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City of Alameda Request for Proposals for Physical Public Art


Entry Deadline: 12/19/17
Days remaining to deadline: 7
Number of Applications Allowed: 20


Images - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 10
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 10

Please visit the our website for more information, and to download the Questions and Answers document:


The City of Alameda would like to invite artists and/or artist teams to submit their proposals to create physical public art in the Alameda community. These services would be provided through an award from the City of Alameda, and will be funded through the Alameda Public Art fund.

The Public Art Commission is seeking to fund artwork of different scales and lifetimes, in a wide variety of locations within the City. This RFP therefore includes five different award levels up to the following amounts:

One $150,000 award

One $50,000 award

Two $25,000 awards

One $12,500 award

The City of Alameda, incorporated in 1854, is a 22.7 square-mile island city located in the San Francisco Bay. Alameda has a population of 77,660. Alameda has an active and enthusiastic arts and culture community that is interested in partnering with City government to promote a variety of art forms. The Community Development Department (CDD) encourages the advancement of local arts and culture to create a unique sense of place, and a more livable and economically vibrant city.

In 2003, the City of Alameda City Council adopted a Public Art Ordinance to require the installation of publicly accessible art on-site in certain new and substantially rehabilitated development projects. In lieu of providing on-site art, developers may choose to make a monetary contribution equal in value to their on-site art requirement into the City’s Public Art Fund. The Fund, also established by the aforementioned Ordinance, is to be used for physical art and/or cultural arts and arts programming to benefit the community.

The objective of the City of Alameda, in issuing this RFP, is to identify qualified artists and/or artist teams that have the ability to provide art in public places in Alameda. Public art should result in broad community benefit by enhancing the city’s image and sense of place, contributing to economic vitality, and improving the community’s exposure to arts.

Art Requirements
Eligible artwork includes, but is not limited to, sculpture, painting, mosaics, photography, crafts, mixed media and electronic arts. Eligible atrwork may be permanent, fixed, temporary or portable. For temporary artwork, the minimum installation period is one week. Artwork with a shorter installation time will be considered an event, and should be proposed as part of the Cultural Arts and Arts Programming RFP, which has been released concurrently with this RFP.

Eligible artwork may be an integral part of a building, facility, or structure, and may be integrated with the work of other design professionals.

Although all artists and/or artist teams are eligible, local artists and artist teams are particularly encouraged to propose, and will receive a point preference as part of the evaluation process. See the Selection Criteria section for more information.

Location, Maintenance, Insurance and Ownership
Eligible artwork must be located in a public place on private property, on land or in a building owned by the City of Alameda (such as a park or plaza), or on government-owned publicly accessible property, visible from a public right-of-way or from other public property.

Artists who are interested in proposing artwork on City property should visit the City's RFP website ( and download the "Information on Potential Public Art Locations in the City of Alameda Property" document.

All physical artwork must be located in the City of Alameda.

Maintenance and insurance costs for art on public property shall be the responsibility of the public entity accepting the public art. Maintenance and insurance of public art on private property shall be funded by the private property owners. If the proposal is successful, the property owner will be required to sign an agreement to maintain and insure the artwork for a specified lifespan, as described in a maintenance plan provided by the artist with input from the property owner.


The Public Art Commission is seeking to fund artwork of different scales and lifetimes, in a wide variety of locations within the City of Alameda.This RFP therefore includes five different award levels:

One $150,000 award

One $50,000 award

Two $25,000 awards

One $12,500 award

These amounts include all costs related to the artist and/or artist team’s design and project management fees; all subcontract and consultant costs, including engineers, electricians, fabricators, studio and overhead costs; fabrication, transportation, delivery, storage and installation of all art components, including foundations and footings; liability and insurance costs as required, and all other costs associated with the art project.

All applications must include a mandatory 10% contingency as part of their budget, to be used only with written permission from the City. Work associated with the installation of public artwork may require the payment of prevailing wages.

Guidelines for Approval
Guidelines for Approval shall include standards for reviewing an application for the installation of Public Art in accordance with the following objectives:

Conceptual compatibility of the design with the site environment and City design standards;

Appropriateness of the design to the function and aesthetics of the site;

Compatibility of design and location within a unified design character or historic character of the site;

Creation of an integral and complementary unity with the environment;

Preservation and integration of natural features;

Appropriateness of scale, form, content, materials, textures, colors and design to the site and surrounding environment; and

Durability of material and ease of maintenance.

The following are to be submitted via CaFE (

Letter of Interest. Description of the artist or team’s interest in the project, initial vision for the work, and relevant experience or background. Include contact information: name, address, phone, and email. (3000 characters maximum, including spaces)

Concept of Proposed Art Piece. Description of the concept of the proposed project, including the design intent, color, size, materials, lifetime and fabrication processes. (2000 characters maximum, including spaces)

Concept Design. Rendering of the conceptual design, including multiple viewpoints/angles, if possible.

Location. The location in the City of Alameda where the project will be installed, including address and photos of exact location. A letter of support from the property owner, or other documentation, must also be provided. Within the letter, the property owner must acknowledge that the owner will be accepting responsibility for the maintenance and insurance of the artwork. For land owned by the City of Alameda or other public entity, a letter of support from the head of the department overseeing the property is sufficient.

Budget Estimate: Estimated, itemized budget for the proposed project.

Project Schedule: Schedule for completion of work.

Resume: Current professional resume (1000 words maximum)

Work Sample: A mininimum of three (3) and up to ten (10) samples of past work, including an annotated image list stating the title of the piece, commissioning body, project budget, date, medium and dimensions.


