It should briefly outline the  interest in the specific opportunity and applicable experience.

Eligibility Criteria



All applicants must be legal residents of the United States. The artists or artist teams must have the skills and experience commensurate with the responsibility of successfully completing a major public art installation.  The Program is open to all artists regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical handicap. The Art Selection Committee reserves the right to give preference to those artists residing in Colorado. Native American artists are encouraged to apply.