Call for Artists/Request for Qualifications – Public Art at the Vail Skatepark, Vail, Colorado

Deadline 12:00 pm June 12, 2015

Call summary:

The Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places invites professional artists to submit their qualifications and images of previously integrated public art projects for consideration at Vail’s new skatepark. The project has a budget of $50,000 to commission public art into the skatepark which will be integral to the aesthetic identity of this unique setting in this international resort town. The selected artist will work closely with the designers of the skatepark and Town of Vail design teams to create a cohesive skatepark where art complements design.

Skatepark background:

Vail is arguably the top ski resort in North America. While widely known for its winter offerings, Vail is also a popular summer mountain destination with events and activities to suit nearly any preference.   Vail is also a community where people and families live, work and play.  Both aspects of Vail, resort and community, are important and are what make it what it is – a great place to visit and live.  Vail strives to provide its guests and residents a variety of activities that are family oriented and oftentimes free of cost.  Skating is one of those activities that appeals to a wide demographic and is becoming increasingly mainstream.  Skate enthusiasts who grew up in the early years of skateboarding are now parents and it is not uncommon to see parents and children skating together.

Skateboarding in Vail has been an activity for many years.  However, due to limited open space in the Vail Valley skatepark facilities have been limited to portable ramps that are installed each spring and taken down each fall.  Multiple attempts at finding a site for a permanent skatepark have come up short for a variety of reasons.  Recently, some “out-of-the-box” thinking has created an opportunity that had not been considered.  The Town Council recently awarded California Skateparks a contract to design a previously unused space between the north and south structures of the Lionshead Parking Garage for a permanent skatepark in Vail.

Site description:

California Skateparks, one of the world’s premier skatepark designers, is designing the proposed skatepark which is situated between the north and south parking decks of the Lionshead parking structure in Vail. This vacant space will be graded to include 5,700 to 6,000 square feet of skating terrain. The design will maximize this corridor-like space, which measures approximately 230 feet long and 25 feet wide, with flowing transitions and creative transfer options for all levels of skaters. California Skateparks will incorporate colors and patterns in the concrete skating surfaces and features. The unique location will provide for aerial viewing of the skatepark from various parking decks and access points. The selected artist will integrate public art opportunities to enhance and enliven the space of the skatepark. Working with designers and Art in Public Places, the overall aesthetic of the skatepark will provide a distinctive recreational experience.

Artwork Criteria:

  • Quality and Innovation: The consideration of highest priority is the inherent artistic excellence and innovation of the artwork.
  • Timelessness: Each artwork should be viewed as a long-term acquisition that should have relevance aesthetically to the community in future years. Due to the high visibility of public art by residents and guests who frequent public places, artworks should be selected that reflect enduring artistic quality.
  • Compatibility with Site: Works of art should be compatible in style, scale, material, form and content with their surroundings, and should from an overall relationship with the site.
  • Permanence: Works of art shall have structural and surface soundness, and be resistant to theft, vandalism, and weathering. Artworks shall not require excessive maintenance or repair costs. Artworks that require continual maintenance are discouraged.
  • Public Safety: Artwork shall not create inordinate safety problems or liability problems for the general public or Town of Vail.

Artwork Requirements:

  • The work should enhance the beauty of the skatepark’s design and the Vail community. The selected artist will work closely with California Skateparks, the town’s Art in Public Places Board and town staff to ensure a cohesive design between the skatepark and accompanying public art.
  • As a gathering place to enjoy recreation, the art should be engaging and pleasing for all ages.
  • Works in a variety of media and forms will be considered.
  • Art shall require limited maintenance, withstand the area’s climate, temperature extremes, and enjoyed throughout the day and evening. The artist should also consider the high amount of activity in the skatepark and be durable to withstand potential abrasion. If an artist creates murals, the art should be engineered in a material that will ensure its longevity with limited maintenance.
  • The artist must have past experience integrating art into built architecture.
  • Designs should be sensitive to this public location used by people of all ages and may not portray nudity, full or partial, sexualized images, violence or weapons, racist or sexist, crude language or political or religious references in any manner. The town will have the right to remove the artwork if it is offensive in any manner and does not adhere to Town of Vail standards.

Artwork Locations

  • Potential areas include, but are not limited to existing features: the east and west concrete stairwell walls abutting the skatepark; north and south horizontal parking deck walls spanning the 230 foot length of the skatepark.
  • Integrated form into the design of the skatepark.

Artist Qualifications

  • Letter of interest indicating your vision and approach for the project (limit two pages).
  • A professional resume/CV with qualifications (limit two pages).
  • Three professional references with current contact information from completed or current projects.
  • Visual support materials of previous work (10 images max) – cds, prints, website, jpegs (not to exceed 8 MB)
  • Annotated image list to accompany any submitted images.
  • Mailed materials will not be returned without a self-addressed stamped envelope.

If submitting as an artist team, the team must submit a resume for each team member.


  • The total budget for the project is $50,000.
  • Budget is inclusive of all artist’s fees, travel, design, insurance, permits, fabrication, labor, and installation.

Anticipated Timeline:

  • Deadline for entry: June 12, 2015
  • Proposed selection notification: July 1, 2015
  • Proposed installation: July 31, 2015 – concrete patterns if applicable to selection; October 1, 2015 wall mounted art.

The Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places Board will review previous work submitted by artists and their criteria for qualifications. Artists whose work would be of further interest will be contacted


Materials may be emailed to:

The subject must read Vail Skatepark.

Materials may be mailed to:

Art in Public Places Coordinator

Town of Vail

1309 Elkhorn Drive

Vail, CO 81657

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