Request for Qualifications

Treasure Island Water Resource Recovery Facility

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.

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for the Treasure Island Water Resource Recovery Facility (TIWRRF). The art opportunity consists of the concrete façades of the TIWRRF’s Maintenance and Administration Buildings along Eastside Avenue and the adjacent pedestrian and bicycle pathways. Interspersed between reflective, vertical glazed elements that connect the landscape to the sky, the façade-mounted artwork will consist of imagery on up to 2,850 square feet of precast concrete panels, which may be produced through the application of Graphic Concrete®, mosaic or ceramic tile, custom-formed reliefs, and/or other precast elements.

The goals of the TIWRRF public artwork are to connect viewers to an understanding of the flow and importance of water and wastewater in the TIWRRF, on and around the island, and throughout the Bay Area, more broadly; and to highlight the Treasure Island’s history, ecology, natural and marine environment, and the environmental stewardship of the SFPUC.

The artist contract budget for this project is $510,000, inclusive of all artist's fees, as well as associated expenses for design, fabrication, insurance, transportation and consultation during installation. A separate allocation of $100,000 has been set aside for the installation of the artwork, to be managed under separate contract by SFAC.

Project Description

Located on the north end of Treasure Island—a 400-acre artificial island built on the shoals of neighboring Yerba Buena Island in the San Francisco Bay for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition—the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) Treasure Island Water Resource Recovery Facility (TIWRRF) is a critical part of the island’s infrastructure and sustainability framework. The new 9-acre facility will be located within the fourth and final phase of Treasure Island redevelopment, with a large, approximately 100-acre regional shoreline park to be built in the area surrounding the facility. Conceived as “A Machine in the Park,” the TIWRRF is designed to produce minimal wastewater discharge with the goal to reuse disinfected recycled water on the island for lawns, landscaping, and community parks. Facility construction will begin in early 2024, with anticipated completion in 2026.

Selection Process

Artist Qualification Panel: The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Qualification Panel consisting of one SFPUC representative, one arts professional, and one SFAC staff member to 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 one SFPUC representative, one community member or project stakeholder, one member of the design team, three arts professionals, and one Arts Commissioner. After considering the artists’ qualifications, the Artist Review Panel will identify finalists. 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 $3,000 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 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

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 26, 2024, 11:59 p.m. PST deadline.

Application materials include:

1. Letter of Interest

  • 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.

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.
  • For information on formatting your image files, 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. PST on the deadline date, March 26, 2024. Please contact Craig Corpora at or 415-252-2249.

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

Project Timeline

Qualification Panel Meeting

Week of April 8

Review Panel Meeting 1

Week of April 15

Applicant notification via email

Week of April 22

Finalist Orientation

Week of April 29

Public Display of Proposals

June 26 – July 10

Review Panel Meeting 2

Week of July 15

VAC approval of recommended artist

August 21

Full Commission approval of recommended artist

September 9

Artist under contract

October 2024

Anticipated completion

Fall 2025



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.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

December 16
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 11
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

December 09
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online