Call Detail

Glenarm Power Plant Public Art
Cultural Affairs Division
City of Pasadena
175 N. Garfield Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

Event Dates: 2/7/17 - 3/6/17
Entry Deadline: 3/6/17
Application Closed


Images - Minimum: 8, Maximum: 10
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 8, Maximum: 10

View Site Details


The City of Pasadena and its Department of Water and Power are seeking an artist or artist team who can create an experiential artwork, improving the visual impact of the Glenarm Power Plant day and night, enhancing it with light, color and/or motion activated artwork. The project is intended to celebrate the entrance to Pasadena but it cannot create light pollution or a traffic distraction.   

This project is subject to the City of Pasadena Capital Improvement (CIP) Public Art Program Guidelines which detail the artist and artwork selection processes. Pasadena’s Capital Public Art Program reflects and communicates the City’s values and enhances life in the community by producing and presenting art that creates a more livable city, engages a wide spectrum of its citizens, stimulates the vitality and economy of the City and enhances the urban environment. 
The Cultural Affairs Division oversees the development of Capital Public Art projects, per the Guidelines for City Construction Projects.  As per the Guidelines, a group of community stakeholders and partners has been assembled to help participate in developing the scope of this project and engaging with the artist/artist team during project development.  


Project Context and Location  

A 15-minute drive from Downtown Los Angeles, the City of Pasadena is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and is the main cultural center for the San Gabriel Valley. The City is known for its popular shops and restaurants, tree-lined streets, distinctive neighborhoods, historic buildings, and a vibrant cultural scene. While Pasadena is the seventh largest city in Los Angeles County, it is home to more than 60 arts and cultural institutions.   

In adopting its Public Art Master Plan, the City envisions itself as a center of public art and urban design. The Public Art Master Plan states “Like many other US cities, Pasadena is carved up and defined by its transportation corridors and infrastructure.” It recommends that, instead of viewing its prominent infrastructure as barriers, the City hire artists to transform these into gateways.   

The Glenarm Power Plant is a dramatic series of industrial installations at the south edge of Pasadena. It includes a steam plant, gas generating units, and a historic art deco building with a tile fountain entrance. The plant is a visual landmark, a gateway to downtown Pasadena for motorists entering the City from Los Angeles via the Pasadena Freeway. 

The plant site itself is bisected by Metro’s Gold Line light rail and bordered on the east by the freeway and the Blair International Baccalaureate School. Glenarm Street at the north side of the site is a major east-west arterial. The plant is immediately south of Pasadena’s Innovation Corridor and Art Center College of Design’s south campus which houses departments in fine art, illustration, graduate art media programs, and shared exhibition spaces. Art Center is also expanding its south campus to include new residence halls.


The total artwork budget for this project is $765,000 including:  

  •  Up to four selected proposers will be paid $5,000 each to prepare conceptual design proposals for review.   
  • Project Construction and Installation. $745,000 including a 10% contingency, further conceptual design, schematic and final design, working documents, oversight of fabrication and installation. Selected artist will be required to participate in up to three public meetings, and to collaborate with City staff from the Cultural Affairs Division and Department of Water and Power to ensure that the proposed artwork meets safety standards and can be easily maintained.   

Projected Timeline

Deadline:  All submissions are due by 10:59 p.m. PST (11:59 p.m. Mountain Time Zone) on Monday, March 6, 2017 
Please note that the following timeline is projected and is subject to change: 

  • Week of March 20, 2017:  Selection Panel Review: up to four Finalist Artists selected and informed 
  • Week of April 3, 2017:  Finalist Artists Site Visits 
  • Week of May 1, 2017:  Finalist Artists Presentations and Designs Submitted  
  • Week of May 15, 2017:  Selected Project Artist Award reviewed for recommendation to City Council for approval by the Arts and Culture Commission 
  • July, 2017:  City Council review for approval of Selected Project Artist Award  
  • August, 2017:  Approved Artist Project Contract issued, design development begins 
  • Project Completion: August,  2018 

Evaluation Procedures and Criteria ( )

General Requirements (


All submissions must be submitted electronically. Artists can submit materials online to: on or before 5:00 p.m. PST on Monday, March 6, 2017

The deadline to submit questions related to this RFQ was Tuesday, February 21, 2017 prior to 12:00 p.m. (noon) PST.  Staff has gathered various questions related to RFQ for Power Plant Public Art Project: Gateway to Pasadena. Below are the questions and answers.

