North Boulder

New public art coming soon to North Boulder neighborhood!

The Boulder Office of Arts + Culture is commissioning a site-specific public art project 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.

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.”

About the Reconstruction Project

The North Broadway Reconstruction Project will reconstruct the street infrastructure and make improvements to the multimodal facilities where possible along Broadway from Violet Ave. to US 136. 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.

Selected Artist

After much deliberation and review of 185 applications, the selection panel has chosen Sharon Dowell (Charlotte, NC) for the NoBo Public Art opportunity. Semifinalists include:


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. 

Project Selection Panel

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

Upcoming Project Meetings

NoBo Design Charrette with Sharon Dowell (in conjunction with NoBo First Fridays)

Friday, August 2, 2019 from 6-9 p.m.
@ Bohemia Boulder: 4919 N Broadway #7, Boulder, CO

The Design Charrette is an opportunity to share your input about the community and provide ideas for public art impact with the commissioned artist, Sharon Dowell.

Project Resources