Call Detail
Highway 25 Sculpture Project-Hollister,CA
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Entry Deadline: 5/11/22
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 3
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: California
Budget: 130,000

Project Background

Launched by Governor Newsom as part of his California Comeback Plan, Clean California is investing $1.1 billion for state and local governments to clean up trash and debris statewide, beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets and roads, and to provide good jobs to thousands of Californians.

This Clean California Beautification Project is located along Highway 25 near the east entrance to Pinnacles National Park, in the community of Hollister, in San Benito County. This bypass route serves as the “main street” through multiple residential neighborhoods, and retail and industrial developments. This project is an opportunity to soften the stark appearance of the many soundwalls along this corridor by adding landscaping to increase shade and reduce urban heat island effects, to suppress weeds and discourage graffiti, and to add seasonal color, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing, vibrant and comfortable pedestrian and bicycling environment.  It is also an opportunity to add aesthetic and artistic elements which enhance pedestrian scale and create a more distinctive community identity which highlights the cultural heritage of the area.

The San Benito County Arts Council, together with Caltrans and the City of Hollister, is administering a Call for Artists and/or Artist Teams to submit their qualifications to create and install a site-specific outdoor sculpture at the corner of Santa Ana Rd and Highway 25 (see Site Plan-Figures 1, 2, and 3). The sculptural piece will be installed at the “start” of this particular Highway 25 corridor between Santa Ana and Sunnyslope Rd, and shall include aesthetic elements that reflect and enhance community identity, as well as integrate with the overall goal of this Caltrans project to beautify the route and encourage pedestrian and bicycle usage for local residents and visitors. Download a pdf version of the RFQ Description and Guidelines HERE.

To engage the local community in this project, a community input survey was distributed to Hollister residents in March 2022, revealing the following artwork preferences:

  • Respondents favored realistic representation (62%) in the artwork, followed by whimsical styles (24%) and abstract styles (14%)
  • Respondents favored the depiction of local histories and assets, such as the Pinnacles National Park, local wineries, agriculture (63%), followed by the natural world and the environment (42%) and diverse communities and cultures (37%)
  • Respondents voiced their preference for artwork that incorporates tile mosaic (61%), followed by stone or concrete (53%) and metal (40%).
  • Warm colors and earth tones were found more appealing that cool tones or vibrant color

     Recurring artwork themes included:

  • Nature-inspired: local flora and fauna, native plants and wildlife, birds (hawks & hummingbirds), mustard fields, San Benito ecology (benitoite)
  • Agriculture: apricots, walnuts, cowboys/vaqueros, horses/cattle, Rodeo
  • Indigenous history and people
  • Local history & assets: Pinnacles National Park (condors), mountains & hills, wineries
  • Youth & families: diverse communities, Latinx culture, local schools, 4H, parks, theater/dance

Artwork Qualities

  • Aesthetics. Artwork must be of high aesthetic quality, including consideration of content, craftsmanship, uniqueness and relevance to the artwork’s location.
  • Thematic Responsiveness. Artwork must compliment the character of the neighborhood and be responsive to the themes and styles identified in the community public art survey.  Submissions of artwork that are overtly sexual, political or religious in nature will not be reviewed by the review panel.
  • Artist Experience. Artwork must be the work of artists or artist teams who can demonstrate experience with past works, especially with large-scale public art projects.
  • Durability. Artwork must be comprised of durable and safe materials that can withstand long-term exposure in an outdoor environment, be resistant to vandalism, and be mindful of maintenance requirements.  Specific product types and brands will require approval by Caltrans prior to installation.
  • Concept Quality. Artwork must exemplify artistic excellence and creativity and must be a completely original concept.
  • Technical Practicality. Artwork must be feasible to install as proposed, in consideration of site and structure characteristics, and appropriate for public viewing, use and access.
  • Caltrans Requirements. Artwork must conform to Caltrans Transportation Art Guidelines, including all required copyright waivers.

General Specifications

Artwork must fit within a volume of space that is no bigger than 14’ long X 8’ wide X 10’ high and must be located at the location shown on Figure 1, and be at least 5’ clear of sound wall and edge of sidewalks. Artwork must meet seismic loads and building codes.  Footing design and artwork footing connection must be coordinated with and approved by Caltrans Structures and Landscape Architecture Departments for approval of height, weight, wind load, and seismic loads once art piece has been designed.  Costs and installation of footing will be the responsibility of Caltrans. Installation methods must be coordinated with and approved by Caltrans Construction and Landscape Architecture Departments.

Artwork should consider the general context and translate well from various viewing angles.  Artwork design must include each of the four (4) primary viewpoints (looking north and south from Highway 25 and east and west from Santa Ana Rd).

Artist applicants must review Caltrans Transportation Art Guidelines (see Attachment 2) and ensure that their work can meet all artwork requirements.  Applicants must read, acknowledge and accept the Rules and Terms to Apply when responding to this RFQ.

Note: The terms of the contract are non-negotiable and failure to accept the terms of the contract will result in disqualification from the project at the proposal phase.  Moreover:

  • Selected artist will be required to waive their rights of integrity to commissioned artwork as pertains to its removal or repair as set forth in the California Art Preservation Act and the Visual Artists Rights Act and as described under the Caltrans Transportation Art Guidelines.
  • All artwork materials must have a minimum lifespan of five (5) years as specified in the Public Art License Agreement, and artists or artist teams must be prepared, if selected, to provide a maintenance plan for the work as part of the final submission.