 QUESTION: Will preference be given to artists who work or reside in Pasadena, all other things being equal?

ANSWER: Yes, there's a standard, local artist preference.

QUESTION: Fountain: What is City intent - to be kept as is, refurbished as architectural preservation, redesigned and replaced, eliminated or other? If fountain is to  be kept, what is current   condition?

ANSWER:  The historic fountain is not  part of this project.

QUESTION: Is the  attached street view image of the corner location the main view for the  artwork?

ANSWER: The Power Plant is a gateway to Pasadena and, as such, the views of the artwork will be as vehicles enter and leave Pasadena along the 110 Freeway (Arroyo Seco Parkway), along Glenarm Street facing the Plant, and MTA Gold Line's route bisecting the Plant.

QUESTION: Audience: what are levels of importance for the site - vehicular, pedestrian, other?

ANSWER: The dominant audience for the site is vehicular- by automobile or light rail.

QUESTION: Landscaping: is this part of the art project?

ANSWER: Landscaping is not part of the art project.

QUESTION: Power Plant: deco building, towers and other plant elements dominate the skyline - what is the City's view of celebrating or playing down these architectural features of the site?

ANSWER: The intent of the project is to celebrate the view of the Power Plant towers and electrical generating elements as a gateway to Pasadena.

QUESTION: Rather than a lump sum fee including art/design and fabrication/installation, my studio can only contract for the artist fee. The fabrication and installation would be contracted by the owner with the fabricator with the owner.  Will City of Pasadena  consider splitting up the design and   install?

 ANSWER: The City of Pasadena will not split the fee into design and fabrication/installation. We recommend that the artist commissioned for this project subcontract with a qualified fabricator or licensed contractor to fabricate and install the artwork.

QUESTION: I have a question regarding Attachment A. I do not have a Pasadena Business License nor do I have a Registration Number under the Dept. of Industrial Relations. What should I do about completing those fields in the  Attachment  A form?

ANSWER: Unless you are already working in Pasadena and have a Pasadena Business License, write N/A in those fields. The Pasadena Business License and Registration Number for the Department of Industrial Relations are only required for artists who are selected as finalists and paid to submit a formal  proposal.

QUESTION: For the first submission on the 6th March, all is the items listed under 'Contents of Proposal' should be submitted. Is this correct?

ANSWER: Yes, all items are due March 6 and they must be submitted via Cafe at this link:

QUESTION: As a UK based company we work worldwide, however we do not have a US Social Security number, or US tax number. What should we provide?

ANSWER: Eligibility for this Call for Artists is limited to US-based artists or artist/design teams. If you are an international  firm you must partner with a US artist or firm as the  lead  applicant.

QUESTION: Is there a strict criteria on the number of pages within the proposal? I have included items such as how we approach our projects, in terms of build, installation, lighting, technology, maintenance, stakeholder  and public engagement etc.

ANSWER: Provide the information you wish using the space available in the Letter of Interest and in the space provided in the individual Questions section of the Cafe form.

Questions regarding the City of Pasadena Purchasing Procedures, and Pasadena Living Wage Ordinance:

Antonio Watson
Project Manager
Department of Finance
Phone: (626) 744-8382

Pre-proposal Community Meeting

The City is hosting a community meeting to review the RFQ at Art Center College of Design, located at 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway, Room 304 on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.  PST. Visit for more information. Attendance is not required to be eligible to respond to this RFQ.


All responses to this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) accepted by the City of Pasadena (City) shall become the exclusive property of the City. At such time as the City Manager recommends a contrac­tor to the City Council, and such recommendation, with any recommended contract appears on the Council agenda, all proposals accepted by the City shall become a matter of public record and shall be regarded as public, with the exception of those elements of each proposal which are defined by the contractor as business or trade secrets and plainly marked as "Trade Secret", "Confiden­tial" or "Proprietary". Each element of a proposal which a contractor desires not to be considered a public record must be clearly marked as set forth above, and any blanket statement (i.e. regarding entire pages, documents or other non-specific designations) shall not be sufficient and shall not bind the City in any way whatsoever. If disclosure is required or permitted under the California Public Records Act or otherwise by law, the City shall not in any way be liable or responsible for the dis­closure of any such records or part thereof.