Call Detail
RFQ Placentia Gateway Sculpture Project
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Entry Deadline: 6/3/22
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 10
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 10
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: California
Budget: 400,000 maximum, all-inclusive

The City of Placentia seeks Southern California-based artists or artist teams to create and install a large-scale three-dimensional Gateway Monument comprised of one or more sculptures, for the Southbound on and off-ramps from Orangethorpe Avenue onto the SR-57 in Placentia California. The maximum dimensions for the artwork are 20’ x 20’ x 20’. Potential art locations are depicted in the attached site plan and images. This project is part of a State Highway Beautification Project, sponsored by the California Department of Transportation and the Clean California Program. Arts Orange County has been retained to administer the call for artists and the selection process.

The commission is open to all types of design approaches, including street art and bold, abstract, and modern art. 

A free informational seminar on the RFQ will be held virtually via Zoom Wednesday, May 11, at 5pm Pacific. REGISTER HERE

Applications are asked to review Caltrans Transportation Art Guidelines before beginning their application: CLICK HERE

Launched by Governor Newsom as part of his California Comeback Plan, Clean California invests $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 provide good jobs to thousands of Californians, including California-based artists.

*Information from City of Placentia website

Archaeological research has identified Placentia as having been land that is culturally significant to the Gabrieleno Band of Mission lndians - Kizh Nation.  

Placentia’s modern history began in 1837 when the governor of Mexico granted the Rancho San Juan Cajon De Santa Ana to Juan Ontiveros. This land grant included the area that today comprises Placentia, Anaheim, Brea, and Fullerton.

Its first pioneer was Daniel Kraemer, who purchased 3900 acres in 1865. Three years later, William McFadden and his wife, Sarah Jane, acquired 100 additional acres in the area. Many other settlers arrived in the following years. Residents built churches and schools as the community slowly developed.

The school district’s original name was the Cajon School District. In 1878, at the suggestion of Sarah Jane McFadden, the name was changed to the Placentia School District. Placentia is derived from a Latin word meaning "pleasant place to live." The city name came from that change.

Placentia was placed on the map in 1910 when A.S. Bradford persuaded the Santa Fe Railroad to re-route their track through this area, thus shortening the rail distance to Los Angeles. A station was built and packing houses were established for the town’s growing citrus industry. Mr. Bradford and Richard Melrose laid out the main streets of the town and, in his honor, Bradford Avenue and Melrose Avenue retain their names today.

Placentia’s climate and rich land attracted an ever-growing number of new residents. The area was well suited for raising citrus fruit, walnuts, avocados, and grapes. Placentia became the center of Valencia Orange Growing and Packing, and its 500 citizens voted to incorporate the City in 1926. Oil has also played a part in Placentia's history. In 1919 The Union Oil Co. discovered oil on C.C. Chapman's land northeast of the City, leading to Placentia's first population boom.

In 1960, Placentia’s population had reached only 5,000; however, a phenomenal growth period was just beginning. By 1970, the population had increased five-fold to nearly 25,000. In 1971, Placentia was honored with the prestigious "All America City" Award, given out annually by the National Civic League to ten cities in the United States. Today, Placentia is still a fast-growing community with more than 51,000 residents, beautiful suburban homes, good schools, stately churches, and wholesome recreation.

Did you know, we are not the only "Placentia" in the world? A check of the world atlas reveals a Placentia in Newfoundland, Canada. Placencia Peninsula is a geographical feature and small beach resort town on the coast of Stann Creek District, Belize. Carthaginian Commander Hannibal (247- c.183 BC), his army, and their warrior elephants camped in Placentia (Italian: Piacenza) in Northern Italy before crossing the Alps.

Placentia is no stranger to Public Art. Beginning with efforts to restore the Atwood mural, the 260-foot-long mural painted by Manuel Hernandez-Trujillo during the late 1970s in Parque De Los Niños, adjacent to the BNSF railroad tracks, is already a head-turner for Metrolink train travelers riding between Los Angeles and Riverside. Public Art plays a vital role in the City's revitalization of Placentia's Old Town/downtown area with two large murals depicting the City’s agricultural history recently painted on private buildings. The City has restored critical features of this area's past. These efforts are intended to create a new destination by reviving and improving Old Town's unique identity and character for residents, visitors, and the business community.


The selected artist or artist team for the project will receive a maximum commission of up to $400,000. Short listed artist/teams for this project will receive $3,000 to prepare a final proposal for review.

Project budgets must cover all costs associated with the design, fabrication, delivery and installation of the public art project including engineering and city permits as required, as well as any City of Placentia, Caltrans meetings, public programming, associated with the artwork, and all related incidental expenses. 


Embody aspects of Placentia’s identity as it relates to its heritage and culture.

  • The word Placentia should appear within the structure, or imbedded on site adjacent to sculpture in a complimentary manner.
  • Must embody high aesthetic quality, including consideration of content, craftsmanship, uniqueness and relevance to its location.
  • Be contemporary, innovative, interactive elements, engaging, placemaking.
  • Elevate the viewer’s awareness of Placentia’s by stimulating curiosity, inspiration, reflection, opinion or feeling.
  • All artistic styles, abstract or representational, are encouraged.
  • Work should be appropriate for this public place and complimentary to the selected location.
  • Work should be enjoyed by all generations and by a diverse community including residents, businesses, families, visitors and commuters.
  • Submissions of artwork that are overtly sexual, political or religious in nature will not be considered by the review panel.


May 1, 2022 - Request for Proposals information available
May 11, 2022 at 5pm – Virtual Information Session for Applicants
June 1, 2022, 11:59 PM - Deadline for Submissions (NOW EXTENDED TO JUNE 3)
June 15, 2022 – Selection of Finalists
June 24, 2022 – Virtual Information Session for artists finalists
July 22, 2022 – Finalists presentations to judging panel
July 29, 2022 – Selection & Award of Public Art Commission
November 30, 2022 – Deadline for selected artist/team to complete artwork and have it ready for installation.

Application Requirements

A complete application must include:

  1. CONTACT INFORMATION Including full name, business name (if applicable), mailing address, telephone, and email. Teams must identify one artist to be the primary contact for the team, as well as contact information for each artist on the team.
  2. LETTER OF INTEREST/LOI: PDF 1-page max: Indicate why you are interested and how you see your art practice aligning with the project requirements, noting the creative approach you would pursue should you be selected to create a proposal.
  3. CURRICULUM VITAE OR PROFESSIONAL RESUME in a PDF format only, 4 pages max. Artist Teams: please submit one for each person on the primary.
  4. TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDAITON from previous commissioning agencies or clients of projects with similar budget and scope.
  5. ARTWORKS OR PAST PROJECTS: six to ten (10) image files; JPG format only, 72 DPI min, 5 MB max per file. Submit images of completed artwork; teams are encouraged to include projects created by the team. Each of the image files must include the title of the image, year, size, materials, and brief description. For any commissioned project(s), also include the client, budget, and location.

Eligibility Criteria

This opportunity is open to artists residing in Southern California identified as Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties, working in any site appropriate media, and who have prior experience working on projects of this budget and scale.

The City of Placentia is a strong proponent of inclusiveness of race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and socioeconomic background in all aspects of the community.