Alameda Creek Watershed Center Public Art Project- RFQ



RFQ Issue Date: December 2, 2013


February 25, 2014, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

NOTE: If you previously applied to this call, your application is still under consideration. There is no need to reapply. 

Applications are available through SlideRoom (, an online application system for calls for entry. There is no charge to artists for using SlideRoom. Please be sure to allow adequate time to submit your application as technical difficulties can occur. Applications that are mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered will not be considered. Applications will not be accepted after the February 25, 2014, 11:59 p.m. (PST) deadline.

Please note that Arts Commission staff will be available to answer questions about this call until 5 p.m. (PST) on the deadline date, February 25, 2014.

SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email until 8 p.m. (CST).


Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists who reside in the United States. Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration.


The total artwork budget of $500,000 may be allocated to one or two public art projects. The budget is inclusive of all artist’s fees, as well as associated expenses for design, fabrication, insurance, transportation and installation.


The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is constructing the Alameda Creek Watershed Center in Sunol near the Sunol Water Temple as part of its effort to improve its existing facilities in the Sunol Yard. The Center is intended to provide a place for people to gather and to learn about and appreciate the Alameda Creek Watershed and the SFPUC water system through educational and interactive exhibitions. The nearby Sunol Valley Water Temple, a 1910 beaux arts landmark, marks the confluence of three sources of water flowing into Sunol Valley. Adjacent to the Temple is the Sunol AgPark (operated by SAGE), 18 acres of land that support small-scale sustainable farms that provide fresh food to Bay Area communities, as well as hands-on environmental education and job training.


The goal of the Alameda Creek Watershed Public Art Program is to commission artwork that highlights, illuminates, or reveals something unique or hidden about the Alameda Creek Watershed, its natural resources or its role as part of the SFPUC water supply system. The artwork may also connect with the history of Sunol Valley. The artwork should serve as a focal point, yet be integrated with the site and surroundings. Opportunities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Major artwork treatment at entry plaza to the Center, which may utilize the walls, space, and floor leading up the entry doors; and/or
  • Artwork located in landscape around the Center, gardens or open meadow, which may consist of sculpture(s).

PROJECT SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Application Deadline:  February 25, 2014

Qualification Panel: Early March 2014

First Artist Selection Panel: Early March 2014

Artist Orientation Meeting: Mid March 2014

Proposal Deadline: Mid May 2014

Public Display of Proposals: Mid to Late May 2014

Final Artist Selection Panel: Early June 2014

Arts Commission Approval: June 18, 2014

Completion of Design/Construction Documents of Center: November 2014

Construction of Center: August 2015 – February 2017


• Complete application submitted prior to the application deadline.

• Artwork examples submitted represent the artist’s own original creative work.

• The artist’s work reflects artistic excellence, innovation and originality, as evidenced by professional quality of craftsmanship and mastery of skills, techniques; professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communicate a unique vision or perspective.

• 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. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist, an exhibition record in museums, commercial art galleries, and/or non-profit art spaces, previous public or private commissions; participation in artist-in-residency programs, or other related activities indicative of a professional art practice.

• 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.

• Results of reference checks for project finalists.


Artist Qualification Panel: The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Qualification Panel consisting of representatives from Arts Commission staff and arts professionals to identify a list of qualified artists to be considered for the project opportunity.

Artist Selection Panel: This list of qualified artists will be presented to an artist selection panel consisting of one representative of the SFPUC, one Arts Commissioner, one community member, one member of the design team, and three arts professionals. After considering the artists’ qualifications, the artist selection panel will identify finalists for recommendation to the Arts Commission for approval. The finalists will be invited to develop conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders. Depending on the scope of the proposal, each finalist will be paid an honorarium of either $1250 or $2500 for development of a conceptual design proposal, plus the reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses, approved by the Arts Commission prior to travel arrangements being made for the orientation and panel interview.

The proposals will be displayed on the Arts Commission’s website and in a location to be determined in Sunol for written public comment prior to the final selection panel meeting.

The Artist Selection Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ concepts in an interview format along with any community input and will select one artist and an alternate for recommendation to the Arts Commission.

Arts Commission Approval: The Artist Selection Panel’s recommendation will be submitted first to the Visual Arts Committee, a subcommittee of the Arts Commission and then to the full Arts Commission for approval.

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 ( by January 21, 2014, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Applications sent via email or post will not be considered. Application materials include:

• Resume

• Letter of Interest

• 10 images of previous work

o SlideRoom accepts jpg, png, and gif files up to 5MB. Images should at least 72 dpi and no larger than 1500 x 1500 pixels.

• Image descriptions

o Please include the title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. You may also include a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work.

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 SlideRoom technical support by emailing, or by accessing the online help desk:


For questions regarding the Alameda Creek Watershed Center Public Art Project RFQ, contact Zoë Taleporos, Public Art Program Associate by email at, or by phone at (415) 252-3215.



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.

Proposal Board and Maquette Policy

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

• 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.

Non-Discrimination and Equal Benefits Ordinance

The City and Countyof 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:

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.

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. For the contractual requirements of the MCO, see paragraph 42 of the Ordinance. 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

Required Forms and Contracts

In addition to the proposal MOU, 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 standard template contract which can be found on the Arts Commission website: While some items specific to individual projects such as scope of work, payment schedule and schedule of deliverables may be negotiated, the terms of the contract will not be changed. 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, go through the Vendor set-up process, fill out specific documents from the Human Rights Commission and will be required to carry various types of insurance, including Automobile Liability, General Liability, Fine Arts, and other insurance as required by the City.

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

Contact Us

Subscribe to our email newsletter and get updates in your inbox.