Call for Artists: Central Subway, 4th and Brannan Platform





DATE ISSUED: November 15, 2011

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, December 15, 2011 (11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time)


Applications are available through SlideRoom (, an on-line application system for calls for entry. There is no charge to artists for using SlideRoom.  If you are a first time user of SlideRoom, please allow adequate time to learn the use of this system.  Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.


Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists working in permanent, durable materials and residing in the United States. Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines shall be withdrawn from consideration.


Consistent with San Francisco’s commitment to excellence in civic design and its “transit first” policy, the Arts Commission is working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to develop a comprehensive public art program to be integrated into the design of the Central Subway System. The Central Subway, which is the second phase of the Third Street (“T-Third”) Light Rail Project, will stretch from Chinatown to South of Market where it will connect with the newly completed T-Third Street Rail Line. Scheduled to open in 2018, the transit system will include three subway stations and one above-ground platform. The three subway stations will be located in Chinatown, at Union Square/Market Street, and near the Moscone Convention Center on 4th Street. The above-ground platform will be located at 4th and Brannan streets.


The San Francisco Arts Commission’s goal is to commission a permanent durable outdoor artwork of the highest aesthetic quality for the 4th and Brannan Platform Station. Through this RFQ we intend to establish a candidate pool of professional artists for consideration for this public art project.  We are seeking submissions of qualifications by artists who work in materials and techniques appropriate to the art opportunity listed below.  Applicants should not develop proposals at this stage in the selection process.  Any proposals submitted along with the application materials will be disregarded.


The new above-ground platform station at 4th and Brannan streets marks the transition between the T-Third Light Rail line and the beginning of the Central Subway.  This station is located in a transitional South of Market area near the Caltrain Station, the AT&T Ballpark, and new residential and office facilities. The 4th and Brannan platform will have the same design as the completed T-Third Light Rail platforms.


The artwork opportunity is to commission a unique sculpture for the platform’s marquee pole. This opportunity is in keeping with the pole-mounted sculptures on the other T-Third Street platforms. The marquee pole would be approximately between 35 to 40 feet high. Final decisions concerning pole dimensions and height will be made by SFMTA after structural engineering recommendations are complete. Artwork will be attached within the top third of the marquee pole and the marquee art attachment may be either stationery or kinetic. Due to the conditions of this outdoor location, the artwork must be made of durable materials and require minimum maintenance.


The artwork budget allocation is $125,000 and will cover all project costs including, but not limited to, design, materials, engineering, fabrication, transportation, installation, artist’s fee, and insurance.  The cost of the pole where the art will be mounted and the pole’s foundation will be covered by a separate construction budget and will not come from the Artist’s project budget.


After the application deadline the Arts Commission staff will screen applicants to establish a candidate pool meeting minimum qualifications to be considered for this commission based upon the following criteria:

  • Professional Qualifications, as evidenced in the applicant’s resume which must include at least ten (in any combination) of the following: permanent private or public commissions; exhibitions at commercial galleries, nonprofit art venues or museums; and/or temporary public art installations.
  • Experience creating durable outdoor artwork, as evidenced by submitted documentation of past projects (images and detailed information).
  • Artist must meet geographic eligibility.  Artist must reside in the United States.

The qualified artists’ application materials will be presented to an Artist Selection Panel consisting of an Arts Commissioner; SFMTA Project Manager; Transportation Authority representative, two community representatives, the Project Architect, and one arts professional.

After considering the artists’ qualifications, the selection panel will score and rank the candidates in order to identify a shortlist of finalists whose scores are within a competitive range.

The panel will use the following criteria to evaluate the artists’ qualifications:

  • Artistic excellence, innovation and originality as evidenced by representations of past work and other supporting material.
  • The artist’s work is judged to be appropriate to the goals of the project.
  • The artist’s professional experience is adequate to meet the demands of the project.
  • The artist is available to participate in the design, approval and implementation of the project as required.
  • Assessed ability to meet project deadlines, and to perform work in a timely and professional manner.

The panel’s recommended shortlist of finalists will be presented to the Arts Commission for approval.  Following Arts Commission approval, the artists on the shortlist of finalists will be invited to develop conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders.  Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $1,000 for development of a conceptual design proposal, plus the reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses as approved by the Arts Commission prior to travel arrangements being made for the orientation and panel interview.

The artist selection panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ proposals in an interview format and will select one artist and an alternate for the project for recommendation to the Art Commission.

All Arts Commission meetings and Public Art selection panel meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Arts Commission website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.  To check the meeting schedule for public art projects, please go to our website at


All application materials must be submitted online via SlideRoom.  Application materials include:

  • Letter of interest
  • Resume
  • 10 images of previous work
  • Annotated image descriptions

There is no application fee to apply or to use the SlideRoom online application system. To view the application, go to (no “www”) and sign up for an account.   Applicants can receive support by emailing: or by accessing a help desk here:


Artist teams must submit one application and are limited to 10 images total.


