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Denver Seeks Artist for Greenway Public Art

Posted by City of Denver ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Denver Seeks Artist for Greenway Public Art




The City of Denver seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create multiple artworks for the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel Public Art Project. The new 12-acre recreational greenway between Franklin and Steele streets will serve as a safe community gathering space as well as reduce flood risks to nearby homes and businesses. The goal of the artwork is to celebrate the Clayton and Cole neighborhoods and help instill a sense of continuity throughout the Greenway by providing a progression or a narrative to unify the public spaces.

Budget: $400,000 all-inclusive
Eligibility: Professional artists/artist teams
Deadline: 11/12/2018 11:59 PM Central Time

Site History
The historic Montclair basin is the largest in Denver with no natural drainage. Instead of floodwater flowing through the historic Montclair creek, which was built in the early 1900s, water runs through neighborhood streets. This project will replace the city’s aging infrastructure with green infrastructure that can better control storm water and improve public safety and water quality. The Greenway will stay mostly dry, and convey water only in storm events. In addition to protecting neighborhoods from damaging floodwaters, the Greenway will provide other neighborhood benefits that will be enjoyed year-round including: a multi-use path, gathering spaces, and community gardens.

The Clayton neighborhood is primarily residential with some large industrial sites along the greenway. The neighborhood is named for the historic former George W. Clayton Trust and College located on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. The college is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cole neighborhood is largely residential with industrial sites, several which have been redeveloped, or are slated for redevelopment, into mixed-use centers. Most of the neighborhood consists of single-family housing units. The neighborhood became part of Denver in 1874. It is named for Carlos M. Cole, a former superintendent of Denver Public Schools.

The Cole and Clayton neighborhoods, since the early 1900s, have had a rich multicultural history. The African American, Mexican American, Japanese American and Irish American communities have made the neighborhoods their home. The Japanese community moved in after their release from the Colorado internment camps after the Second World War. The Irish, along with other immigrants, worked for the railroads. The Cole neighborhood was the home to the Tramway Building and Denver Rock Drill Company, who manufactured driving/steering parts for the railcars, giving Cole a strong transportation history.

The artwork sites can be located throughout the greenway if the artworks do not impede floodwater drainage or interfere with the multimodal connectivity of the greenway. The specific locations for proposed artworks are to be determined once a short list of semifinalists is selected.

For more information on the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel, please visit:

Artwork Goals
The selection panel is open to two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional artwork in all media, materials and formats including interactive art, environmental art, sound art and landscape art.

All applicants are expected to consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art. These projects exist in the public realm and are exposed to weather and physical stresses, and are vulnerable 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. Selected artist proposals will be reviewed by the City of Denver’s Public Art Committee and other appropriate city agencies to ensure conformity with city standards of maintenance and durability, as well as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved timeframe.

Selection Process
The 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel public art selection panel is comprised of voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The art selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria, writing a call for entry, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing semifinalists, and recommending a finalist.  Up to five artists/artist teams will be selected as semifinalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the project. The selection panel will interview semifinalists and/or review proposals from the semifinalists and recommend a finalist for the commission. The semifinalists will receive an honorarium of $1,500 to prepare and present the proposal in person. 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.

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

  • Monday, November 12, 2018 11:59 p.m. MST: Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
  • December:  Semifinalist Selection
  • January 2019:  Finalist Selection
  • February: Finalist Notification

How to Apply
All materials must be submitted ONLINE ONLY through the CaFE system. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.

There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system. Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications may be found at Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours by calling 303-629-1166 or 888-562-7232, or via email at If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he may call 720-865-5562 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues.

  1. Digital Images – 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 include links to the work uploaded online, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  2. Statement of Interest – Please submit a statement briefly outlining your interest in the 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel Public Art Project and experience working on projects of this kind (2000-character maximum).
  3. Résumé – Please 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 one page per team member.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Rudi Cerri, 720-865-5562 or


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