Denver Arts & Venues Requests Qualifications For A New Public Art Project At Denver County Jail Visitors' Room

The call is open to Colorado artists and artist teams.

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Denver Arts & Venues is now accepting qualifications for a new Public Art Project for the Denver County Jail visitors' room.

The Denver County Jail, located in northeast Denver, is one of two facilities that are part of the Denver County Jail System. The Smith Road facility currently houses incarcerated people serving short sentences in Denver County. Renovations to the facility have occurred over several decades. More recently, the Denver County Jail capital improvements have focused on visitation spaces where family, friends and other loved ones of incarcerated people meet to connect with one another. Since 2005, visitations at Denver County Jail between incarcerated residents and their families have taken place through in-facility video conferencing rather than face-to-face. Denver County Jail is one of two facilities in the U.S. making the transition back to in-person visitations. The Denver Public Art selection panel is seeking artists who are skilled in group facilitation and comfortable working with Denver County Jail staff and incarcerated residents, especially artists who have worked or taught inside jails or prisons in the past or were formerly incarcerated themselves. Artwork should be created in response to feedback given by the Denver County Jail communities and should transform the contact visitation space from a 'surveillance zone' to a 'healing zone.' Artists are encouraged to consider biophilic design strategies that support mental health through color, pattern and subject matter. (Biophilic design is the practice of connecting people and nature within our built environments and communities.)

Interested artists may submit qualifications at through Monday, April 10, 11:59 p.m. MST. Denver Public Art is also hosting a virtual pre-application meeting on Wednesday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m. for interested applicants. The meeting will cover project backgrounds and goals, and the application process for this Request for Qualifications. Attendees will also get information on through which artists may apply. This event will be hosted on Zoom. Interested applicants are asked to register on Eventbrite to get information on how to join prior to the event.

More information on these and other Denver Public Art calls is available at

Denver Arts & Venues' mission is to enrich and advance Denver's quality of life and economic vitality through the advancement of arts, cultural, and entertainment opportunities for all. Arts & Venues is the City and County of Denver agency responsible for operating some of the region's most renowned facilities, including Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center, Denver Coliseum and McNichols Civic Center Building. Arts & Venues also oversees the Denver Public Art Program, Urban Arts Fund, P.S. You Are Here, Denver Music Advancement Fund, implementation of Denver's Cultural Plan and other entertainment and cultural events such as the Five Points Jazz Festival. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all our programs, initiatives and decision-making processes.

Denver's Public Art Program was established in 1988 as an Executive Order under Mayor Federico Peña. The order, enacted into Ordinance by Denver City Council in 1991, directs that 1% of any capital improvement project over $1 million undertaken by the City, be set aside for the inclusion of art. Over the past 30 years these artworks, along with the historic and donated works of art, make up the City's Public Art Collection. The Public Art Collection has expanded the opportunity for Denver residents to experience art in public places.


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