2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool (DEADLINE EXTENDED)

large multi-colored two-dimensional artwork, hanging in airport check-in terminal
Leah Rosenberg, Everywhere, a Color, 2018. SFO: International Terminal Gate G.

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for potential inclusion in a prequalified artist pool for upcoming public art opportunities. The 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool will be used to select artists for commissions for a range of new permanent public art projects.


Project Description

The 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool will be used to select artists for commissions for a range of new permanent public art projects associated with the construction of new civic buildings, parks, playgrounds, transportation and streetscape improvement projects throughout San Francisco. Certain projects may also offer opportunities for artists to work as part of a design team along with the project architect/designer. Past public art experience is not required. These commissions are for artists who are interested in having their design concepts implemented in durable and maintainable materials*

*Due to limited resources, the Arts Commission is usually unable to commission electronic media based artworks.

Upcoming Public Art Project Sites
In 2019/2020, public art will be commissioned in conjunction with various City and County of San Francisco Capital Improvement Projects at a variety of locations throughout the City. Upcoming sites/projects may include:

San Francisco International Airport
Geary Bus Rapid Transit
Recreation Center and Parks
Market Street Streetscape
Alameda Creek


Budgets for commissioned permanent public project range up to $500,000 (inclusive of all costs).

Selection Process

The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Selection Panel consisting of an Arts Commissioner and two arts professionals. The panel will use the following criteria to score all eligible portfolios:

  • Artistic excellence: the application submitted represents the artist’s own original creative work. The artwork submitted reflects basic professional quality of craftsmanship, mastery of skills and techniques, professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communication of a unique vision or perspective.
  • Appropriate imagery or style for public space: a broad range of imagery and styles appropriate for a public place may be considered, from figurative, representational, abstract, or non-objective. Examples of non-appropriate imagery include artwork with religious and sexually explicit content.
  • Professional competence: activities that indicate a professional practice, which may include, education and training as an artist, an exhibition record in museums, art galleries, and/or non-profit art spaces, previous public or private commissions, participation in artist-in-residency programs, or other professional activities.

Artists that score within a competitive range will be included in the 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool, which will then be recommended for approval by the Arts Commission.

All Public Art selection panel meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Arts Commission website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

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.

Budget Range Verification
SlideRoom will provide a form to determine the budget range for projects you are interested in (up to $100,000/ $100,000—$250,000/ $250,000—$500,000). You may select any or all of the ranges.

Application materials include:

1. Letter of Interest

  • One page maximum.
  • Brief description of the inspirations/interests reflected in your artwork.
  • Executive summary of your professional experience as an artist. You may specifically want to address how that experience may qualify you for public projects.
  • If you have not previously executed a public art project, or worked in permanent outdoor materials, you may want to address how you might envision making this transition.
  • If you are applying as a team, address the justification for the collaboration.

2. Resume

  • 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.
  • SlideRoom requires that you copy and paste your resume into their online software. Please keep formatting simple in your original document as only basic formatting will be saved.

3. Ten images of previous work

  • SlideRoom accepts all image files under 5MB and video files that are less than 250MB.
  • Images should be no larger than 1280 x 1280 x 72 ppi 
  • Video files should be kept to no longer than 1 minutes each and should be used to show work that is kinetic or time based. Please do not submit video documentation of static work or artist interviews.
  • For team applications, please indicate the lead artist for each project. Teams must submit one application and are limited to 10 images total.
  • More information on file sizes and types can be found here.
  • Submit only images of your own original artwork or collaborative work for which you share copyright credit.
  • Do not submit images of works by other artists for which you played a supportive role (fabricator, engineer, etc.).
  • Do not include more than two images of the same work. Composite images are acceptable, but please keep them simple and easy to read.
  • Do not submit specific proposals for public art projects.

4. Image Descriptions

  • When you upload your images, SlideRoom will prompt you to fill out image descriptions. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, year, price/commission budget (if available), and a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work.

Check out 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 Thursday, March 14, 2019.

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

For questions regarding the 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool RFQ, contact Craig Corpora, Public Art Program Associate by email at craig.corpora@sfgov.org, or by phone at (415) 252-2249.

For artists who are interested in more information about applying to public art calls, the San Francisco Arts Commission will host two free workshops that will cover strategies for making a strong application. You do not need to sign up ahead of time for these workshops. 

Saturday, January 26, 10a.m.—12p.m.
San Francisco Arts Commission
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 125
San Francisco, CA 94102

Thursday, February 7, 6—8p.m.
San Francisco Arts Commission
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 125
San Francisco, CA 94102

Artists interested in other public art commissions are encouraged to visit the San Francisco Arts Commission’s website and sign up for our Newsletter. Information is updated whenever new opportunities arise.

Project Timeline


Applicants to the 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool are expected to be notified of their status the second week of April 2019. This is subject to change.


Questions & Answers

The 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool will be used, along with other qualified artist pools, to select artists for each new project opportunity with a budget up to $500,000, based on appropriateness of the artist’s media and experience for specific project requirements. An ad-hoc selection panel will be convened for each project to review the qualified candidates and make selection recommendations. The panel’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Arts Commission for final approval.


Professional practicing visual artists or artist teams residing in the United States. Artists who apply as part of a team may not also apply as individual artists. All artists and members of an artist team must reside in the United States to be eligible.*

*The 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool is not open to performing artists.

Eligibility for Other Additional Calls
Artists included in the 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool must apply separately to additional RFQs issued by the Arts Commission for projects over $500,000 in budget. The Arts Commission may also issue an RFQ for a project with a budget under $500,000 that has specialized requirements. In that case, artists included in the 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool will be automatically be considered for that call and need not re-apply.

Artists currently in the Bayview Artist Registry and want to be considered for the 2019/2020 Prequalified Artist Pool must apply to this RFQ..

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

June 28
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

June 20
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

June 21
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

June 20
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Virtual Meeting