Denver Botanic Gardens Seeks Public Art

Posted by Denver Arts and Venues ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Denver Botanic Gardens Seeks Public Art




Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create an original work of art for the future Freyer-Newman Center at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The facility is located near the main entrance to the Denver Botanic Gardens, at the corner of York St. and 11th Ave., Denver, CO. The selection panel has recommended a site-specific artwork to be integrated into the exterior plaza of the Freyer-Newman Center.

Budget: $300,000
Eligibility: Artists and teams who currently live and work in in the United States
Deadline: 11/26/2018 11:59 PM Central Time

Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens’ mission is to connect people with plants, especially plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world. To fulfill its mission, Denver Botanic Gardens has embraced four core values: Diversity, Relevance, Sustainability, and Transformation.  Not only do these core concepts relate to the natural environment and the care of living things within it; but these four ideas also apply to people and relationships. The Gardens strives to preserve diversity of plant life, as well as engage diverse audiences. Denver Botanic Gardens must speak relevantly to local, regional, and national communities. In all things, the Gardens strive to act as a catalyst for transformation of individuals and the environment.

Freyer-Newman Center
The fusion of science, art and education is the heart of Denver Botanic Gardens. It is rare that an institution contains breadth and depth in a variety of specialties related to human interaction with the natural world. At the Gardens, one can find preserved plant and fungi specimens, documented uses of plants, and historic botanical illustration. Contemporary botanical illustration programs extend the scientific art of documentation into the 21st century.
The Gardens’ holdings are unique in that horticulture, plant conservation and preservation, mycology and art unite to document human relationships with these elements and the larger environment. Housing each of these programmatic elements in a single facility — the Freyer-Newman Center — will make these assets more accessible to the public. Please visit the link at the bottom of this document for more information.

Artwork Goals
The panel is looking for artworks that create a distinct connection to the natural world and demonstrate the connection between the micro and macro, as well as honor human relationships to the natural environment. Artworks should enhance the experience of those that use and enjoy the Freyer-Newman Center and could engage multiple senses, harnessing tactile and auditory components to achieve aims. The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that are suitable for outdoor display. Artists are asked to be mindful and respectful of the center’s functionality, its users, the neighborhood, as well as the mission of the center as a destination for science, art and education.

Maintenance & Durability
All applicants are expected to consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art, along with time and budget. These projects are located in the public realm and may therefore be exposed to weather and physical stresses, as well as be subject to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Semifinalists are encouraged to consult with a professional conservator prior to the submission of a final proposal.

Selection Process
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit six digital images, a résumé, and a statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters via (CaFÉ™). The Freyer-Newman Center selection panel is comprised of 11 voting members and additional non-voting advisors. From the applications, the selection panel will choose between three and five semifinalists who will create site-specific proposals and be brought in for an interview with the panel. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. 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. Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program staff can provide guidance on filling out this form. Semifinalists will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium. From the interview and proposal, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission. The selected artist or artist team for the commission will collaborate with the Public Art Program staff and the Freyer-Newman Center design team when finalizing their designs for installation.

(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments)

  • Monday, November 26, 11:59 P.M. MST:  Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
  • December: Semifinalist Selection
  • March: Finalist Notification

How to Submit
Submit materials ONLY through the Call for Entry website.  There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system. Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here: If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he may call 720-865-5563 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues.

  1. Digital Images—In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six digital images of previously completed artworks through the CaFÉ™ system. Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works must submit a complete CaFÉ™ application and will have the opportunity to upload up to two video files. Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found here.
  2. Statement of Interest—Please submit a statement briefly outlining your interest in the Freyer-Newman Center public art project and experience working on projects of this kind (2,000 character maximum)
  3. Résumé—Submit a one-to-two page current résumé that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist. Please name your résumé file accordingly: Last name.First initial (i.e. Smith.J.pdf). Résumés that are more than two pages will not be downloaded. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with 1-2 pages per team member.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Brendan Picker, 720-865-5563 or


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