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Artwork Sought for Recreation Center Atrium

Posted by City of Thornton ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artwork Sought for Recreation Center Atrium




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.

BUDGET:  $46,000

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists

DEADLINE: May 3, 2020

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

Project Description
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 Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center

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.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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”.

Artwork Goals
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.

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 3 , 2020; 5 p.m.
  • Review & Selection Process: May – June.
  • Award and Installation: July – December.
  • Final Project Deadline: December 31, 2020.

Selection Process

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/orcity staff. The panel will review a portfolio of applicants’ recent 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 benotified 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.

Design Guidelines

  • The movement, safety and security of visitors is priority.
  • The artwork will be indoors. However, the work must be able to withstand a wide fluctuation in temperature and direct sunlight.
  • Materials used must be durable, light-weight (if suspended) and require little and/or easy maintenance.
  • Details and calculations for art will be needed if there are any connections to city infrastructure (electricity).
  • Details and calculations for suspended work will be needed. Materials should be light-weight and out of reach.
  • Award winner will be required to coordinate installation activities with city of Thornton staff.
  • Design should be pleasing and add beauty to the building/community.
  • 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).
  • Artists are encouraged to explore unique imagery, themes and materials.
  • The design must be family-friendly.

What to Submit

  1. 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.
  2. Written statement or video detailing your creative process, drive and/or artistic philosophy.
  3. Resume/CV including 2–3 professional references.
  4. OPTIONAL: Estimated budget outline or estimated major costs for the project
  5. OPTIONAL: Rough sketches or concept ideas for the project

How to Submit

Submit ONLINE ONLY via the CaFE system.

QUESTIONS? Contact Jesse Jimenez, Arts & Culture Coordinator at 720-977-5881 or


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