If you are an artist who is currently in the 2004 or 2008 Central Subway Prequalified Pool, you are not required to submit a new application in response to this Request for Qualifications in order to be considered for this opportunity.  However, you are welcome to apply to submit current materials.

If you are an artist who is currently in the 2011/2012 Prequalified Artist Pool and you are interested in this opportunity, you are required to submit a new application in response to this Request for Qualifications.


RFQ Posted/Advertised                                                       November 15, 2011

RFQ Deadline                                                                     December 15, 2011

Selection Panel Meeting #1 (Select Finalists)                        Early January 2012

VAC Approval of Finalists                                                    January 18, 2012

Finalist Orientation/Stakeholder Meeting                               Early February 2012

Proposal Display (2 Weeks)                                                 Late March/Early April 2012

Selection Panel Meeting #2 (Review Proposals)                     mid April, 2012

VAC Approval of selected artist                                            April 18, 2012

Full Commission approval                                                    May 7, 2012

Artist under contract                                                            May 2012


PROJECT SCHEDULE (Subject to change)

Platform Station Design Development Complete                                Spring 2012

Platform Station Construction Documents Complete                          September 2012

Construction commences                                                                April 2013

Construction & artwork installation complete                                     July 2018



For questions, contact Zoë Taleporos, Public Art Program Associate at (415) 252-3215 or by email at


The San Francisco Arts Commission will host two evening workshops for artists who are interested in being considered for this project as well as future public art projects. Artists working in all media and disciplines are welcome. The workshop will cover such topics as the City’s Art Enrichment Ordinance and how to apply to this and other calls through SlideRoom, the online application service used for this call. Attendance at the applicant workshop is not required. The workshop is free and open to the public.


  • Thursday, November 17, 6-7:30 p.m. at the African American Arts & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA
  • Thursday, December 1, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA


Artists interested in other public art commissions are encouraged to visit the San Francisco Arts Commission’s the Public Art Program website Information is updated whenever new opportunities arise.




Rights Reserved by the Arts Commission

The City reserves the right to not accept any applications, to not accept any artist recommended by any of the selection panels, to initiate an alternate Selection Process, or to reissue the RFQ for additional pre-qualified artist candidates.

Arts Commission Approval

Projects continue at the discretion of the Arts Commission and may be cancelled at any time. All proposed design concepts, artworks, expenses and all other aspects of the Project are subject to approval by the Arts Commission throughout the term of the project.

Proposal Board and Maquette Policy

In the event that you are asked to develop a proposal, the following policy shall apply. The Arts Commission shall:

  • At its sole discretion, have the unconditional right to own proposal maquettes or drawings selected for implementation as part of commission awards or may alternatively choose to retain all such maquettes until the project is complete.
  • Retain first right of refusal to purchase proposal maquettes and drawings submitted by the artists not selected for implementation.
  • Be given credit upon display and/or reproduction of any maquette or proposal commissioned, whether selected for implementation or not.
  • Require that all proposals and/or maquettes submitted are original and unique.

Required Contracts

In addition to the proposal agreement, as part of the City’s contracting process, the artist selected and approved by the Arts Commission will be asked to enter into contract with the City and County of San Francisco for the entire duration of the project.  Artist applicants should review the Arts Commission FTA template contract which can be found here: Link to contract. While some items specific to individual project such as scope of work, payment schedule and schedule of deliverables may be negotiated, the terms of the contract will not be changed. (Please note that the FTA Artist contract differs from the standard City of San Francisco Artist Contract Template.)

Required Forms

Depending upon the specific scope of the project, prior to the issuance and throughout the duration of the contract, the artist will also be required to maintain a San Francisco business tax license, complete the Vendor set-up process, fill out specific documents from the Human Rights Commission. The required forms may be viewed on-line at:


Prior to the issuance and throughout the duration of the contract, the contracted artist will be required to maintain and provide current certificates for various types of insurance, including Automobile Liability, General Liability, and other insurance as required by the City. To view the insurance requirements, see Section 15 (starting on page 19) of the FTA Artist Contract.  Contract may be viewed at this link. Link to contract

Assignment of Fabrication Contractor

The City will engage a Fabricator to manufacture the Artwork based on the Artist’s approved Final Design Documents.  At the City’s direction, the City may assign and the Artist shall accept assignment of the Fabricator’s contract so that the Fabricator is a subcontractor to the Artist, either prior to or after the Commission’s final approval of the Design Development Documents.  As directed by the Commission, the Artist shall assist the Commission in the selection of a Fabricator.  As directed by the Commission, prior to and after the aforesaid assignment of contract, the Artist shall consult with the selected Fabricator to ensure that the Artwork conforms to the approved Design Development Documents.

