Request for Qualifications
Minna-Natoma Art Corridor Project
Transform Minna and Natoma Streets into a unique pedestrian destination by integrating a variety of artists' designs into the streetscape in concert with a series of stand-alone artistic interventions on adjacent public and private properties.
San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood is crisscrossed in pedestrian alleyways. At the intersection of the SOMA Pilipina Cultural Heritage District, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, and the East Cut neighborhood, Natoma and Minna streets act as thruways connecting the Transbay Terminal to Yerba Buena Gardens and SFMOMA.
Curatorial Statement and Approach
With the underlying belief that artists bring a unique and original perspective to design, the Minna-Natoma Art Corridor is a synergistic collaboration, taking advantage of needed streetscape improvements and the expertise and talent of artists to beautify and energize alleyways. This project aims to transform Minna and Natoma Streets into a unique pedestrian destination by integrating a variety of artists' designs into the streetscape in concert with stand-alone artistic interventions on adjacent public and private properties.
SFMOMA and SFAC will research and recruit artists in addition to SFAC publicly announcing a Request for Qualifications for permanent art opportunities on City property. A series of temporary projects may be commissioned in the future pending the availability of funds for temporary projects.
Art Opportunity and Artist's Scope
Five artists will be commissioned to develop unique designs for the paving for each of the three block sections of Minna Street and the two block sections of Natoma Street. Another two artists will be commissioned to design street furniture, which may include benches, chairs, bollards and bicycle racks along Minna and Natoma Streets respectively. These designs will be integrated into the Public Works Department's construction documents for Minna-Natoma Art Corridor which will be publicly bid and built or fabricated by a general contractor. During the design process, the selected artists will work closely with the Public Work's design team and the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District staff to integrate their work into the streetscape design documents. Artists will be guided to make selections regarding materials that can be easily maintained in the future.
Pending the future availability of funds, stand-alone artistic interventions such as murals and temporary art installations will be commissioned for public and private properties.
Create a new visual identity for Natoma and Minna Streets through artist involvement in the design of the streetscape, including paving, lighting, landscaping, and wayfinding.
Make the Minna-Natoma corridor a "hidden gem" pedestrian destination that pulls people to and from the Transbay Terminal and Yerba Buena Gardens and SFMOMA, and through the passageway between Howard and Natoma Streets, adjacent to SFMOMA.
- Engage artists of local, national, and international renown to create projects that respond to site-specific needs and opportunities.
- Prioritize diversity among artists, elevating typically underrepresented voices in public art projects.
- Maintain visual cohesion within the neighborhood with seamless integration of art into streetscape improvements and the surrounding context.
- Support the various goals, policies, and implementation strategies articulated in:
- The South Downtown Design and Activiation Plan
- Transit Center District Plan
- SFMOMA Expansion Plan
- YBCBD Street Life Plan
- Finalists for each of the streetscape sections opportunities shall be paid a fee of $1,200 to develop a preliminary conceptual design which shall be reviewed by the Minna-Natoma Art Corridor Review Panel.
- Finalists for the streetscape furniture designs shall be paid a fee of $1,500 to develop a proposal for different streetscape furniture elements.
- Artists selected for each of the five opportunities shall be contracted to devlop a unique, site-specific design that will be integrated into the construction documents prepared by the City's Public Works Department. The selected artists will not fabricate the work, but will license its reproduction for the Minna-Natoma Art Corridor project through an agreement with the San Francisco Arts Commission. The design drawings for the streetscape paving opportunities will be the property of the Arts Commission, however the artist retains the copyright in her or his work.
- Each artist will work closely with the design team from Public Works to ensure the accurate translation of their design intent into permanent materials that can be easily constructed and maintained by Public Works and/or by the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District. The artist will be involved throughout the design and fabrication process at specific intervals to inspect the progress of the work, including mock-ups, sample work products in the field, and the completed work.
- Depending which specific block of Minna or Natoma Street the artist is selected to design, the fee for producing designs for the streetscape paving shall range from $30,000 to $35,000 per artist.
