If you haven’t noticed, Denver is stepping up its public art game. And they want Colorado artists to help with two massive projects.

From commissioned murals to sculptures to interactive light displays in underpasses, public art projects help define the city as a place that cultivates creativity. Not only are they free for anyone to enjoy, they also provide crucial support (financially and otherwise) for artists of all types. This drive to accommodate art in public places has been so prevalent in the last couple of decades that Denver made the implementation of such projects into law — with the Public Art One Percent program, that directs one percent of any capital improvement project over $1 million to the inclusion of art and design.

Public Art, Danielle Webster, 303 Magazine, Carla Madison Rec Center Denver, Area C Projects

“Circuit” by Area C Projects on the Carla Madison Recreation Center, part of the Public Art One Percent program. Photo by Danielle Webster


READ: Here are 8 New Public Art Projects Coming to Denver this Year


But perhaps the most instrumental organization for the fostering of public art is Denver Arts & Venues. This section of the City and County dedicates its resources to public spaces — including Red Rocks — and oversees Denver Public Art Programs, Create Denver, SCFD Tier III granting process, Arts Education Fund, Five Points Jazz Festival, Urban Arts Fund, P.S. You Are Here and IMAGINE 2020: Denver’s Cultural Plan. And its most recent requests for qualifications (RFQ) call for two different artists (or artist groups) to create public art at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science or Cranmer Park. With a total estimated budget over $150,000, the possibilities for these projects are vast and hopefully exciting for some interested artists. The one catch? The artists must live and work in Colorado.

The Project Guidelines

Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) teamed up with Denver Arts & Venues to look for artists to install a design element to the exterior of the Morgridge Family Exploration Center (a 126,000 square-feet addition to the main building). According to the selection panel, artwork should “attract and engage the community with an unexpected element.” As part of the project, the artists will participate in programming held at DMNS. The budget is approximately $85,000.

Located at 4501 East 1st Avenue in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood, Cranmer Park is about to get a big makeover. Denver Public Arts seek to commission an artist (or artists) to fabricate a three-dimensional public art piece for the park. The selection panel recommends that “a site-specific, unique work of art be designed, fabricated and installed for the park” — meaning they don’t want to see submissions of previously made sculptures that used to reside elsewhere. The budget for this project is approximately $75,000. 

For both projects, the only stipulation is that all artists involved must be Colorado-based.  

The deadline to submit an RFQ for either project is May 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. 

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