1. Applications will be pre-screened by City staff to ensure that they meet the minimum qualifications:

Include all of the elements listed in the “Proposal Requirements” section

Demonstrate project durability through the selection of materials appropriate to the project location and lifespan

Include a proposed location that is publically accessible and within the City of Alameda

2. The Physical Public Art Selection Panel will review applications meeting the minimum requirements, and rank them according to the selection criteria outlined below.

For projects at the $12,500 and $25,000 award levels:

3. The three highest-ranked applications at each award level will be reviewed by the Public Art Commission, who will make a recommendation to City Council for the appropriation of funds.

For projects at the $50,000 and $150,000 award levels:

3. The three highest-ranked applications at each award level will become finalists.

4. Finalists will have 10 weeks to develop original artwork proposals. These proposals will include to-scale renderings, models, and other visual materials required to adequately illustrate the proposed artwork, a site plan identifying the exact location of the proposed art in relation to existing objects, buildings, landscaping and property lines, a more detailed budget, high-level installation and maintenance plan, and schedule for completion of the work. Finalists will receive honoraria of $500 for artists at the $50,000 award level, and $1,000 at the $150,000 award level.

5. Original artwork proposals will be placed on display for a two week period during which the public may comment, though not vote, on proposals.

6. At the end of the public display period, finalists will present their original artwork proposals to the Public Art Commission, who will make a recommendation to City Council for the appropriation of funds. Finalists must be available to attend an in-person presentation at the scheduled time in order to be eligible to receive the award.

Selection Criteria

Staff Review

In order to be qualified for review, all proposals must meet the minimum requirements:

Include all of the elements listed in the “Proposal Requirement” section.

Demonstrate project durability through the selection of materials appropriate to the project location and lifespan.

Include a proposed location that is publically accessible and within the City of Alameda.

Selection Panel and Public Art Commission Evaluation
Once qualified for review, the Public Art Commission will review proposals based the following factors:

Artistic Merit and Experience: 50%
Overall creative and aesthetic nature of the artist’s or team’s conceptual design and narrative, and past works. Past work on projects of similar scope and scale, including familiarity with public art installations.

Placemaking: 10%
Capacity to improve the overall appearance of the vicinity of the physical art and create a community asset and sense of place. Site compatibility and appropriateness to the site aesthetics. Appropriateness of scale, form, content, materials, textures, colors and design to the surrounding environment.

Budget: 10%
Inclusion of reasonable cost estimates within an itemized budget based on requested amount.

Local Preference: 10%
Artist and/or artist team lives or works in the City of Alameda.

Schedule: 5%
Inclusion of realistic schedule and construction process.

Leveraged Funds: 5%
Use of additional Federal, State, philanthropic or other funds for the project.

Communication: 5%
Ability to communicate clearly and work cooperatively with City staff, Commission members, and members of the general public.

Alameda Relevance and Community Engagement: 5%
Relevance to the City of Alameda, including (but not limited to) its diverse communities and history, traditions, and/or natural environment. Engagement with the community during the concept and design phase, and/or through interactive artwork.

The selected artists and/or artist teams will be required to submit a detailed long-term maintenance and conservation plan prior to payment in full. The property owner will be required to submit a signed agreement guaranteeing the owner will insure and maintain, or cause to be maintained, the artwork in good condition for its lifetime and shall perform necessary repairs, maintenance, preservation and conservation to the satisfaction of the City, as established in a long term maintenance plan.

Templates for these agreements are available for download on the City’s website at

All proposals must be submitted via

Important Dates
RFP released: September 21, 2017
Orientation and Q&A: October 2, 2017, 6pm, in Council Chambers, Alameda City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue
Additional questions due: October 19, 2017
Answers to additional questions released: November 2, 2017
Applications due: December 19th, 2017

Applications close at 10:59pm Pacific Time Zone, on the deadline date.
Please submit questions to Amanda Gehrke at [email protected].

Notice: Proposals will not be accepted after the date and time stated above. Incomplete proposals that do not conform to the requirements specified herein will not be considered. Issuance of the RFP does not obligate the City to award funding, nor is the City liable for any costs incurred by the Applicant in the preparation and submittal of proposals for the subject work. The City retains the right to award all or parts of the funding to several Applicants, to not select any Applicants, and/or to re-solicit proposals. The act of submitting a proposal is a declaration that the Applicant has read the RFP and understands all the requirements and conditions.

Ownership of Materials
All documents, including sketches, images, plans, specifications, reports and all other materials, including models, submitted as part of the proposal process for finalists in the Physical Public Art $50,000 and $150,000 award categories will become property of the City of Alameda upon payment of honoraria to the artists and/or artist teams.

Insurance Requirements
Selected teams for projects with a budget over $12,500 will be required to meet the following insurance requirements:

1. Workers' Compensation: Statutory coverage as required by the State of California.
2. Liability: Commercial general liability coverage in the following minimum limits:

a. Bodily Injury: $1,000,000 each occurrence
$2,000,000 aggregate - all other

b. Property Damage: $1,000,000 each occurrence
$2,000,000 aggregate

If submitted, combined single limit policy with aggregate limits in the amounts of $2,000,000 will be considered equivalent to the required minimum limits shown above.

3. Automotive: Comprehensive automobile liability coverage (any auto) in the following minimum limits:

a. Bodily injury: $1,000,000 each occurrence
b. Property Damage: $1,000,000 each occurrence

c. Combined Single Limit: $2,000,000 each occurrence

For teams with projects budgets of $12,500 or less, insurance requirements will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.


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