Call Detail

Red Rocks Public Art Project
1345 Champa Street
Denver, CO

Event Dates: 3/29/17 - 3/29/17
Entry Deadline: 4/27/17
Application Closed


Images - Minimum: 6, Maximum: 6
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 6, Maximum: 10

View Site Details

Red Rocks Public Art Project
Budget: $65,000 USD
(Colorado artists only)

DEADLINE: Thursday, April 27, 11:59 PM MST

The City of Denver's Public Art Program and the Red Rocks Art Selection Panel has released a Request for Qualifications for artists who wish to work on a public art project for the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park. The ultimate vision is to incorporate permanent or semi-permanent artwork into transitional areas of the park, integrating natural and man-made areas at Red Rocks. The public art will serve to enhance the experience of those who visit Red Rocks but not detract from the natural landscape.

History and Geology
Date Opened: June 15, 1941 
Elevation: 6,450 ft
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre size: 738 acres
National Historic Landmark: 2015
Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air amphitheatre that is not duplicated anywhere in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, the design of the amphitheatre consists of two, three hundred-foot monoliths, Ship Rock and Creation Rock. The dramatic sandstone monoliths serve as a history book of animal and plant life in the area for the past 250 million years.

The majestic setting of the amphitheatre, along with the panoramic view of Denver, makes for a breathtaking scene. At 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. The diverse environment allows visitors to see plants, birds and animals of both regions.

Some of the rock formations in Red Rocks slope as much as 90 degrees, while others tilt backwards. The southern monolith, that bears resemblance to a ship, is named "Ship Rock." On the opposite side of the amphitheater stands "Creation Rock." Both of the monoliths are taller than Niagara Falls and Red Rocks Amphitheatre was once listed as among the Seven Wonders of the World. Please read more at:

Public Art: Parameters & Goals
The selection panel members have set forth goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating unique and seamlessly integrated artwork(s) for those who visit the park.

Location: The artwork(s) will be located in “transitional” areas of the park, adjacent to man-made structures or pathways. Artwork may also be located in wholly man-made areas, so long as they do not impede vehicular or pedestrian access. No artwork will be placed in natural open spaces. No artwork will be placed inside buildings or attached to the exterior of buildings or other structures. Artwork(s) should not compete with natural views. Artists are asked to be sensitive to the uniqueness of Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park when considering locations for art. Once selected as a finalist for the project, artists and/or artist teams will have the opportunity to select one or more sites for public art with final approval by Red Rocks staff and the Red Rocks Art Selection Panel. Please see attached maps of possible sites for public art.

Materials & Media: The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials. However, these artworks will be placed outside, along transitional areas of the park, so durability and safety are major factors when considering media and materials.

Appropriate & Unique: The selection panel seeks unique, one-of-a-kind artwork(s) appropriate for Red Rocks Park and for the diverse community that utilizes it for recreational and concert-going activities. The artwork should respect the natural scenery, and speak to the history and geology of the site. The artwork(s) should also provide a sense of excitement and discovery. The artwork(s) can also be interactive or kinetic. The selection panel is looking for artists that can demonstrate experience with integrating artwork into the built environment, either in a permanent or semi-permanent way.

Durability, Maintenance, & Safety: 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 outside and in the public realm and may therefore be exposed to weather and physical stresses, as well as subjected 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. Artist proposals awarded contracts will be reviewed by the City of Denver’s Public Art Committee and the Department of Construction and Engineering to ensure conformity with city standards of maintenance and durability, as well as ADA and safety standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame.

Applying for these opportunities
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™). From these applications, the selection panel will choose up to five semifinalists to create proposals. Artists will be provided an honorarium of $1000 to prepare and present the proposal in person. Artists/teams selected as semifinalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form in order for their proposals to be considered, which will be provided upon notification. As directed by Executive Order 101, this form must be submitted for all city solicitations of proposals. 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. The selected artist or artist team for the commission will collaborate with the Public Art Program staff and Red Rocks Park staff when finalizing their designs for installation.

Please visit: for examples of recent commissions.

Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group. In the case of       teams, please submit a single résumé for the whole team with 1-2 pages per team member.

The budget for this commission is $65,000 USD. These funds come from the City of Denver’s One Percent for Art Ordinance which allocates 1% of Capital Improvement Project budgets be set aside for the commission of public artworks. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to: the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering consultation, insurance (including Colorado Workers Compensation), tools, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, any building or site modification required, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. For all work done on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.

 Tentative Timeline
(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments)
Thursday, April 27, 11:59 MST                    Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
May                                                                  Semifinalist Selection
July                                                                   Finalist Selection
August                                                             Finalist Notification


This project is open to artists residing in Colorado, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical disability. Selected artists will need to provide a current W-9 with a Colorado address to be eligible. Artists working in any media are eligible to apply. Artists are not required to have previous experience in public art. Emerging artists are encouraged to apply for this commission.

Diversity and Inclusiveness
Denver Executive Order No. 101 establishes strategies between the City and private industry to use diversity and inclusiveness to promote economic development in the City and County of Denver and to encourage more businesses to compete for City contracts and procurements. The Executive Order requires, among other things, the collection of certain information regarding the practices of the City’s contractors and consultants toward diversity and inclusiveness and encourages/requires City agencies to include diversity and inclusiveness policies in selection criteria where legally permitted in solicitations for City services or goods.
Diversity and Inclusiveness means inviting values, perspectives and contributions of people from diverse backgrounds, and integrates diversity into its hiring and retention policies, training opportunities, and business development methods to provide an equal opportunity for each person to participate, contribute, and succeed within the organization’s workplace. “Diversity” encompasses a wide variety of human differences, including differences such as race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical disabilities, appearance, historically underutilized and disadvantaged persons, as well as social identities such as religion, marital status, socio-economic status, lifestyle, education, parental status, geographic background, language ability, and veteran status.

Project Selection Panel
According to Denver’s Public Art policies, the project selection panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for Denver. The Red Rocks Art Selection Panel is comprised of voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria, writing a Request for Qualifications, reviewing applications, and selecting and interviewing semi-finalists and finalists. The selection panel will also have final approval for proposed sites for public art.

Selection Process
Up to five artists/artist teams will be selected as semifinalists, depending on the number of responses to the RFQ. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and have the opportunity to meet with Red Rocks Park staff and Public Art Program staff on site. The semifinalists will receive an honorarium of up to $1,000 to prepare and present the proposal in person. The selection panel will interview and review proposals from the semifinalists and recommend finalists for the commission. The selection panel reserves the right to award all, part or none of the commission at the conclusion of the process. 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.

Materials to be Submitted
Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.

All materials must be submitted online, via the CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.

Digital ImagesIn 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 be able to upload up to two video files and two audio files.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can 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 720-865-5563 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues.

Statement of InterestPlease submit a statement briefly outlining your interest in the Red Rocks Public Art project and experience working on projects of this kind (2000 character maximum) via CaFÉ™.

RésuméSubmit a one-to-two page current résumé via CaFÉ™ 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.

Please direct all questions about the project to Brendan Picker at 720-865-5563 or