Constructability Requirements

Engineering drawings, and building code and other requirements must be met as required for any project in order for implementation of the project.

Non-Discrimination and Equal Benefits Ordinance

The City and County of San Francisco, in its effort to provide equality of opportunity and equality of benefits, requires that individuals and businesses doing business with the City comply with Sections 12B and 12D of the Administrative Code.  This requires that if you are an employer, and if you provide health or other benefits to the spouses of your employees, you must provide equal benefits to the registered domestic partners of your employees.  This section also requires demonstration of good faith efforts to hire local disadvantaged business enterprises.  More information on these policies may be found at:

Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO)

(This requirement only pertains to artists who have over 20 employees, or artists who may have their artwork fabricated by a company with over 20 employees.) The selected artist(s) will be required to agree to comply fully with and be bound by the provisions of the Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO), as set forth in S.F. Administrative Code Chapter 12P. Generally, this Ordinance requires contractors to provide employees covered by the Ordinance who do work funded under the contract with hourly gross compensation and paid and unpaid time off that meet certain minimum requirements. Currently, the hourly gross compensation is $9.00 an hour. For the contractual requirements of the MCO, see paragraph 42 of the Ordinance. Note that the gross hourly compensation for covered employees increases to $10.00 for For-Profit entities on January 1, 2002 and increases 2.5% annually thereafter for 3 years. For Nonprofit entities and public entities, this increase is required only if the City makes the finding required by Section 12P.3(a)(ii) of the San Francisco Administrative Code. Additional information regarding the MCO is available on the web at:

Health Care Accountability Ordinance (HCAO)

(This requirement only pertains to artists who have over 20 employees, or artists who may have their artwork fabricated by a company with over 20 employees.) The selected artist will be required to agree to comply fully with and be bound by the provisions of the Health Care Accountability Ordinance (HCAO), as set forth in S.F. Administrative Code Chapter 12Q.  Artists should consult the San Francisco Administrative Code to determine their compliance obligations under this chapter. Additional information regarding the HCAO is available on the web at

Project Funding Regulations

The work described in these specifications is to be financed with the assistance of a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, and all work described in these specifications shall be performed in accordance with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines and regulations.

FTA Regulation Regarding Debarment and Suspension

The selected Artist(s) will be required to verify that none of the artists, its principals, or affiliates, are excluded or disqualified from participation in federal assistance programs.  If selected to create a proposal, the Artist shall certification his/her eligibility to receive federal funds. The certification form may be viewed at this link: Link to Debarment Certification Form.

FTA Regulation Regarding Lobbying

No Federal appropriated funds may be paid, by or on behalf of the selected Artist, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement. All selected Artist(s) are required to complete and submit along with their Proposal Materials, a certification form regarding lobbying. The certification form may be viewed at this link: Link to Lobbying Certification Form.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The selected artist(s) will be required to comply with Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements in addition to related federal, state and locals codes and will be encouraged to develop artwork(s) sensitive to programmatic as well as physical accessibility issues in cooperation with the Arts Commission and disabled communities.

Protest Procedures

A. Protest of Non-Responsiveness Determination: Within five working days of the City’s issuance of a notice of non-responsiveness, failure to become a Minimally Qualified Candidate (“Notice”), or failure to become a Qualified Candidate, any Artist that has submitted a Qualifications Statement and believes that the City has incorrectly made such a determination may submit a written protest.  Such written protest must be received by the City on or before the fifth working day following the City’s issuance of the Notice.  The protest must include a written statement specifying in detail each and every one of the grounds asserted for the protest.  The protest must be signed by the Artist and must cite the law, rule, local ordinance, procedure or RFQ provision on which the protest is based.  In addition, the protestor must specify facts and evidence sufficient for the City to determine the validity of the protest.

The City reserves the right to proceed to the next stage of the qualifications or selection process with the responsive Candidates during the five-day protest period.  The City will cease the process only when it receives a notification of decision that is in favor of the protester.

B.   Delivery of Protests: All protests must be received by the due date.  If a protest is mailed, the protestor bears the risk of non-delivery within the deadlines specified herein.  Protests should be transmitted by a means that will objectively establish the date the City received the protest.  Protests or notice of protests made orally (e.g., by telephone) will not be considered.  See Protest Procedure for details at the following link: Link to Protest Procedures.

All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract, and these provisions are subject to change.

San Francisco Arts Commission

401 Van Ness, Ste. 325
San Francisco, CA 94102

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