2021 Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series


Imaginary Monuments for the Future

Typically in the United States, public monuments have taken the form of figurative sculptures that memorializes the accomplishments of white men or historical events that reflect the dominate culture. In San Francisco for example, the Mechanics Monument (also known as the Donahue Memorial Fountain) honors the titan of business Peter Donohue, who owned Union Iron Works, the first foundry on the Pacific Coast, and the Admission Day Monument, which commemorates the date that California became a state, following the Mexican-American War.

Today, many communities recognize the harm such single-sided representation has done. Consequently, has been an effort to commission contemporary monuments addressing the historical lack of representation of women, people of color, LGBTQ, and indigenous peoples in the public sphere.

For the 2021 Art on Market Street Poster Series, artists will have the opportunity to respond to, reconsider, and reimagine the idea of a public monument and think about what form—from the serious to the fantastic—these imaginary future monuments would take and what people, places, or events—whether real or imagined—should be memorialized. 

* Please note that this is a purely imaginary exercise and we are not seeking proposals for public monuments.

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for the 2021 Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series.  

Project Description

Every year since 1992, SFAC has commissioned new work by artists for the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series. The Program selects three or four artists to create a new body of work that responds to a theme specific to San Francisco. Each poster series is on view for approximately three months, and consists of at least 6 unique images that are printed at 68 inches high by 47 ¼ inches wide, and installed in 18 bus kiosks on Market Street between 8th Street and the Embarcadero.

Project Budget

The total budget is $12,000 inclusive of the artist fee, poster designs, digital file preparation, and proofing. The budget does not include printing and installation which is managed and paid for by the Arts Commission. Finalists for the project will be paid an honorarium of $750 to develop their proposals.

Selection Process

  • 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 work reflects an ability to respond to the poster series theme.
  • 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.

Artist Review Process

Artist Review Panel: SFAC staff will select a shortlist of artists who will be presented to an artist selection panel consisting of two arts professionals and one Arts Commissioner. After considering the artists’ application, the artist selection panel will identify approximately 8 finalists for recommendation to the Arts Commission for approval. The finalists will be invited to develop conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session.

The Artist Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ concepts in an interview format and will select three or four artists for recommendation to the Arts Commission. 

Arts Commission Approval: The Artist Review 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 calendar.

Project Timeline

Application Deadline

June 1, 2020

Selection Panel 1st Meeting

Mid-June 2020

Applicants notification via email

Mid-June 2020

Selection Panel 2nd Meeting

Late July 2020

Approval of selected artist by Visual Arts Committee

Aug 19, 2020

Approval of selected artist by Full Commission

Sept 7, 2020

Artist Under Contract October 2020

Anticipated installation dates for each Kiosk Poster Series is as follows:

  • February–April 2021
  • May–July 2021
  • August–October 2021
  • November 2021–January 2022

*Subject to change


How To Apply

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 June 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (PDT) deadline.

Application materials include:

1. Letter of Interest + Project Description 

  • 5,000 characters limit.
  • One paragraph summary of your artistic focus and professional career, especially as your background relates to your qualifications for this project.
  • One paragraph briefly describing how you might approach the poster series theme.

2. Resume

  • 25,000 characters limit.
  • 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.

3. Ten images of previous work

  • Image files must be under 5MB
  • You can upload images with any dimensions, as SlideRooom resizes images larger than 1280 x 1280 x 72 ppi
  • For team applications, please indicate the lead artist for each project 
  • For more information on images, please refer to the SlideRoom Working with Media page

4. Image Descriptions

  • When you upload your images, SlideRoom will prompt you to fill out image descriptions. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. You may also include a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work.

Please review our How to Apply to Calls for helpful tips on how to submit the most competitive application.

Please note that Arts Commission staff will be available to answer questions about this call until 5 p.m. (PDT) on the deadline date, June 1, 2020. Please contact Art on Market Street Poster Series Program Manager Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org or 415-252-2249.

SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM (PST) support@slideroom.com.


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

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

April 06
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

April 06
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

April 06
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

April 06
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting