2022 Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for the 2022 Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series.

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.

Project Description

The Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series has commissioned new artwork by artists on an annual basis, since 1992. Each year, the Program commissions 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 Steuart St. at the Embarcadero and Hyde Street.


All Comics Year!

”Comics are not a genre, but a developing language.” –Chris Ware

For many decades, comics have held a unique place in San Francisco culture. From Henry Kiyama’s groundbreaking Four Immigrants Manga strips in the early 1900s, to the underground comix movement beginning in the late 1960s with publications such as Zap Comix and Wimmen’s Comix, to the opening of the SF Cartoon Art Museum in 1984, and the recent surge of comics in local academic programs, San Francisco has always been an epicenter of comics inspiration, creation, and publication. While marginalized populations have had a difficult times in the comics world, San Francisco comics culture has consistently embraced and uplifted the voices of women, queer people, BIPOC, and people with disabilities.

Comics and graphic novels have also gained mainstream acceptance and respect in literature and popular culture. Art Spiegleman won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his graphic novel Maus; Alison Bechdel, Lynda Barry, and Gene Luen Yang have all received MacArthur “genius” Grants for their comics work; and born and raised San Franciscan Raina Telgemeier often dominates the New York Times Best Seller list.

The 2022 Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series will be devoted exclusively to the comics medium. Artists will have the opportunity to create graphic narratives centered around San Francisco. The content can be historical, personal, fantastical, fiction or non-fiction, but they should engage with and be inspired by the city of San Francisco.

Selection Process

Artist Qualification Panel: SFAC staff will select a shortlist of qualified artists to be considered for the project opportunity.

Artist Review Panel: This list of qualified artists will be presented to an Artist Review Panel consisting of one Arts Commissioner and two arts professionals. After considering the artists’ qualifications, the Artist Review 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 with the Art on Market Street Program Manager. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $750 for development of a conceptual design proposal.

The Artist Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ concepts in an interview format and will recommend four artists for the project to the Arts Commission. 

Arts Commission Approval: The Artist Review Panel’s recommendation will be submitted first to the Visual Arts Committee (VAC), a subcommittee of the Arts Commission and then to the full Arts Commission for approval. All Artist Review Panel recommendations are subject to the Visual Arts Committee and Full Arts Commission.

All Arts Commission meetings and Public Art Review 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


Per City contracting requirements, artist applicants who are registered as a Local Business Enterprise will be given a rating bonus of 10% relative to other applicants.

  • Artistic Merit: Artistic Merit may be judged by such measures as originality of concept and artistic vision; the degree to which the work engages the viewer emotionally, intellectually, spiritually; the qualify of craftsmanship or mastery of skills and techniques. Artistic merit may also be credited to artwork that reflects a significant or direct relationship between the artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.
  • Relevant Skills & Experience: The assessed ability of an artist to successfully implement a proposed project, such as the ability to work constructively with other project stakeholders, meet deadlines, willingness to resolve issues as they arise, and generally manage the demands of the project. Cultural competency and/or significant connection between the artist and the project constituency, or experience that may particularly qualify an artist to meet project goals may also be considered.
  • Meet Project Goals: The proposed artwork (or the assessed ability of an artist to design a proposal) meets the specific goals of the project as defined in this RFQ. 
  • The Artwork is Appropriate to the Site: The artwork or proposed artwork is appropriate for its intended display location in terms of scale, design or imagery and is judged to be relevant within the context of the surrounding community.

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 Friday, April 16, 2021, 11:59 p.m. (PST) deadline.

Application materials include:

1. Letter of Interest

  • 5,000 characters maximum.
  • This should be a 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 maximum.
  • 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. 10 images of previous work

  • SlideRoom accepts all image file types up to 5MB. Images should at least 72 dpi and no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels
  • For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project.

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.

Check out 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. (PST) on the deadline date, Friday, April 16, 2021. Please contact Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org or 415-252-2249

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

Project Timeline

RFQ Issued                                                               March 2, 2021
Application Deadline                                              April 16, 2021
Artist Review Panel Meeting One                         End of April 2021
Visual Arts Committee Approval of Finalists       May 21, 2021
Development of Proposals                                    June 2020
Artist Review Panel Meeting Two                         July/August 2021
Visual Arts Committee Approval of Artists          August 18, 2021
Full Commission Approval                                     September 6, 2021
Project Artists under Contract                               September 2021

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

  • January 1–March 30, 2022
  • April 1–June 30, 2022
  • July 1–September 30, 2021
  • October 1–December 31, 2022

*All dates subject to change



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

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

May 18
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

June 20
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

June 06
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

June 20
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting