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2024 Transformer Cabinet Mural Project Request for Qualifications#

The Art in Public Places Program of Fort Collins, Colorado, is requesting artist qualifications in an open competition for artists/teams to create painted murals on select electrical equipment (transformer cabinets) sited within the City of Fort Collins. Murals will be painted in August or September. The goal of the project is to mitigate placement of graffiti upon these existing structures and to make them artful objects within the site.

The Art in Public Places Program also seeks to commission multiple artists/teams to work with the Project Team on the Neighborhood Transformer Cabinet Mural Project. The artist/teams will engage members of a Fort Collins neighborhood selected by the Project Team to develop a visual concept for the mural to be painted on a transformer cabinet located in the neighborhood. Neighborhood residents may also be invited to assist in painting the mural. Artists will receive $500 for community engagement work in addition to compensation for the mural. Indicate interest in the Neighborhood Transformer Cabinet Mural project when completing the form on the Materials to be Submitted tab. There will be a limited number of Neighborhood Transformer Cabinet Murals assigned. Artists who select this option will also be considered for a Transformer Cabinet Mural, but if selected, will be assigned only one or the other.

The design should be visually active and busy, so as not to leave large open spaces. The design must be picture-based, not word-based. Any text included in the design should be incidental to the design and not the focal point of the design. The City will not accept designs that include logos; copyrighted or trademarked images; advertisements; or political, commercial, religious, or sexual symbols, themes, or messages. Designs must be appropriate for a diverse audience of all ages. We encourage diversity in the mural themes/content. The transformer cabinets are functioning units and need to be opened periodically by utility personnel. The use of dark colors in the mural is subject to approval to avoid thermal problems for the transformer cabinet. Final artwork must incorporate the inclusion of the existing required labeling for each electrical/utility unit.

Safety & Durability: The work is intended to be a permanent addition to the City of Fort Collins. Design and installation must consider that the work will be situated in a public location and subject to the elements and potential vandalism. Access to the boxes and to the contents of the boxes must be possible at any time. The contents of the boxes have the potential to generate extreme levels of heat.

Site: The project area is within the city limits of Fort Collins, Colorado. Specific sites are selected by the Project Team.

Please visit the image gallery to see previously completed transformer cabinet murals:

Transformer Cabinet Mural Image Gallery

A selection committee may consist of members of the APP Board, representatives from the Transformer Cabinet Mural Project Team, and a City Purchasing Department representative. The committee will review application materials and make a final recommendation. The selection committee reserves the right to reject any or entry at any time in the review and selection process.

Artists/teams will be chosen during an initial review process. Each artist/team will work with the project team to develop a detailed design proposal, budget, and timeline. Upon final approval from the APP Board and possibly the Fort Collins City Council, the artists will be awarded contracts for a minimum amount of $1,250

  1. Suitability of the artist/team to the project as demonstrated in resume and letter of intent.
  2. Quality of artist’s/team’s previous work as demonstrated in digital images.

The team is looking for murals to be painted on working transformer cabinets. The surface treatment should allow the box to be opened and worked on by the utility crews. The City will prepare the surface for painting and add a final anti-graffiti coating to the mural.

Compensation will depend upon surface area of the cabinet(s) to be painted, which will be determined by the Transformer Cabinet Mural Project Team. The total contract amount—for all applicable expenses, which includes all fees for consulting with the design team, the design, travel, and execution of all artwork selected—shall be an amount based on the total square footage of surface area to be painted per site. If selected for the Neighborhood Transformer Cabinet Project, artist will receive $500 for community engagement work in addition to compensation for the cabinet mural. A minimum of $1,250 will be paid per artist.

Upon selection and final design approval, the artist must complete a contract with the City of Fort Collins. All finished work shall be faithful to the drawings, designs, concepts, and budget as approved by the APP Board and possibly the Fort Collins City Council. Progress reports and payments will be made as contracted, with final payment to be made upon completion and acceptance by the City of Fort Collins.


Questions concerning the scope of the project should be directed to Ellen Martin, Visual Arts Administrator, at (970) 416-2789.

Questions regarding submittal or process should be directed to Dennis Ralph, Purchasing Buyer, at (970) 221-6281.