The total budget for this project is $130,000. Total budget includes all design, materials, fabrication, delivery, installation, assistants, insurance, Caltrans coordination, and travel.

Review and Selection Criteria

  • Artistic Merit. The aesthetic quality of the artist’s past work, including content, craftsmanship, uniqueness and relevance to its environment.
  • Experience. The degree to which the artist’s past work relates to the goals and parameters of the Highway 25 Public Art Project.
  • Ability. The artist’s demonstrated ability to translate art concepts into durable and safe materials that can withstand long-term exposure in an outdoor environment.
  • Project Sustainability. Evidence that artist’s existing public artworks have maintained an appropriate level of quality and integrity over time.
  • Teamwork. Artist’s demonstrated ability to work successfully as a member of a project design team and ability to work within public review processes.
  • Concept Quality. Artistic excellence, creativity and originality of the proposal concept.
  • Compliance with Goals. The artist's response to the stated goals of the project, including the physical, geographical, and ecological relationship of the artwork/installation to the site.
  • Technical Practicality. The technical feasibility of the proposed artwork/installation, including minimum maintenance requirements, resistance to vandalism and appropriateness for public use and access.
  • Budget (Completeness, not Lowest Bid). An evaluation of the proposed budget, including: 1) its feasibility for the nature and scope of the project, and 2) an analysis of whether the artist has done appropriate research and obtained viable cost estimates from subcontractors and suppliers.
  • References. Professional references that positively attest to the artist’s ability to undertake public art projects of this size and scope.

Review panel will consist of 7 members. Up to 3 finalists will be selected for virtual interviews to be scheduled between June 1st-10th and will be given a $500 stipend to prepare for interviews. The final selected artist will be notified by June 15th.


May 11, 2022RFQ submissions due
May 23-27, 2022Formal review by public art selection committee
June 1-10, 2022Finalists notified & virtual interviews scheduled
June 15, 2022Selected artist notified
June 15-30, 2022Selected artist to review/sign contract with Caltrans
June 15-July 15, 2022Footing design coordination with Caltrans
June - Nov 2022*Artist to develop final design in collaboration with Caltrans
Nov 2022Construction begins; Artist invoices begin to be submitted
Nov - Dec 2022Coordination with Construction Contractor


Jan - June 2023

Artwork installation (exact dates of installation will be determined after project construction work is awarded and are subject to change within this time period)
June 2023Community Celebration

*FINAL DESIGN (Selected artist will be asked to create the following between June-Nov. 2022)

Visual proposal including:

  • Detailed, well-rendered, color concepts - hand drawn or computer-generated simulation - of the proposed artwork, appropriately labeled and corresponding to each primary structure location shown on Attachment 1.

Narrative proposal including:

  • Proposed artwork title
  • Brief description of concept and inspirations for the artwork
  • Color palette
  • Materials description and product cut sheets
  • List of tools and equipment to be used (including storage if required)
  • Maintenance plan
  • Proposed project budget including separate line items for:
  • Artist(s) Design Fees including concept refinement and construction coordination
  • Materials and Tools
  • Equipment Rentals (if any)
  • Site Preparation and Installation
  • Site Clean-up
  • Travel (if any)
  • Insurance

Proposed project Schedule including separate line items for:

  • Design Coordination and Finalizing Artwork
  • Installation schedule – hours per day, number of days, interim days (if any for drying time or other similar breaks in on-site installation time).  Final day of work must be before June 20, 2023.


Please direct questions about the project to Jennifer Laine, Executive Director, San Benito County Arts Council at or 831-636-2787. Click HERE to download a pdf version of RFQ Description and Guidelines.

Direct all questions related to use of the online call for artist site to the site operator. Please also consult the CaFÉ Help for Artists page if you have questions regarding use of the website. This resource has a link to contact the operator.

Application Requirements

Submission Package

Applicants must be prepared to provide the following information and acknowledgements as part of a complete submission:

ARTIST INFORMATION (applicants must provide the following information)

  • Artist Contact Information
  • Resume/CV
  • Work Samples (5-10) that relate to this RFQ, including:
    • Artwork that connects to the themes and styles reflected in the community input survey
    • Experience with public art projects of a similar budget size and scope
    • Evidence of working with other collaborators or collaborative teams
  • Annotated Work Sample List: An annotated work sample list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, location (if site-specific), project budget (if applicable) and client or commissioning entity for each corresponding image.
  • Artist(s) Statement, explaining your artistic practice and background, as well as what interests you in this project (1 page)
  • References (3)

Other Requirements

Please note: Failure to submit using the approved CaFÉ online call submittal system or to include all required materials herein may result in the application being deemed incomplete and ineligible for consideration.  We encourage you to submit all required application materials, including all written materials and images, well in advance of the deadline.  In this way, if you/your team have a technical issue with the online application process, there may be opportunity to work with the application portal vendor to address the issues before the deadline.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be based in California with special consideration for artists residing in San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.