- The fee to be paid to each of the two artists selected for producing designs for street furniture for either Natoma or Minna Street shall be $35,000.
The Minna-Natoma Art Corridor Curatorial Review shall be established to review and recommend artists for the project.
SFAC and SFMOMA staff will present a prescreened candidate list to the Minna-Natoma Art Corridor Curatorial Panel who shall select a short list of artist finalists to be recommended to the SFAC for approval. Artists from the Arts Commission's 2019/2020 Prequalified Pool of Artists whose work is appropriate for the commission may also be presented to the Artist Qualification Panel to be considered for inclusion on the shortlist.
First Meeting of Selection Panel
Voting members of the Curatorial Review Board shall include a representative from SFAC and from SFMOMA along with local arts professionals in addition to a representative from the Public Works' design team. Non-voting members of the Curatorial Review Board shall be composed of non SFAC City staff who are part of the project team and staff from the YBCBD. After considering the artists' qualifications, the panel will identify finalists for recommendations to the Arts Commission for approval.
Candidates will be screened for conformance to the criteria and application requirements outlined in the Request for Qualifications that will be issued. These criteria include:
- Artistic excellence
- Resonance of the artist's artwork and its aesthetic with the specific nature of the project and the context of the site
- Diversity, racial equity and inclusion of local artists
Once approved, each finalist will be contracted by the SFAC to produce an initial design for which they will be paid an honorarium. The finalists will be invited to develop conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders.
The artist selection for all sites should occur concurrently with the streetscape design process to maximize dynamic synergies and coherence between the streetscape design and associated artworks. To achieve this synergy, artists selected for the various streetscape opportunities will be asked to participate in a design charrette with the Public Works' design team and members of the Minna-Natoma Project Team in order to develop their final design proposal for the site.
Final Artist Review Panel
The Artist Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists' concepts and will select artists for each of the three streetscape design opportunities and two artists for the street furniture design to be recommended to the Arts Commission.
Arts Commission Approval
The recommendation of the Minna-Natoma Art Corridor Curatorial Panel 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 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.
Artist Selection Considerations
- 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 nonprofit 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.
There are multiple ways in which the community will be involved and have access to the artist selection process for this project. The staff liaison from the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District shall be an active participant in the project. Arts professionals from the community will be invited to serve on the Minna-Natoma Curatorial Review Board for the project. Local artist organizations will be consulted as to artist recommendations and asked to distribute the Request for Qualifications.
Consistent with SFAC protocols, the proposals submitted by each of the finalists shall be publicly displayed for comments. These comments will be shared with the Minna-Natoma Curatorial Review Board prior to their making a final recommendation. Additional public comment may be conveyed to the SFAC's Visual Arts Committee and the Full Arts Commission before the vote to confer final approval.
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 deadline. Application materials include:
1. Letter of Interest
- One page maximum.
- This should be a summary of your artistic focus and professional career, especially as your background relates to this project. Do not make a specific proposal for a new commission.
- 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
- SlideRoom accepts all image file types up to 5MB. Images should at least 72 dpi and no larger than 1500 x 1500 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 5:00 PM (PST) on the deadline date, February 19, 2021. Please contact Luna Izpisua Rodriguez at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM (PST) email@example.com.
(Subject to change)
|Application Deadline||February 19, 2021|
|Review Panel 1st Meeting||Late February - Early March 2021|
|Approval of recommended finalists by Visual Arts Committee (VAC) and then by the Full Arts Commission||
VAC: March 17, 2021
Arts Commission: April 5, 2021
Applicant Notification of finalist stage
|Submission of Proposals and Online Display
for Public Comment
|Mid to late April 2021|
|Review Panel 2nd Meeting||Mid to late April 2021|
|Approval of recommended artists by Visual Arts Committee / Approval of recommended artists by the Full Commission
|Artists under contract||TBD|
Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration.
This project is a partnership between the City, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD). City departments include San Francisco Public Works (Public Works), the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), and the San Francisco Planning Department (Planning).