University of Utah Seeks Artist for Science Center Public Art

University of Utah Seeks Artist for Science Center Public Art



 Unknown, Utah, Unknown

Please review the full RFQ document, located here.

The University of Utah, in partnership with the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management and the Utah Division of Arts & Museum Public Art Program, is requesting artist or artist team qualifications for the creation of site specific artwork(s) for the University of Utah Crocker Science Center (CSC) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The primary mission of the CSC is to produce the next generations of interdisciplinary scholars, teachers and scientists capable of tackling the complex scientific problems and issues of the future. The key educational spaces will help centralize students, both major and non-major, in a creative environment where science is on display, and the facility is intended to help students and visitors better appreciate and understand the process and practice of science. The building will also be a highly visible and stimulating showcase for the promotion of literacy in the sciences for scientists in training, school children, and other segments of the community at-large through incorporation of intentional experiential environments, which includes all the artwork to be housed within. This experiential environment will be the backbone of the building and create opportunities for student/teacher, scientist/public, education/research interaction.

The Art Selection Committee for this project is interested in working with an artist(s) to create work for the public spaces that incorporates crosscutting themes in science concepts and provoke visitors and students to “think like a scientist” and “act like a researcher,” work that helps deepen the conceptual exploration of the nature of science. Given the integrated nature of the Crocker Science Center, the Selection Committee asks the commissioned artist(s) to consider the following cross-disciplinary concepts:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Systems and system models
  • Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
  • Structure and function
  • Stability and change 

Above all, the Committee is interested in the artist’s exploration and presentation of the notion that science is a human endeavor – a way of knowing – a process by which individuals and societies can address questions about the natural and material world. In this endeavor, scientists use models, laws, mechanisms, and theories to explain and predict natural phenomena.

The design of the building provides many opportunities for the integration of artwork into the architecture and site. The Selection Committee is open to artist-suggested sites and has also identified some of the opportunities artists may consider:

  • Atrium/lobby linking the historic building into the new.
  • Historic entrance lobby and student areas at the north end of the ground floor.
  • 2nd floor balcony into atrium in the vicinity of the café. 
  • New Eastside entrance to the building that utilizes a former historic window opening

ARTWORK BUDGET: $280,000 is available for all related expenses of this Public Art commission(s) including (but not limited to) artist fees, fabrication, insurance, shipping, travel, installation, documentation, etc.

ELIGIBILITY:  Resident American or legal resident artists / artist teams are encouraged to apply. 


  • April 2016 – Release RFQ
  • June 29, 2016 – Deadline for receipt of preliminary materials
  • July 12, 2015 – Committee Review
  • September 21, 2016 – Finalists presentations
  • October, 2017 – Substantial completion of the project


Interested artists may submit applications online or in hard copy. The deadline is the same for both methods and is not a postmark deadline. Please do not include supplemental materials beyond the requirements listed below, which are common to both methods.

To apply online:   Submit materials via the CaFE online system,  Application requires free registration with CaFE and the creation of an artist profile.  There is no charge to apply online.

To apply via hard copy:  Submit one PC-compatible CD labeled with applicant’s name, and contact information, containing:

  • A letter of interest of not more than three typewritten pages in pdf format. This letter should include the artist’s reasons for interest in this project in particular. In doing so, the artist should also describe how his/her work and/or experience relates to the project.
  • Up to six (6) images maximum of previous site-specific public work. All images must be in JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size. The image files should be named so that the list sorts in the order of the image listing.
  • A pdf document indentifying each image to include title, year, medium, dimensions.
  • A professional resume in pdf format
  • If the work cannot be documented well with still images, a DVD (of no more than 3 minutes) may be submitted as documentation of artist’s projects. Please note only one type of media, either a movie file OR images, can be presented to the committee in this preliminary phase.

Please send, deliver or courier hard copy applications to: Jim Glenn, Utah Public Art Program, Attention: UofU Crocker Science Center, Utah Arts & Museums, 300 S Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT 84101