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Denver Zoo

CATEGORY: Call For Artists


  • Fri, May 3, 2024 - Fri, Jun 21, 2024  

Compensation (Budget, Stipend, etc):
up to $110,000 budget

Please access the RFP document with this link:
ArtPlay RFP

The Denver Zoo seeks to commission an artist or team of artists to create an original sculpture based “Art Play Experience (APE),” to be located in the Denver Zoo’s Headwaters Guest Experience Hub project. An Art Selection Panel has set forth specific goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating a safe interactive art experience for visitors to the Zoo.


  1. The APE should take on a sculptural or kinetic element which incorporates discovery with creative play elements integrated into the art piece.
  2. The APE should promote the Zoo’s desire to inspire awe and align with the Zoo’s mission of Inspiring communities to Save Wildlife for Future generations.
  3. The APE should be a permanent year-round exterior art piece, with an emphasis on interaction particularly by children, and should relate to the Zoo’s conservation core values and messaging.
  4. The design will be suitable and acceptable for public viewing and use by all ages.
  5. The APE will need to take on ADA and accessibility needs as part of the project.


  • A specific location has been determined as the location of the APE which is noted in the appendix (3) to this RFP. Selected finalists will create proposals that maximize use of the site location.
    Media & Materials:
  • The APE must be a durable art piece, designed and constructed to be hardy enough to withstand the Colorado outdoor environment over multiple years. Diverse materials, including but not limited to concrete, wood, engineered materials, tile and painted surfaces can be used, provided they meet the parameters above.
  • The APE must have material specifications designed to include interactive/kinetic interaction components and provide a safe play environment for children and remain relevant to the Denver Zoo as an institution and the Colorado community in general.
  • The APE must use UV protected materials and avoid hot surfaces to prevent any burning to exposed skin.
  • The APE must be able to be placed or anchored in a secure fashion; should a base be necessary, the artist will be responsible for the design, engineering and installation of the base and any other infrastructure requirements such as electrical, structural, or water hookups.
  • Due to the guest interaction with the APE, hazardous, sharp or dangerous materials should not be used.

Maintenance & Durability:

  • The APE will become a permanent, longstanding addition to the Denver Zoo and is meant to engage both imagination and interaction for children and adults. As such, artists must consider issues of long-term durability, low maintenance requirements, as well as physical safety, in addition to time and budget.
    Art Budget:
  • If selected, the artist will be awarded a total budget (including all artist’s costs and expenses, including travel) of $110,000 for the design, fabrication and installation of the artwork. Any infrastructure/engineering analysis (electrical, structural, water, etc.) requirements for the artwork will be included in this budget. Should the APE require electrical or water infrastructure, the Zoo will work with the Artist on connections to existing utilities.
  • Artist’s budget should include maintenance and service of the artwork for one year after installation along with a one-year warranty period.

1.3. How You Respond
To be a successful partner with the Denver Zoo in delivering projects, review the details of the project in Section 2 and bid expectations in Section 3 of this RFP. All supporting documentation posted with this RFP should be reviewed, including the DZF RFP Terms and Conditions, template contract documents, and all appendices. Upon reviewing all the required sections, a bid can be submitted as described in Section 3.

All inquiries should be sent to