Call for Artists: 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool

2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool


Issued: October 11, 2016


Jovi Schnell’s artwork installed at SOMA West Skate Park

Monday, December 5, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PST (Pacific Standard Time)

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 Monday, December 5, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PST deadline.

Application and Technical Support

Please note that Arts Commission staff will not be available to answer questions about this call after 5 p.m. (PST) on the deadline date, December 5, 2016.

SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (CST)

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for potential inclusion in a prequalified artist pool for upcoming public art opportunities. The 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool will be used to select artists for commissions for a range of new permanent public art projects associated with the construction of new civic buildings, parks, playgrounds, transportation and streetscape improvement projects throughout San Francisco. Certain projects may also offer opportunities for artists to work as part of a design team along with the project architect/designer.

The Arts Commission seeks visual artists working in a variety of media and artistic approaches to include in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool. Past public art experience is not required. These commissions are for artists who are interested in having their design concepts implemented in durable and maintainable materials*

*Due to limited resources, the Arts Commission is usually unable to commission electronic media based artworks.

Budgets for commissioned permanent public project range up to $500,000 (inclusive of all costs).

Professional practicing visual* artists or artist teams residing in the United States.

Artists who apply as part of a team may not also apply as individual artists. All artists and members of an artist team must reside in the United States to be eligible.

*The 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool is not open to performing artists

In 2017/2018, public art will be commissioned in conjunction with various City and County of San Francisco Capital Improvement Projects at a variety of locations throughout the City.  Artists included in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool will be eligible for all project opportunities with budgets under $500,000 as they arise in the next two calendar years.

Upcoming sites/projects may include:

Angelo Rossi Park
Central Subway Temporary Art on Construction Barricades Program
Fire Stations
Garfield Square
Gene Friend Recreation Center
Margaret S. Hayward Playground
Moscone South Expansion
Port Cruise Terminal
Public Utilities Commission Sites
San Francisco International Airport
Schlage Lock Park
Transbay Under Ramp Park
Willie Wong Playground


Artist Selection Panel:

The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Selection Panel consisting of an Arts Commissioner and two arts professionals. The applicants will first be screened for the minimum qualification criteria as follows:

  • Application is complete.
  • The application submitted represents the artist’s own original creative work.
  • The artwork submitted reflects basic professional quality of craftsmanship, mastery of skills and techniques, professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communication of a unique vision or perspective
  • The artist’s resume reflects evidence of professional competence. 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 practice.

The panel will then use the following criteria to score all remaining eligible portfolios:

  • Artistic excellence.
  • Appropriate imagery or style for public space. A broad range of imagery and styles appropriate for a public place may be considered, from figurative, representational, abstract, or non-objective. Examples of non-appropriate imagery include artwork with religious and sexually explicit content.
  • Professional experience.

Artists that score within a competitive range will be included in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool. The pool will then be recommended for approval by the Arts Commission.

All 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

The 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool will be used to select artists for each new project opportunity with a budget up to $500,000, based on appropriateness of the artist’s media and experience for specific project requirements. An ad-hoc selection panel will be convened for each project to review the qualified candidates and make selection recommendations. The panel’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Arts Commission for final approval.

Artists included in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool must apply separately to additional RFQs issued by the Arts Commission for projects over $500,000 in budget. The Arts Commission may also an RFQ for a project with a budget under $500,00 that has specialized requirements. In that case, artists included in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool will be automatically be considered for that call and need not re-apply.

Artists not initially included in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool, but who are short-listed for subsequent calls, will automatically be included in the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool.

Applicants to the 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool are expected to be notified of their status the last week in January 2017. This is subject to change.

All application materials must be submitted online via SlideRoom ( by December 5, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Applications sent via email, post, or hand delivered will not be considered. Application materials include:

Budget Range Verification

  • SlideRoom will provide a form to determine the budget range for projects you are interested in (up to $100,000/ $100,000 – $250,000/ $250,000- $500,000). You may select any or all of the ranges.

Letter of Interest

  • One page maximum.
  • Brief description of the inspirations/interests reflected in your artwork.
  • Executive summary of your professional experience as an artist. You may specifically want to address how that experience may qualify you for public projects.
  • If you have not previously executed a public art project, or worked in permanent outdoor materials, you may want to address how you might envision making this transition.
  • If you are applying as a team, address the justification for the collaboration.


  • If you are applying as a team, please include your team/studio resume. If that is not available, please combine the individual resumes (one right after the other) of each team member into one document.
  • SlideRoom requires that you copy and paste your resume into their online software. Please keep formatting simple in your original document as only basic formatting will be saved.

10 images of previous work

  • SlideRoom accepts all image types up to 5MB and all video file types up to 250MB.
  • Images should be 72 dpi and no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels.
  • Video files should be kept to less than 3 minutes each and should be used to show work that is kinetic or time based. Please do not submit video documentation of static work or artist interviews.
  • For team applications, please indicate the lead artist for each project. Teams must submit one application and are limited to 10 images
  • Submit only images of your own original artwork, or collaborative work for which you share copyright credit.
  • Do not submit images of works by other artists for which you played a supportive role (fabricator, engineer, etc.).
  • Do not include more than two images of the same work. Composite images are acceptable, but please keep them simple and easy to read.
  • Do not submit specific proposals for public art projects.

Image descriptions

  • When you upload your images, SlideRoom will prompt you to fill out image descriptions. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, year, price/commission budget (if available), and 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 2017/2018 Prequalified Artist Pool RFQ, contact Alyssa Torres, Public Art Program Associate by email at, or by phone at (415) 252-2219.

For artists who are interested in more information about applying to public art calls, the San Francisco Arts Commission will host two free workshops that will cover strategies for making a strong application and technical support for SlideRoom.

Saturday, October 29th, 10a.m. – 12p.m.
San Francisco Arts Commission
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 125
San Francisco, CA 94102
RSVP through Eventbrite:

Thursday, November 3rd, 6-8p.m.
San Francisco Arts Commission
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 125
San Francisco, CA 94102
RSVP through Eventbrite:

Artists interested in other public art commissions are encouraged to visit the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Public Art Program website at

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.

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.

Local Business Enterprise Goals and Participation
The requirements of the Local Business Enterprise (LBE) and Non-Discrimination in Contracting Ordinance set forth in Chapter 14B of the San Francisco Administrative Code (collectively the “LBE Ordinance”) shall apply to this RFQ. The artist selected may be required to subconsult a percentage of the total value of the contract to a subcontractor certified by the Contract Monitoring Division (CMD), and submit documentation of the good faith outreach efforts required by Chapter 14B. The City strongly encourages proposals from qualified LBEs, and a ratings bonus will be in effect for the award of this project to any proposers certified as a CMD LBE. All contractors and subcontractors awarded contracts are required to use the Elation secure web-based Local Business Enterprise Utilization Tracking System (LBEUTS) to submit payment information. More information on CMD certification and requirements can be found at, or contact Lupe Arreola, CMD Compliance Officer for the Arts Commission at 415-581-2306, or at

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:

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

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