Call Detail

Alameda County Arts Commission: Artist Registry 2016

Entry Deadline: 11/30/17
Application Closed


Media Images: 10

Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 (10:59pm Pacific Time)

The Alameda County Arts Commission (ACAC) invites artists and artist teams to apply for potential inclusion in an Artist Registry, a prequalified list of artists that will be used for upcoming public art opportunities. Many of Alameda County’s capital improvement projects include a Percent-for-Art Program in which professional artists are commissioned to make new artwork associated with these projects. Due to the upcoming schedule of new construction projects, artists will be selected from the Artist Registry. The opportunities may include outdoor and indoor projects with a range of project budgets and be appropriate for artists working in a variety of materials and styles. Many of the opportunities will be for artists to create a new series of smaller artworks in the studio; therefore, artists who make two-dimensional, low-relief, or wall sculptural artwork are encouraged to apply. Artists selected for the Artist Registry will always be notified prior to being placed into consideration for specific projects. Public art opportunities for a wide range of artists such as:
  • Artists interested in collaborating with diverse communities and youth
  • Artists making large-scale, hand-painted murals
  • Artists who are interested in having their design concepts implemented in durable materials
  • Artists interested in creating artwork for modern civic office buildings
  • Established artists who have completed major public art commissions
  • Emerging artists creating small to mid-sized framed artworks such as: drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, quilts and mixed-media artworks

One of 58 counties in California, Alameda County is home to 1.5 million people living in 14 cities, from Albany in the north to Fremont in the south and Livermore in the east, as well as in 6 unincorporated communities and rural areas throughout the 813 square miles of the County. Alameda County provides health care, social services, public protection, and general government programs for a population that is culturally and ethnically diverse. The cities and communities of Alameda County include Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Union City, and other unincorporated areas.

The Artist Registry is open to professional artists who live, are permanently employed, or rent/own an artist’s studio in one of the following 14 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Yolo. For artists who are applying as a team, all team members must be artists from the counties listed above.

Additional Requirements: Artists who have active or pending contracts with Alameda County are eligible to apply. However, in an effort to provide opportunities to a wide range of artists and to diversify the County’s Art Collection, artists who received public art contracts with Alameda County during the past 2 years may be excluded from project pools during the first year the Registry is active. Based on County policy, Alameda County employees, Arts Commissioners, Public Art Advisory Committee members, and members of other standing ACAC committees are not eligible to apply for this opportunity. Family members of Arts Commission staff are also not eligible. Applicants must be 18 years or older to apply. Eligibility requirements will be adjusted for future RFQs. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Arts Commission office at (510) 208-9646 or by email at

Individual artist contracts will generally range from approximately $5,000 to $100,000. Contracts may be for a single site-specific artwork or may be for a series of smaller artworks (approximately 3-5 artworks). Some projects will be design-only contracts. Budget requirements will be outlined when artists are contacted about being placed in a Project Pool (see Selection Process below).

Artists who qualify for the Registry will be considered for projects as they arise at facilities offering services for adults, youth, children and families in the areas of: community and civic engagement, justice, public protection, health and social services, and other government services. The projects are located throughout Alameda County and include new building construction, major renovation, and placemaking projects. Specific project sites include:  
  • Community Identifier Murals (Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland/Cherryland,): The faces of freeway overpasses will be painted to create community gateway signs featuring the name of the community along with other design elements.
  • East County Hall of Justice (Dublin): The facility will house a new State Courthouse and a County Building. Wall-mounted artwork will be placed in the County Building in the public areas of the Public Defender, District Attorney, and Probation Departments.
  • Information Technology Department Headquarters (Oakland): The Information Technology Department (ITD) is the central technology support for the County’s agencies and departments. ITD focuses on providing the best technology services and support for Alameda County’s departments and the community members they serve. ITD hosts hackathons to increase community engagement and promote government transparency.
  • Camp Sweeney Replacement Project (San Leandro): The facility will replace the minimum security residential program for youth with a campus including an administration building, dormitories, a special programming building, food services, gymnasium and a programs building that will offer recreation, education and counseling services for youth.  
  • Other sites throughout the County to be determined.

