Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation 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 and culture.
Aerial view of Ocean Beach area of San Francisco

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for a public art opportunity at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Proposals for this public art opportunity for the Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project may range from a focal large-scale sculpture to a grouping of smaller human-scale sculptures at the newly constructed Sloat Blvd. public plaza for the project. The goals for this art opportunity are to address and speak to climate change; complement views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas, and relate to and be visually compatible with the character of the site and surrounding areas (including forthcoming mural by Jet Martinez and existing sculptures by Mary Fuller at the nearby Westside Pump Station).

The total budget for artwork is $300,000 inclusive of all artist's fees, as well as associated expenses for design, fabrication, insurance, transportation, and contingency. There will be a $50,000 allocation for installation.

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 Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration.

Project Description

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is leading a multiagency effort, including National Park Service (NPS), San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (RPD), and San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW), to implement key initiatives of the Ocean Beach Master Plan under the Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project. This work is necessary to protect the integrity of SFPUC wastewater assets including the Lake Merced Tunnel, the Westside Pump Station and the Oceanside Treatment Plant.

The Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project is focused on the section of Ocean Beach along the Great Highway south of Sloat Blvd. and north of Skyline Blvd. The project’s key deliverables are: 1. A buried seawall to protect the Lake Merced Tunnel, 2. Restoration of beach and sand dune habitat, 3. Recreation and open space opportunity by closing the great highway and re-purposing land for a multi-use trail, 4. Roadway changes and intersection improvements, and 5. Replace the Sloat Blvd. public restroom with a new restroom building located in a new public plaza adjacent to Ocean Beach.

The Sloat Blvd. public plaza created through this project will be an access point to Ocean Beach bike and pedestrian paths and presents a tremendous opportunity for public art. The public art goals for the Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project are to commission a focal sculpture or series of sculptures that are an anchor point or landmark for the new plaza which leverages its proximity to Ocean Beach, and specifically addresses climate change and/or sea level rise in theme, metaphor, content or imagery. Additional goals are to complement views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas in a manner that is visually compatible with the character of the site and surrounding areas (including a forthcoming mural by artist Jet Martinez and existing sculptures by artist Mary Fuller, both located nearby at the SFPUC’s Westside Pump Station).

With the plaza’s proximity to the beach and ocean, the artwork should be constructed of the most durable materials, for example stone, concrete, tile, or bronze, and be able to withstand harsh marine weather conditions. The artwork can be interactive without necessarily having moving parts.

Selection Process

Artist Qualification Panel: RFQ applications will be reviewed by an Artist Qualification Panel consisting of one arts professional, one client representative (SFPUC), and one SFAC staff member. The panel will review and score the applications to identify the short list of qualified artists to be considered for the project opportunity.

Artist Review Panel: The shortlist of qualified artists will be presented to the Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project Artist Review Panel consisting of two representatives of the respective client agencies (SFPUC & RPD), three arts professionals, one SFAC Commissioner, and one community member. After considering the artists’ qualifications, the Artist Review Panel will identify three finalists for recommendation to the Arts Commission for approval. The finalists will be invited to develop conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $2,000 for 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 on SFAC’s webpage, and near the project site 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 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 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


The scoring criteria is informed by the agency’s values and goals, as referenced in SFAC’s Racial Equity Statement and Civic Art Collection goals, and the goals specific to this project.

SFAC Racial Equity Statement

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.

Scoring Criteria:

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 quality of craftsmanship or mastery of skills and techniques. Artistic merit may also be accredited to artwork that reflects a significant or direct relationship between artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.

Relevant Skills & Experience: The panel shall consider the assessed ability of an artist to successfully implement the 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.

Meets Project Goals: Proposal (or assessed ability of artist to design a proposal) that meets the specific goals of the project.

  • Be an anchor point/ landmark for the new plaza
  • Addresses and speaks to climate change and/or sea level rise
  • Complements views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas
  • Relates to and is visually compatible with the character of the site and surrounding areas (including forthcoming mural by artist Jet Martinez and existing sculptures by artist Mary Fuller at the nearby Westside Pump Station)

Appropriate to Site: The proposal is appropriate for its intended display location in terms of scale, media, design or imagery and is judged relevant within the context of the surrounding community and is appropriate for the mission and operations of the client departments.

Feasibility and maintainability: proposal is judged to be feasible within the budget and maintainable within the means of the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Contributes to the Quality of the Civic Art Collection: Is judged to support/improve the collection in terms of artistic quality and diversity of artists.

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 25, 2022, 11:59 p.m. PDT deadline.

1. 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.

2. Letter of Interest Questions 

  • Provide a description of your artistic focus, career highlights and qualifications, and particular interest in this project, including a specific connection to the site or community where the project takes place.

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 1280 x 1280 pixels
  • For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project.
  • For more information, 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 5:00 PM (PDT) on the deadline date, March 25, 2022.

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

Project Timeline

RFQ Issued

January 28, 2022

RFQ Application Deadline

March 25, 2022

Qualification Panel Meeting

Week of April 4, 2022

Review Panel 1st Meeting

Week of April 18, 2022

Finalists approval at VAC

April 20, 2022

Orientation of Finalists

Week of April 25, 2022

Finalist Conceptual Proposal Due

June 13, 2022

Public Display of Proposals

June 20-July 4, 2022

Review Panel 2nd Meeting

Week of July 11, 2022

Approval of recommended artist by Visual Arts Committee

July 20, 2022

Approval of recommended artist by Full Commission

August 1, 2022

Artist under contract

September 2022

*Estimated Project Timeline 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


Artist Reception for we were here

January 11
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

SFPL Main Branch
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 27
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online

we were here

December 21 to March 01
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM


EarthSea Film Screening

December 14
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

SFAC Main Gallery