These 2019 Public Art Opportunities Are Currently Up For Grabs

If you would like to be included in the ever-growing Denver public art collection, now is your time to apply. From sculptures to light and sound displays to murals, the public art scene in Denver is like any museum showing — also, to enjoy the pieces you usually must venture out. Joining the ranks of the public art collection means that your art will be viewed by anybody, without the elitism of galleries or museums. It means that you’re beautifying a failed space, or brightening a person’s commute or creating something a little safer.

There are three main commissions accessible through Denver Arts & Venues until March 18, when applications close in order for the committee to decide on the recipients. The first two — the 47th and York Street Pedestrian Bridge and the Denver Health Outpatient Medical Center — will be funded through the Public Art One Percent program. When any new construction project is built in Denver that costs more than $1 million, 1 percent of that has to be redirected to public art and that art has to be on or around the construction.

“We are especially excited about these two new public art opportunities,” said Denver public art manager Michael Chavez in a press release. “On the surface, they seem very different. However, they both talk to the ability for artwork to promote safe, healthy encounters, whether the artwork is experienced by a patient visiting a medical facility or by a kid traversing train paths to get to college. ”

Read on to learn more about each commission and how to apply.

47th and York Pedestrian Bridge

Photo courtesy of Denver Arts & Venues

Even though the bridge that this public art project will alter is not assembled yet, Denver Arts & Venues wants to procure an artist or group of artists now. It will reach across the Union Pacific railroad , built on unoccupied property south of 47th Avenue. The bridge is known as a “critical mobility improvement” in order to generate bicycle and pedestrian travel safer. Included in the Elyria Swansea Neighborhood Plan set out in 2015, the connection point across the tracks has been identified as a top priority and the community is in complete support. It will improve safety involving the Swansea Elementary School and the Valdez-Perry Branch Library.

The call to artists is open to anybody living in the United States, not only Colorado residents. The 1 guideline provided by Denver Arts & Venues is that the installation must incorporate “sound, light or mixed-media in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional structure. ” This is the ideal chance for digital artists or those experimenting with sound inputs and outputs.

Qualifications will be accepted until March 18 at 11:59 p.m.. The commission amount is $65,000. 

Employ here.

Denver Health Outpatient Medical Center

Rendering of the Denver Health Outpatient Medical Center courtesy of Denver Arts and Venues

The new Denver Health Outpatient Medical Center (OMC) will measure in at 293,000 square-feet when it opens next year, with a day surgery center, expanded pharmacy operations, laboratory services and radiology. Located in downtown Denver, the OMC will probably be a highly-trafficked place. This call from Denver Arts & Venues seeks an artist or artist team to create something site-specific on the campus. It has to be performed before the OMC opens in June 2020.

As a place for recovery, the OMC’s artwork should “make a safe and welcoming environment near the south elevators on the first floor” according to the press release. It also needs to “provide a positive diversion ” for patients and visitors to the center. There are no limits on material or medium used — so any and all artists are encouraged to apply. Think of an installation that’s calming, uplifting and generally radiating good vibes.

It’s open to any artists living in the United States.

Qualifications will be accepted until Monday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m.. The commission amount is $175,000.

Employ here.

Urban Arts Fund 2019
Click to see slideshow.

Over the past decade, a single department under the umbrella of Denver Arts & Venues has commissioned almost 300 murals — the Denver Urban Arts Fund (UAF). Each year, more and more artists are accepted and granted money, time and permission to paint on various walls around town, especially the Cherry Creek Bike Path.

READ: How One Woman Helped Commission 300 Murals in Denver

This year, the call for musicians is specifically focused on the districts in Denver that don’t currently have any UAF mural jobs — council districts 4, 5, 6 and 8. Furthermore, Denver Arts & Venues wants to give preference to first-time applicants and jobs with a youth development and community involvement component. Although it’s not a new guideline, UAF seeks out artists of marginalized communities like women, people of color, LGBTQ+ community and more to employ. Commitment to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness Initiative (DEI) is a major priority at UAF, where it is believed that “Denver is a town where everyone matters, and everyone matters in the arts. ”

This call isn’t limited by where you’re based.

Applications open through March 18. Commissions are available from $2,000 to $8,000. 

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More information on upcoming projects and requests for proposal from Denver Public Art are available here

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