Denver Park RFQ


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Release Date: Monday, July 01, 2015

Budget: $35,000

Deadline: FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2015

Eligibility: Any artist living and working within the Memphis metropolitan, statistical area for two or more years. No artist may receive more than two art enhancement commissions in any five-year period.



In the recent past, Denver Park was dominated by gang activity that deterred use by children and residents in the area. In 2012 Memphis Police formed a community outreach program called COP, which transformed the 14-acres of land into a zero tolerance zone while working closely with the Denver Park Neighborhood Association.


The UrbanArt Commission and the City of Memphis are commissioning an integrative public art piece that will enhance the newly renovated park and provide an important site-specific art element for the public. The park is located in the Frayser-Raleigh neighborhood, near the intersection of Bigelow and Tulsa near Overton Crossing.



The commissioned artist will be selected based on previous experience with the design of exterior sculpture projects. Applicants are expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. The finished project must require little to no regular maintenance. Final artwork should complement the characteristics and neighborhood identity of the site. The artists selected shall be expected to collaborate closely with site engineers, landscape architects, and any necessary party for the successful installation of the project, including the community. NOTE: Commissioned artists are permitted to work with outside contractors to fabricate the actual work of art.



The 10-acre parcel contains many large, mature shade trees, has a small creek flowing through it, and has access to the neighborhood from Bigelow and Pueblo Street. The vision for Denver Park’s improvements includes a half-mile, asphalt-walking trail that spans both sides of the creek and ties the park space together. The trail intersects with the creek at two places at which pedestrian bridges are proposed. A cluster of adult exercise equipment and a new basketball court are also planned.



July 01, 2105           RFQ released

July 22, 2015            RFQ deadline

August 3, 2015         Notify finalist artists

August 7, 2015         Release RFP

August 24, 2015       RFP deadline

Sept 10, 2015           Interview finalists

October 2015           Commission artist



Total Budget $35,000; Design $8,000; Fabrication $24,000, all-inclusive.

Up to three finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium for a design proposal.



The art selection committee will select three finalists based on their applications; professional qualifications; ability to work within a budget, meet deadlines; and successful completion of previous public art projects. Each finalist will be asked to prepare a schematic design, followed by a presentation to the artist selection committee. Each finalist will receive a $1,000 honorarium for an original design developed specifically for the site.



Please review the UrbanArt Artist’s Handbook, for detailed instructions for applying to UrbanArt projects and how the selection process works.  A copy may be downloaded from the ‘Artists’ Toolkit’ section of the UrbanArt website –


Please submit the following materials online by following the “Denver Park” link at


  • Include a typed letter explaining your interest in the project and your general approach/concept to its design and production. Please do not submit design proposals at this point.
  • Up to 20 images of past work including title of work, date, medium, budget and project partners, if any.
  • Résumé, not to exceed 2 pages.
  • Three professional references, including current phone and email.
  • Completed applicant’s materials should be uploaded via the UrbanArt website only. Hardcopy packets, digital files, and CD-ROMs WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED


For more information please contact:

Siphne Sylve, Director of Public Art

901.454.0474 x101 / ssylve [at] urbanartcommission [dot] org

This RFQ and support materials may be downloaded at 




Applicants will be notified as to the status of their application. Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.


UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information from participating artists.


UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, 


The staff of UrbanArt will be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the discretion of UrbanArt.

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How to apply for UrbanArt Public Art projects and the opportunities listserv

Watch this space for information and application requirements about upcoming projects.

NOTE: To apply for projects first-time users of the system must upload a profile to the Artist Registry.

Once your profile is complete, you can apply to any project in the future. Artists who upload their portfolio will begin receiving the weekly UrbanArt opportunities listserv of public art opportunities in Memphis and the region, nationally and internationally.

This Artists Handbook covers the process of applying for public art projects in Memphis, as well as the design and fabrication process if you are selected for a project commission. UrbanArt strongly advises prospective artists to study this text before submitting applications to open projects. Questions may be directed to Siphne Sylve at: ssylve [at] urbanartcommission [dot] org.

Artists are selected for commissions in different ways depending on the funding client.

Some prefer to invite specific artists to submit proposals, while others mandate an open applications system.

If you have any problems joining the Artist Registry or applying for projects, please contact: info [at] urbanartcommission [dot] org.

For the guidelines structuring the City of Memphis Public Art Program, please download the PDF provided.

If you are interested in participating on a project Selection Committee, please send Siphne Sylve your current resume with contact information and a statement of interest no longer than 3 paragraphs in length at: ssylve [at] urbanartcommission [dot] org.

Please describe your current community affiliations including home and/or business address, background with community development, education, public art, or any other activities you believe will contribute to the positive outcome of our projects.