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Colorado State University Seeks Artist for New Chemistry Building

Posted by Colorado State University ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Colorado State University Seeks Artist for New Chemistry Building




Qualifications are being accepted from artists and/or artist teams interested in creating a site-specific exterior public artwork or series of artworks for Colorado State University’s new Chemistry Building and Science Mall.

Colorado State University is committed to excellence, setting the standard for public research universities in teaching and research for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States and the world. The University will add a new 60,000 GSF state-of-the-art research building to house a number of the hood-intensive synthetic chemistry programs.  The building will include 12,000 SF of lab space for new and current synthetic organic programs, 8,000 SF of lab space for new and current synthetic inorganic materials programs, and 5,000 SF of lab space for polymer chemists.  The new building will be located just east of the current Microbiology building, and just west of the new Biology building. Both buildings will be a part of the science mall,  located along the south side of Pitkin Street. The science mall was designed to be one of the gateways to campus, according to University officials. With continued development on campus, CSU looks forward to making this mall area into a green, quad space. Through the quad area, the plan projects braided pathways, inspired by DNA molecules, and intended to create efficiency for pedestrian traffic accessing the buildings on the mall.

Through the public art process, the Art Selection Committee will select the finalist artist(s)/team who will work closely with the project architect and Art Selection Committee on the best approach to incorporate artwork on the exterior of the new Chemistry building. Opportunities include the exterior grass area to the north of the building along Pitkin Street, a main campus artery, and on the south side of the building in the science mall area. The committee is interested in an artwork or artworks that operate on campus scale and can activate the green space in and around the science quad. The committee is open to considering artworks that incorporate technology, kinetic elements, and electrical components. The committee is open to both a single, large scale artwork and multiple artworks in a series engaging with multiple sizes. The artwork(s) should speak to the science quad as a whole, and the entirety of CSU’s Natural Sciences programs, so an artwork that can engage within a space with multiple buildings, up to 4 stories, is preferred.

The public art budget is $284,000. 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 are covered by this budget.

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 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:

  • November 7, 2016 11:59 pm MST – Deadline for receipt of submittal via CaFÉ™ system
  • November/December – Selection panel meets to select Semi-Finalists
  • December – Notification of Semi-Finalist selection



The Selection Committee will consider the following:

  • Artistic excellence
  • Technical competence
  • Conceptual compatibility
  • Scale, material, form and content
  • Appropriate relationship to the function of the site and the campus as a whole
  • Structural and surface integrity
  • Resistance to general wear, vandalism, or theft
  • Ease of maintenance, minimal and low cost maintenance
  • Ability of work to withstand the intense sun and snow, wind and temperature extremes and fluctuations characteristic of Colorado’s climate
  • Contribution to diversity of the State’s public art collection


All applications for this project are being accepted through the online platform, CaFÉ™ ( ). No hard copy or emailed submissions will be accepted. The applicant will be asked to submit six digital images of art, a resume, and a brief statement of interest. There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application 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 303­-629­-1166, 1­-888­-562­-7232 or e­mail