North Boulder

New public art coming soon to North Boulder neighborhood!

The Boulder Office of Arts + Culture is seeking an artist, or artist team, for a site-specific public art commission for north Boulder to compliment reconstruction of the North Broadway corridor and visually acknowledge the NoBo Art District. The project’s location boasts the city’s only formal Arts District, serves as a gateway to Boulder, and is a mix in density of residential and commercial spaces.


After much deliberation and review of 185 applications, the selection panel has chosen five semifinalists for the NoBo Public Art opportunity. Semifinalists include:

DeWitt Godfrey, Earlville, NY
Joe O’Connell/Creative Machines, Tuscon, AZ
Sharon Dowell, Charlotte, NC
Luke Crawley/Owens + Crawley, Indianapolis, IN
Jodie Bliss, Monument, CO


About North Boulder

Since its founding, Boulder has attracted visual artists, poets, performers, writers, musicians, designers, and creative people of all kinds as a beautiful, inspiring, and supportive place to live, practice their craft, and prosper in the business of their art. The residents, workers, and business owners of the neighborhoods of north Boulder have consistently demonstrated support for the activities and impacts of a creative district, the recommendations for culture in the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan, and the Community Cultural Plan.

North Boulder has a long history, starting as an agricultural destination and later developed into a neighborhood after WWII, by offering tracts of land to returning soldiers. North Boulder is unique to Boulder development in that it boasts a mix of density (both residential and commercial spaces). Additionally, the nearby Holiday Neighborhood was designed with sustainability and affordability in mind, providing a walkable neighborhood, public parks and many different types of residential units.

North Boulder is described as “mixed, diverse and unexpected. The old quirky Boulder with the new and young, all mixed together.”

Residents compiled the following descriptive list during the NoBo Place Project (see “Project Resources” for more information):

Alive • First Friday Art • active • artists’ haven • gritty • excitement • beautiful, radiant, dramatic light • innovative • creative spirit • casual atmosphere • cauldron of opportunities • community • contemporary • crossroads • contrasts in new and old • urban • off beat • potential • developing open opportunities • scrappy • vintage • good restaurants • inclusive • individualistic • inviting • less crowded • unique to our city • multi-dimensional • old, but so NEW! • new restaurants, shops • old strip mall • place where the mountains meet the plains • quirky • bikers • really needs some public ART!

About the North Broadway Reconstruction Project (Violet Avenue to US 36)

The North Broadway Reconstruction Project will reconstruct the street infrastructure and make improvements to the multimodal facilities where possible. The planning and design phase began in 2016, with construction planned to start in 2019, and is anticipated to take 18 months to complete. The city’s Transportation Division of Public Works will manage the reconstruction project, and has a long history of integrated public art implementation into their projects. A key factor in the success of this project is the early and successful integration of public art design development into the overall reconstruction project design, recognizing that public right-of-way and public infrastructure have unique requirements related to transportation function, safety and liability.

About the NoBo Art District

(From the NoBo Art District website): The NoBo Art District is a grassroots, artist-run organization dedicated to promoting the 200+ artists and creative businesses located along Broadway and the adjoining neighborhoods in north Boulder, Colorado. The district is characterized by upscale, mixed-use new urbanism, high-end restaurants and shops, and a mix of funky, artist-friendly warehouses. The NoBo Art District, formalized through acknowledgement of the Boulder City Council in May 2017, creates opportunities for artists to connect with each other and the broader community promoting engagement through art, education and events. The NoBo Art District Mission is to enrich and advance the arts in Boulder through educational activities and engagement that promote the role of artists and creatives in our community.

Project Resources


The budget for this commission is approximately $165,000 USD which will be allocated to the artists/team selected by the selection panel.  $85,000 from the Community, Culture and Safety Tax; $80,000 1% Restricted Transportation Capital Project. Transportation Capital Project Funding is identified for urban design and architectural improvements integrated into the roadway reconstruction, to maintain reimbursement ability under the federal transportation grant awarded to the project.  This budget amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to, the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering; insurance, including Colorado Workers Compensation; small tools; materials; fabrication; transportation and installation; including any building or site modification required; travel to and from the site; per diem expenses; project documentation; contingency to cover unexpected expenses and any other costs of any kind. The artist(s) should be aware the project may warrant he/she/they enter into a design-only contract. The project timeline reflects a project that will be integrated within the Broadway Reconstruction Project construction.  Budget will need to include all foundational and infrastructural supports. 

Tentative Timeline

(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments):

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 11:59 p.m. MDT               Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)

Week of Oct. 23, 2017                                             Semi-finalist selection

Oct. 31, 2017                                                            Notify semi-finalists

Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017                                             Proposal development and site visit (to be scheduled)

Jan. 2, 2018                                                              Draft proposals due for Technical Review Committee review

Februrary, 2018                                                Semi-finalists present proposals, community engagement

Spring 2018                                                            Finalist notification

Selection Panel Participants

Tom Sunderland, Landscape Architect/Owner of Native Edge Landscapes in NoBo
Kathleen McCormick, Boulder Arts Commissioner
Ana Maria Hernando, Artist with studio in NoBo
Bryan Bowen, architect at Caddis PC
Lisa Nesmith, NoBo Arts District Director

Technical Review Committee

Alex May, Transportation Project Manager
Melanie Sloan, Transportation Planner
Matt Chasansky, Manager of the Office of Arts + Culture
Lesli Ellis, Comprehensive Planner

Selection Process

Between three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as semi-finalists, and will receive a $1,000 honorarium. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and will have the opportunity to meet with the selection panel and technical review committee during a site visit. The selection panel will interview and/or review proposals from the semi-finalists and recommend finalists for the commission.

Additionally, community engagement is a vital component in Boulder’s decision-making process. Semi-finalists should be prepared to present or have their proposals presented to the public in some fashion during the decision-making process. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Boulder Arts Commission and the city manager for final approval.