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Colorado Mental Health Facility Seeks Public Art

Posted by State of Colorado ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Colorado Mental Health Facility Seeks Public Art



Qualifications are requested from artists interested in creating site-specific public artworks for interior and/or exterior locations at the F Cottages at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan in Denver, Colorado.

BUDGET:  $120,000 (total for 2 locations; same artist could be commissioned for both locations)

ELIGIBILITY: (none indicated)

DEADLINE: January 15, 2020

Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan (CMHIFL) operates 94 inpatient psychiatric beds for adults with serious mental illness, most of whom are referred by community mental health centers and are on civil commitments. This project will renovate two of the existing housing units (F2 and F3 cottages), that are currently used as ‘swing space’ at CMHIFL and construct additions to the units. These renovated and/or new cottage(s)/ building(s) will be reconstructed in a similar fashion to the F1 cottage renovation (completed in 2012) at the CMHIFL facility, including constructing additions to add program and staff space and to create secure facility entrances.  The cottages, once complete and brought online permanently, will add 44 inpatient psychiatric beds to the CDHS total inventory, increasing the metro hospital’s capacity by almost 50 percent. These additional beds will be dedicated to restoration, while the hospital’s current 94 beds will remain dedicated to civil patients. The building project will enter the schematic design phase in December 2019, with construction documents to be finalized in summer 2020. The estimated completion date of the renovation is December 2021.  For more information about the project visit


The Art Selection Committee would like to select an artist or artists in early 2020 in order to involve the artist(s) in the design process to create an opportunity for the artworks to be better integrated into the building and best serve its unique community. Selected artist(s) will have the opportunity to collaborate with building users, the design team and stakeholders during the design and construction process in order to create the most compelling artwork for the spaces. Selected artist(s) is required to participate in a minimum of two meetings, at least one during the Design Development Phase and one during the Construction Development Phase.

The committee is looking for artwork for both the interior and exterior of the renovated units. The opportunity will be awarded to either an artist who can engage both locations or divided between multiple artists who can address different locations.

The committee would like artworks that work well with the building’s architecture and feel timeless. Natural and organic materials or forms that create a softened sense of the environment are preferred.

CMHIFL is a place for hope, recovery, healing, inspiration, and comfort.  Art will be an integral part of the lives of the patients and staff. Artwork should be soothing and therapeutic in nature and create a nurturing environment where patients feel grounded. Realistic artwork at a realistic scale is better received by patients, rather than works in an abstract style. Since colors, patterns, materials, reflectivity, etc. can have a profound impact on a patient’s and an employee’s perception of his or her environment, their use in the artwork must reflect sensitivity to this issue as well as the need for safety and security within a secure facility. The artists must also consider the security of the artwork and whether the artwork could potentially be dangerous to the staff and patients with mental illness who may harm themselves or others (including ligature risks), therefore the durability and safety of the proposed materials is an important factor that the committee will consider.


  • Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system): January 15, 2020 11:59 pm MST
  • Semi-finalists notified: February 2020
  • Artists meet with Committee and Site Visit: March 2020
  • Final Artist(s) Selected: March/April 2020
  • Artist(s) joins design committee process: April 2020
  • Building completion: December 2021

The Art Selection Committee will review all complete submittals. A short list of semi­finalists will be invited to meet with the committee in person. Final selection(s) will be made after these meetings.


The Selection Committee will consider the following:

  • Artistic excellence
  • Conceptual and thematic compatibility – appropriateness for the CMHIFL community
  • Artist’s ability to collaborate and be part of a design process
  • Safety of materials
  • Resistance to general wear, vandalism, or theft; ease of maintenance, minimal and low cost maintenance

All applications for this project are being accepted through CaFÉ™. The applicant will be asked to submit at least 6 and up to 8 digital images of their art, a resume, and a brief statement of interest. There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system. Applications must be submitted through CaFÉ™ to be considered; no hard copy submissions will be accepted.

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 303-629­-1166, 1-­888-­562-­7232 or e­mail

In 1977, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Art in Public Places Act requiring that 1% of the construction costs of new or renovated state-owned buildings be used to acquire works of art for permanent installation at the project site. Colorado Creative Industries is responsible for implementation of the law. All works of art commissioned pursuant to this request are owned by the State of Colorado via the Colorado Department of Human Services. De-accession of the public art, if necessary, will follow the policies and procedures established by Colorado Creative Industries.

QUESTIONS? Contact Ruth Bruno, Public Art Program Manager, at 303-­892-3813 or



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