Applications for the Artist Registry must be submitted online through the CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system. Applicants must submit through CaFÉ™ to be considered; no slides or hard copy materials will be accepted. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted. For complete entry requirements and instructions go to:, register a username and password, navigate to “Apply to Calls”, and search the list for “Alameda County Arts Commission Artist Registry 2016”. Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours (Mountain Time) via e-mail at
Applications must be completed online by 10:59pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Please be sure to allow adequate time to submit your application as technical difficulties can occur.
Applications must include the following:
  • Artist Statement: Briefly describe your artwork (themes, interests, materials, etc.) and summarize your experience and/or interest in public art and any other relevant professional experience as an artist. Do not submit specific artwork proposals. 3000 character limit.
  • Community Engagement Statement: Some public art projects may provide special opportunities for artists to engage with youth and community in a range of ways. Briefly describe your experience and/or interest working with youth and community members on art projects or other types of art engagement activities that you’ve led. If you have no past experience, please describe your interest, if any, in community engagement opportunities and any relevant skills you possess. 1000 character limit.
  • Images of Past Work: Submit ten (10) images of past work that demonstrate your qualifications for this project. Recent artwork completed during the last few years is preferred. However, for artists who have completed large-scale public artworks, artwork made within the last 10 years may be submitted. Do not submit images of work by other artists for which you played only a supportive role. Do not include more than two images of the same artwork. Do not include more than one artwork per image. Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found on the CaFÉ™ website under Media Prep.
  • Annotated Image List: Include a list of the images submitted, including artist’s name, artwork title, dimensions, materials, year of completion, commissioning agency and project budget (if any). Please include a brief statement about the work (3 sentences maximum). Image list should correspond with titled image files. If you were the member of a team or worked with other artists on a project you are submitting for consideration, please clearly describe your role in the creation of the work.
  • Résumé: Submit a current résumé that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist. The résumé must not exceed three pages. (If applying as part of an artist team, résumés must be submitted for each applicant.) 3 pages maximum per artist.
  • Professional References: Include the names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of three professional references. (If applying as part of an artist team, references must be submitted for each applicant.
  • Artist Category: The Arts Commission has a goal of commissioning artists at all levels of professional development. Applicants must select the Artist Category that best describes their professional development. Artists will be reviewed based on their level of professional development. The Arts Commission Staff may alter the artist's selected category to ensure a fair and balanced evaluation of the applicant pool. Please select one of the 3 categories below:
    Emerging Artist: An emerging artist, for purposes of this program, has not yet had a solo exhibition in a "mainstream" art gallery, art museum or notable nonprofit venue. The artist may have little or no experience showing their work in public venues.
    Mid-Career Artist: A mid-career artist, for the purposes of this program, has been a professional practicing visual artist and during the last five years has had one solo exhibition and/or at least 3 group exhibitions in commercial galleries, art museums and/or notable nonprofit venues. Artist may have completed one or two public art projects with modest budgets.
    Established Artist: An established artist, for purposes of this program, may have representation by a "mainstream" commercial art gallery/dealer; and has had two or more solo exhibitions in commercial galleries, art museums and/or notable nonprofit venues; and has extensive press coverage and/or catalogs on his/her body of work. Public art artists in the category have completed several public art projects of varying budgets for multiple commissioning agencies.
  • In your Artist Statement, please state how your team has worked collaboratively in the past and what role each team member played. If you are applying as a team and do not have previous experience working together, in your Artist Statement, describe how you would approach working collaboratively on a public art project.
  • If available, please include images of work that demonstrates a collaborative effort to create an artwork by all members of the team.

The following selection criteria will be used during all phases of review:
  • Artistic excellence and originality as evidenced by digital representation of past work.
  • Appropriateness of artist's medium, style, and experience as they relate to the project goals and setting and/or adequate professional experience to meet the requirements of this project.
  • Artist's ability to respond creatively and uniquely to site-specific design challenges, including the physical, environmental, and community-related conditions inherent to the project.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and collaboratively with design collaborators and public agencies, including ability to meet the overall design and construction schedules.
  • Alameda County artists will be awarded preference points during the first stage of review. (For this project, ACAC considers an Alameda County artist an individual who lives, is permanently employed, or rents/owns a studio in Alameda County. For artist teams, all members of the team must be Alameda County artists to qualify for preference points.)

Step 1: After the application deadline, a selection committee of arts professionals will review the applicants and recommend artists to be included in the Artist Registry. There is no specific limit to the number of artists who will be accepted for the Registry. The artists selected for the Registry must be approved by the Public Art Advisory Committee and the Members of the Arts Commission. All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected for the Registry.
Step 2: For each new project site, the Arts Commission Staff will use the Registry to develop a Project Pool of artists to be reviewed by an ad hoc Selection Committee. When compiling the Project Pool, the following factors will be considered: goals, budget, site and artistic material requirements, artist’s past experience, expected scope of work, artist’s artistic approach in relationship to the project’s goals and opportunities, and other relevant information. Prior to selecting a Project Pool from the Registry, individual communities are consulted to define broad goals to be achieved with the artwork. The Arts Commission Staff will contact artists before they are placed in the Project Pool to confirm that each artist is interested and available for the commission, if selected.  Due to the number of artists in the Registry and the volume of upcoming projects, the Arts Commission will only contact artists if they are placed in a Project Pool. (Artists who are not being considered will not be contacted). The Public Art Advisory Committee and the Members of the Arts Commission must review and approve each Project Pool. Once placed in the Project Pool, artists may have the opportunity to update some of their images to better suit the specific project.
Step 3: The Arts Commission staff will present the Project Pool from the Registry to the ad hoc Selection Committee for the project. The Selection Committee will be appointed by the Members of the Arts Commission and will be comprised of community members, artists and arts professionals, and County staff.  
Step 4: The Selection Committee will review the artists’ application materials and may select semi-finalists, who will be paid an honorarium to either develop a project proposal and/or attend an interview. Semi-finalists will be given the opportunity to meet with community members and/or project representatives prior to creating a specific design approach and/or proposal. Upon completion of all interviews, the Selection Committee will recommend one or more artists to be awarded the commission for each project. (There may be multiple opportunities at a single site and therefore more than one artist may receive a contract.)
Step 5: The Selection Committee’s recommendations must be approved by the Public Art Advisory Committee, the Members of the Alameda County Arts Commission, and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors (if over $25,000) before the artist’s contract can be issued.
The Arts Commission reserves the right to add an additional review stage depending on the applicants in the Registry and any other conditions that may develop.

