Art in Public Places releases call for artists for I-70 Underpass project |

Art in Public Places releases call for artists for I-70 Underpass project

Town of Vail | Special to the Daily
Town of Vail | Special to the Daily |

Submit your proposal

What: Call for artists/request for qualifications for Vail Interstate 70 underpass project

When: Deadline for entry is Oct. 15; 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.

Contact: Materials may be emailed to, with the subject line “I-70 Vail Underpass,” or mailed to Art in Public Places Coordinator, Town of Vail, 1309 Elkhorn Drive, Vail, CO 81657.

More information: Visit this article at for more information about this project and links to an interpretive 3D video and landscape concept plans.

The town of Vail’s Art in Public Places program invites professional artists to submit their qualifications and images of previously integrated public art projects for consideration at Vail’s new Interstate 70 underpass. The total budget is $335,000 to commission public art for this project.

AIPP has identified potential locations for this project, including, but not limited to, pedestrian railing design, a mural location and a headlight glare screen. The selected artist(s) will work closely with the designers and town of Vail design teams to create a cohesive pedestrian and vehicular experience, where art complements design.

Project background

In the early 1980s, discussions began to explore an additional multi-modal I-70 underpass to enhance community connectivity and traffic flow between the Main Vail and West Vail highway exits. However, it was not until 1993 that the idea went through a public process as a part of the Vail Transportation Master Plan. The underpass was nicknamed the Simba Run Underpass, due to its namesake location, the Simba Run Condominiums. From that point forward, it became a common theme in numerous Vail Master Plans, as well as being listed in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s long-range Statewide Improvement Plans since 1996, among others.

The project is now known as the I-70 Vail Underpass and recently received joint funding for design and construction from the town of Vail via the Vail Reinvestment Authority and CDOT via Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships funds. The location of the I-70 Vail Underpass will provide access to the frontage roads between the existing Main Vail and West Vail roundabout underpass interchanges.

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 visitors 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 form 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 frequent maintenance are discouraged.

• Public safety: Artwork shall not create inordinate safety problems or liability problems for the general public or town of Vail.

Artwork locations

Additional information about the project and an interpretive 3D video can be found here. The landscape concept plan for the project may be accessed here. Possible locations may be seen within the 3D video as follows:

• Railing design: Pedestrian railing viewed at timeframe 1 minute, 15 seconds.

• Headlight glare screen: South edge of south roundabout at timeframe 1 minute, 22 seconds.

• Mural location: Stone wall north of north roundabout at timeframe 2 minutes, 2 seconds.

Artist qualification submittal materials

• 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 megabytes). If your files are too large, you may also send via Dropbox or another similar means. Please note that ZIP files are not accepted.

• 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 $335,000, inclusive of all artist’s fees, travel, design, insurance, permits, fabrication, labor and installation; 10 percent of the total budget will be allocated for the headlight glare screen.

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