Spur announces first call for artists

Colorado State University System’s Spur campus at the National Western Center, in partnership with Denver-based art consulting and curatorial firm NINE dot ARTS, today announced the first call for artists for the historic redevelopment project within the National Western Stock Show site.

The call for artists, which opened Jan. 2, 2020, will focus on recognizing CSU System’s global leadership within the disciplines of water, human and animal health, and food. Proposals and entries, which can be submitted on callforentry.org, are due no later than Jan. 24, 2020. NINE dot ARTS was selected by CSU to lead the collaborative campus art masterplan with the goal of creating well-integrated art experiences that celebrate Spur’s commitment to culture, education, innovation, and research.

The three-building Spur campus will open in 2022, acting as a front door to the world-class research and education provided by CSU System. Spur will engage all learners and fuel new solutions around water, food, and health. CSU’s proud history as an established university providing world-class academics and fostering groundbreaking research is only part of our identity. With Spur, CSU System is announcing we are Colorado. Spur will be a lighthouse – a beacon – a standout Denver destination that inspires learners and engages visitors and creates a powerful new expression of what CSU is.

“This program is a monumental first step toward reimagining the role of public art on a college campus,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “By beginning the process now, we can purposefully integrate art experiences into the campus’s architecture and design while inspiring lasting moments of connection, reflection, and education amongst current and future students, alumni, faculty, staff, and visitors of all ages.”

A total of more than $1 million, sourced from Colorado Creative Industries, will be allocated for eight public art installations, including projects and experiences that activate highly visible locations within each campus building.

Potential artists and artworks will be evaluated on the below criteria.

  • Innovation: Artworks high in innovation that show new ways of thinking about existing materials, locations, or connection with artwork in a public setting.
  • Engagement: Artworks high in engagement that thoughtfully and deliberately respond to the site and engage audiences. These artworks may include audience participation in the vision or concept development and/or creation or fabrication of the artwork.
  • Imagination: Artworks that feature a high level of imagination using play, delight, surprise, or entertainment to spur curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, or discussion.
  • Relevance: Artworks featuring relevant references related to the historic site, land use, or cultural history. These artworks may be used to reinforce an authentic sense of identity.

Semi-finalists will be notified in mid-Feb. at which time each semi-finalist will receive an honorarium to create a site-specific proposal. Proposals will be presented to the Art Selection Committee on March 20 and final artists selections will be made by early April 2020.

“Like the distinctive projects and experiences that we’re seeking, Colorado State University System’s Spur campus will challenge people to explore and discover the ways that water, food, sustainability, and health impact our lives,” said Martha Weidmann, CEO and cofounder of NINE dot ARTS. “As a proud CSU alumna, I’m thrilled that our firm can play a role as this one-of-a-kind project comes to life.”


Associate Attorney, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

Ms. Becker has dedicated her career to the Navajo Nation and its natural resources.  She is currently serving as an Associate Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.  Prior to this position, she had the honor of serving as the Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources from May 2013 to January 2019, as an appointee of President Begaye and Vice-President Nez, after serving eleven (11) years as an attorney for the Navajo Nation focusing on water rights and natural resources issues.  Continuing her deep interest and passion for water, she serves on the Leadership Team for the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin, as a Commissioner on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as an appointee of Governor Lujan Grisham, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, as an appointee of Speaker Damon.  Ms. Becker is equally passionate about supporting artists and serves as a Trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture (IAIA), as an appointee of President Obama.  Ms. Becker is a member of the Nation and lives on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance with her husband and two school age children.

Wave art