AWARD OF CONTRACT Once an artist is selected for a commission, the County reserves the option to issue separate contracts to the artist. The first contract may be for the initial project development and project proposal; the second contract may be for additional planning and design services, fabrication, and artwork installation. The amount of the second contract will be based on the project's approved scope of work.

  • Depending on the scope of the project and if the commissioned artist is not an Alameda County artist, and if the artist requires the use of subcontractors (i.e. structural engineers, fabricators, shippers, installers), the artist will be required to use at least 20% of their subcontractor project funds to hire Alameda County subcontractors.
  • County guidelines require artists to pay subcontractors and employees prevailing wages as determined by the state’s Division of Labor Statistics and Research.
  • The selected artist will be asked to enter into contract with the County of Alameda for the entire duration of the project. A standard template contract can be found on the Arts Commission’s website. Depending on the specific scope of the project, prior to the issuance and throughout the duration of the contract, artists will be required to maintain various types of insurance, such as General Liability, Automobile Liability, and other insurance as required by the County. For more information, please review the County's Minimum Insurance Requirements posted on the Arts Commission’s website.
  • If the fabrication and/or installation of the artwork or any portion of the artwork requires a licensed contractor, the artist shall be solely responsible for ensuring that artist and artist's subcontractors (if any) have valid appropriate licenses under California law or the applicable jurisdiction. The selected artists will be required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in addition to related federal, state, and local codes and will be encouraged to develop artwork(s) sensitive to programmatic as well as physical accessibility issues.
  • Commissioned artists will be required to use the most archival and durable materials possible as related to their concept.
  • The selected artists' materials will also be subject to review to ensure that, if at all possible, they are within the standards set forth by the project partners for sustainable building projects and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements.

Artists may attend these meetings to learn more about the Alameda County Arts Commission’s Public Art Program, the project opportunities associated with the Artist Registry, and to receive general information about submitting an application through CaFÉ. Attendance is optional. The same information will be presented at all meetings.

Thursday, October 6, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley, 94546

Thursday, October 13, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Dublin Library, 200 Civic Plaza, Dublin, 94568

Tuesday, October 25, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton, 94566

Thursday, November 3, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Lakeside Plaza Building, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Room 1107, Oakland, 94612
Please arrive before 5:45 p.m. Building doors will be locked at that time. Location is a short walk from the Lake Merritt BART Station.

The informational meetings are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

Artists who are unable to attend an in-person meeting may view an informational video on YouTube from October 15 – November 30, 2016:

For technical assistance using the CaFÉ™ system visit Café Help on the CaFÉ™ website or email during regular business hours (Mountain Time).

For questions regarding this opportunity, please contact the Office of the Alameda County Arts Commission at (510) 208-9646 or

The Alameda County Arts Commission (ACAC) is a division of the County of Alameda governed by a 22-member commission appointed by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to enhance and enrich the County through the arts. The Alameda County Arts Commission is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Alameda County by nurturing a thriving environment for the arts and for cultural activities; promoting economic opportunities for Alameda County's artists and arts organizations through programs such as arts grants, public art, and art in education; encouraging public participation in the arts and actively advocating for the arts. With guidance from the Public Art Advisory Committee, the Alameda County Arts Commission Office administers the Public Art Program on behalf of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors who established this program through the "2% for Art" ordinance in 1994. The Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC), a body of nine community members appointed by the Members of the Arts Commission, is responsible for the oversight of the Public Art Program including the planning of new project sites and related conditions, budgets, processes for artwork selection and artist eligibility requirements, review of artwork selection committee recommendations, artwork proposals and design revisions. All recommendations made by the PAAC are reviewed by the Members of the Arts Commission. The cities and communities of Alameda County include Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Union City, and other unincorporated areas.

County of Alameda, through the Alameda County Arts Commission, reserves the right to extend or shorten the period of time the Artist Registry is active and to alter any aspect of the selection process or overall project in any way for its own convenience at any time. This Request for Qualifications/Call for Artists does not constitute an agreement to commission artists for the work described herein.