Both Denver and Aurora announced major art commission opportunities this week, and the calls come with the kind of big money and exposure that could allow artists to create genuine legacy projects in their communities.
Here are the basics:
1. The Denver Zoo is looking to for proposals that would dress up one of its major buildings that faces City Park. The budget is $285,000.
Here’s the inspiration: “The panel is particularly interested in artworks that explore the interplay between the built and natural environment, that celebrate the Denver Zoo and City Park and highlight the transition between the two, that are sensitive to nearby wildlife and are calming yet innovative, and provide visitors with another reason to pause at the site. The artwork should have a daytime and nighttime presence.”
2. The city of Aurora has a $400,000 budget to integrate art into its new Central Recreation Center, the fist new rec facility in the city in decades. It’s located at East Vassar Place and South Telluride Street, adjacent to Vassar Elementary School.
The center wants its art to “create a warm, welcoming and transformative experience as people enter the building.”
“Especially desired is art work that encourages patrons to leave their busy lives at the door and to transition to a focus on their health and wellness. Opportunities include but are not limited to entryway glass treatments, floors, walls, suspended artwork, kinetic art, interactive art, interior and exterior architectural elements.”
3. And finally — and probably the most interesting and challenging of the three — the non-profit foundation charged with preserving and interpreting the memory of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shootings is looking for someone to design its permanent memorial.
The memorial will be combined within a “reflections garden” located at the Aurora Municipal Center Campus at East Alameda Parkway and Chambers Road. No budget is announced for the project, which “will honor not only loved ones lost but also the strength of survivors, heroes, the community and all those impacted by this tragedy.”
The City of Denver has several other artists calls out there worth checking out. A warning: they all have quick deadlines.