Request for Qualifications
Mission Bay School Public Art Project
The San Francisco Arts Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone. We affirm the sovereign rights of their community as First Peoples and are committed to supporting the traditional and contemporary evolution of the American Indian community and uplifting contemporary indigenous voices.
The San Francisco Arts Commission is committed to creating a city where all artists and cultural workers have the freedom, resources and platform to share their stories, art and culture and where race does not predetermine one’s success in life. We also acknowledge that we occupy traditional and unceded Ohlone land. Fueled by these beliefs, we commit to addressing the systemic inequities within our agency, the City and County of San Francisco and the broader arts and culture sector. This work requires that we focus on race as we confront inequities of the past, reveal inequities of the present and develop effective strategies to move all of us towards an equitable future.
The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for the Mission Bay School Public Art Project Opportunity, a tile or mosaic artwork, approximately 330 square feet located on the exterior of the school’s east entrance. The goal of the project is to create an artwork that is bold and colorful, visually enhance the learning environment, and inspire and engage students.
The budget for artwork is $136,000 inclusive of all artist's fees, as well as associated expenses for design, fabrication, insurance, transportation and installation.
The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is developing a new Mission Bay School, located on 2.5 acres at 6th Street and Nelson Rising Lane in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. The school will include a PK - 5 elementary school; a Linked Learning Hub for students enrolled in SFUSD high schools where they are offered unique opportunities to connect their learning with career experiences and workforce readiness; and a professional learning resource for teachers and staff to receive training in support of ever-changing methods of teaching and ways to engage students. The new Mission Bay school is scheduled to open August 2025 for the 2025-2026 academic year.
Artist Qualification Panel: The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Qualification Panel consisting of one SFAC staff member, one representative of SFUSD, and one arts professional, who will identify a list of the most qualified artists to be considered for the project opportunity.
Artist Review Panel: This list of the most qualified artists will be presented to an Artist Review Panel consisting of two representatives of SFUSD, one representative of the Mission Bay School design team, one Arts Commissioner, one community member, and two arts professionals. After considering the artists’ qualifications, the Artist Review Panel will identify three finalists who will be invited to develop site-specific conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $3,000 for the 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 shall be displayed at at a public location within the Mission Bay neighborhood, and posted on the Arts Commission website for written public comment prior to the final review panel meeting.
The Artist Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ concepts in an interview format along with any community input and will recommend one artist 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.
ARTIST SELECTION CONSIDERATIONS
Selection Criteria for Artists and Artwork: Artists and artwork will be selected in accordance with the Mission and Goals of the Civic Art Collection and in accordance with the criteria below. Criteria to be used when considering when scoring an artist’s application for a commission and/or acquisition of artwork by either purchase or commission shall include, but not be limited to the following considerations. 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: Review Panels and the Commission shall consider 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 and in the Project Plan approved by the Commission.
- The Artwork is Appropriate to the Site: The artwork or proposed artwork is appropriate for its intended display location in terms of scale, media, design or imagery and is judged to be relevant within the context of the surrounding community, and is compatible with the mission and operations of the client department.
- Feasibility, maintainability: Proposed objects shall be evaluated relative to their feasibility and evidence of the artist’s ability to successfully complete the work as proposed. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to: project budget, timeline, and the artist’s experience. Due consideration shall be given to the structural and surface soundness, and to inherent resistance to theft, vandalism and weathering, and to the cost and amount of ongoing maintenance and/or repair anticipated.
- Contributes to the Quality of the Civic Art Collection: The artwork is judged to support and improve the city’s collection in terms of artistic qualify and diversity of artists represented. The Arts Commission is committed to acquiring art works that reflect diversity in style, scale, media, and artistic sources as well as diverse cultural communities and perspectives. The Arts Commission also encourages exploratory types of work as well as established art forms.
- Public Safety and Accessibility: Artwork shall be evaluated to ensure that it does not present a hazard to public safety and complies Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and with all other applicable building codes.
- Duplication: Artists will be asked to warrant, as a condition of their agreement with the City,that the artwork commissioned or purchased is unique and an edition of one, and shall not be duplicated unless it is part of a limited edition or otherwise stated to the contrary in the artist’s contract with the Commission.
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 March 18, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (PDT or 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. Do not make a specific proposal for a new commission.
- 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.
- For furhter information on formatting your images, please click here
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. (PDT or PST) on the deadline date, March 18, 2024. Please contact Craig Corpora at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-252-2249.
SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (CDT or CST) email@example.com.
Qualification Panel Meeting
Week of April 15, 2024
Review Panel Meeting 1
Week of April 22
Applicant notification via email
Week of April 22
Week of May 6
Finalist Proposals due
Public Display of Proposals
June 26 to July 10
Review Panel Meeting 2
VAC approval of recommended artist
Full Commission approval of recommended artist
Artist under contract
Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists who reside in the United States or have representation from a US-based gallery willing to contract with the Arts Commission on the artist’s behalf. Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration.