IMPORTANT! Due to the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) events on this site may be postponed or canceled.CLICK HERE for More Details.

City of Denver Seeks Artist for New Airport Train Station

Posted by Denver Arts and Venues ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
City of Denver Seeks Artist for New Airport Train Station



The City of Denver Public Art Program, in partnership with Denver International Airport (DEN), has released a Request for Qualifications for artists who wish to work on a public art project at the new 61st and Peña Boulevard station.  This station is located along the University of Colorado A-Line train that runs between the airport and Denver Union Station in downtown Denver. The mixed use development is within 5 minutes of DEN and 20 minutes from downtown Denver.

The budget for this commission is up to $350,000 USD. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the 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, transportation, installation, any building or site modification required, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs.

This project is open internationally to all artists and multi-person collaborative groups, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical handicap. Artists working in any media are eligible to apply. Artists are not required to have previous experience in public art. Emerging artists are encouraged to apply for this commission. Artists are allowed to apply in teams. Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.

Project Description
The goal of the project is to create a signature artwork on the plaza of this train station that will engage the public, and enhance the station’s civic presence and connection to the surrounding neighborhood and airport. The artwork will be of highest aesthetic quality. As a modern, globally connected mixed-use development, 61st and Peña Station will offer unparalleled access in the heart of one of Denver’s fastest growing real estate markets. The transit–oriented development will emphasize a multimodal lifestyle, vibrant urban living, and sustainable development aimed at attracting Denver’s young and highly educated workforce.

Artwork Goals

The selection panel members have set forth goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating a unique and engaging work of art for those who live, work, visit for recreation/entertainment, travel along the A-Line commuter rail train and at the 61st and Peña station. The selection panel seeks an iconic artwork that is appropriate for the diverse community that will be accessing it.

We will ask the semifinalists to conceptually think about and represent the importance of the work of Federico Peña, who was instrumental in creating this airport, a lifetime proponent of art, sustainability and mass transit, and did not just develop a vision, but had a direct hand in making the things happen that led to the actualization of the airport and the station at Pena and 61st. He was the Mayor of Denver from 1983-1991. He was the first and only Hispanic Mayor to be elected in Denver, served two terms, and implemented the Denver Public Art Ordinance that exists today. After his second term as Mayor, he served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 1983-1997, during which, he negotiated international aviation agreements with 41 nations, revitalizing the transportation industry to global markets. He also served as the U.S. Secretary of Energy. While we are not wanting a physical image of Secretary Peña, we would like the work to pay tribute to his enormous contribution to the City, to aviation, to transit and to sustainability.

At the station, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company will also be developing an innovative display on the same plaza, mirroring the same location but on the north portion of the plaza (while the art will be on the south portion). At this time we do not know what this will look like, but expect it will showcase their technology and be digital in nature. We want to be sure that potential artists are aware of this and will work with Panasonic to be sure the two pieces are not in conflict.

Artwork Expectations

  • Iconic and timeless
  • Modern in aesthetic
  • Compellingly approachable and accessible
  • Demonstrating advances in transportation/technology
  • Honoring the work of Federico Peña
  • Visible both day and night
  • No glare/pilot interference
  • Low maintenance with minimal ongoing maintenance and operational costs
  • Able to withstand the outdoor environment and public use
  • Visible from Peña Blvd and the properties surrounding the commuter rail station.


Selection Process
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit eight digital images, a résumé, and a statement of interest. From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five semifinalists who will be asked to submit a more detailed concept and be brought in for an interview with the panel. Semi-finalists will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with project representatives, the design team and public art staff. If a formal proposal is requested, the artist will be provided a stipend to prepare and present the proposal in person. Artists/teams selected as semi-finalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form in order for their proposals to be considered, which will be provided upon notification. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site. The selection panel will interview and/or review proposals from the semifinalists and recommend finalists for the commission. The semifinalists will receive a stipend of up to $1,000 to prepare and present the proposal in person. Semifinalists will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the stipend. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Public Art Committee, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, and Mayor Michael B. Hancock for final approval. All decisions of the City and County of Denver are final.


  • Post RFQ: October 21st, 2016
  • RFQ Closes: November 20th, 2016
  • Review Submissions: December 2016
  • Semifinalist proposals due: February 2017
  • Approval by DCCA: March 2017
  • Enter Contracting (through Metropolitan District): TBD Based on Project
  • Anticipated Installation Complete:  TBD Based on Project


How to apply

Applications will only be accepted through . Mailed, delivered, or emailed applications will not be reviewed.  There is no charge to use CaFE and no application fee.