Denver Zoo Gate 15

RFQ for Denver Zoo/Public Art Project

On November 30, Denver Arts and Venue convened the first meeting of the panel of citizens and city and Zoo officials pursuing a public art project for the Zoo’s Gate 15 area that borders Duck Lake and Ferril Lake. The group met to agree upon a general vision and procedural outline for the project. As a result, a Request for Qualifications for artists, landscape architects, and others who would be interested in applying has been published. As the RFQ states, “The panel is particularly interested in artworks that explore the interplay between the built and natural environment, that celebrate the Denver Zoo and City Park and highlight the transition between the two, that are sensitive to nearby wildlife and are calming yet innovative, and provide visitors with another reason to pause at the site.â€

The RFQ and application can be accessed at Click the View Public Art Works tab, and then type “Denver Zoo/City Park Project†in the Find Event box. The RFQ can also be accessed through the Arts and Venue website,

Please distribute this memo and the information about the RFQ to any individual or group (including interdisciplinary teams) you believe would be interested in this unique and highly visible project. The panel looks forward to receiving a large number of applicants for this national Call for Entry. The deadline to apply is Jan. 23, 2017. RFQ applicants for the project will be narrowed to a small group who will submit their detailed plans for the Denver Zoo/Public Art Project. A finalist will be selected from this final pool.

Zoo to beautify sanitation building and Gate 15 area

Your Input Needed

On October 12, the Denver Zoo called a public meeting to gather citizen input for moving forward on a project to add landscaping and public art to the industrial area centered around Gate 15 where the service entrance to the Asian elephant exhibit is located and also the still evident machinery from the now-defunct gasification project. The area fronts City Park Lake, the Pavilion and Duck Lake.

A mural of a girl watering a plant.

One of a variety of concepts being considered for decorating the Gate 15 area.

The Zoo was represented by VP for Design and Campus Management, George Pond and Community Affairs Manager, Megan Deffner. George stated that the Zoo was committed to the beautification project, working with Denver Arts and Venue and also bringing the Zoo’s resources to bear. Michael Chavez, Public Art Program Manager for Denver Arts and Venues, presented the process for selecting public art.

Neighbors from CHUN, Uptown on the Hill, CPFAN and City Park Neighborhood Advisory Group stated a preference for a treatment that melded art and landscaping, reflected the historic nature of the park, and reflected the connections between the Zoo and the park. Hank Bootz of CPFAN repeated his preference for three-tiered beds of grasses and plants rising against the wall fronting Duck Lake. The Zoo had shown this treatment in a previous slide show. Georgia Garnsey asked that the previous Zoo slides showing filigreed metal extensions topping the walls to the east of Gate 15 be considered for installation. Such extensions would block the view of the trucks and machinery and service activity so visible to park goers at present.

A mural of a woman 's face with ivy growing on it.

One of a variety of concepts being considered for decorating the Gate 15 area.

Public Art Project Coordinator, Brendan Picker is spearheading the art selection project. Neighbors recommended for the selection committee are Carolyn Lievers, City Park Alliance; Georgia Garnsey, CPFAN and Alison Torvik, CHUN. The project budget is $300,000.

If you would like to serve on the art committee, contact Megan Deffner, Please relay your vision and preferences for the Gate 15 beautification project to Georgia Garnsey,

We will update you about this process in the coming weeks. It should be an exciting collaboration between the Zoo, Denver Arts and Venue, and our communities. You will receive more photos and designs to comment on soon. Your input is critical! We look forward to hearing from you.

Fun ways to dress up bleak spaces

Here are some ideas of fun ways to use landscaping and art to dress up bleak spaces. What do you think? Is this a good idea for landscaping around the Denver Zoo Gate 15? The blank fence currently faces the City Park Pavillion and Ferril Lake.

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A green gate in front of a building.

Denver Zoo Gate 15