Call Detail
Design Artwork for a San Mateo County Park Poster
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Entry Deadline: 7/14/23
Application Closed

Entry Fee (Non-refundable Entry Fee): $15.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Proposals
Eligibility: Local
State: California
Jury Dates: 7/15/23 - 8/15/23

In celebration of the San Mateo County Park Foundation’s 25th anniversary and San Mateo County Parks’ centennial, the Parks Foundation seeks three professional or emerging artists to design a poster for three of the 24 amazing San Mateo County Parks. The poster design shall capture the essence of the specified county park. Selected artists will receive a $2,500 commission for their work, paid in 2 installments.

We are seeking artists to design posters for 1) our first county park, Memorial Park, 2) the rocky seashore of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and 3) Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, known for its spring wildflower displays. In the future, we expect to commission artists to design posters for additional parks on a rolling basis.

Each park poster will be designed by a different artist. Unifying design details will be incorporated into each design, such as consistent border size and the park’s name and San Mateo County Parks Foundation’s name in a consistent font at the bottom of the design.

The goal is to engage the arts community and create lasting designs that capture and celebrate the essence of each park. The chosen artist should be familiar with their assigned park. Memorial Park is a popular camping spot in the redwoods with Pescadero Creek flowing through it. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve hosts a community of marine life, like crabs, sponges and seastars, who make their home in that area between low and high tide. The serpentine grasslands of Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve are famous for their magnificent displays of wildflowers each spring. Artwork must include recognizable landmarks or park features. Artists should expect to engage with staff to learn more about the goals and criteria for the designs and to learn more about the parks themselves.

About San Mateo County Parks Foundation
The San Mateo County Parks Foundation’s mission is to inspire people to care for, learn about and enjoy our parks. Established in 1998, the Parks Foundation provides additional financial support for the recreational, environmental and educational programs and projects of the San Mateo County Parks Department. This has included events like the Kite Festival, Coyote Nights and Bicycle Sunday; habitat restoration at Edgewood Natural Preserve, youth field trips to the parks, and new park amenities like benches, bike fix-it stations and a pump track. With this new effort, we look forward to engaging the arts community.

The San Mateo County Parks Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to conserving and improving the quality of our county parks for current and future generations to enjoy.

Review Process and Timeline:

Step 1: Application period opens, inviting any artist(s) interested in the project who meet the artists’ evaluation criteria to submit their qualifications and portfolio. Application period will be open between June 5, 2023 and July 14, 2023.

→  There will be a zoom check-in on June 20 for potential applicants to learn more and ask questions. If you are interested, please email for the meeting link.

Step 2: A jury will review submitted applications and select several artists for informal interviews in late July 2023. The jury will consist of 5 members - 1 SMC Parks Foundation board member, 2 SMC Parks staff, and 2 local arts professionals.

Step 3: The jury will deliberate and select one artist each to design posters for Memorial Park, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and Edgewood Natural Preserve. All entrants will be notified in early August.

Step 4: Selected artist(s) will meet with staff to learn more about the goals of the project, the criteria for the posters and address any other questions that come up by mid-August. The artist will submit a proposal that includes a rendering of the work and a general statement about the theme and design of the work. Artists should expect to engage in some back and forth with staff regarding goals for the project.

The selected artists will each receive a $2,500 commission for their work - $1,000 paid upfront at the start of the project and $1,500 paid upon successful completion of the poster. Final, submitted artwork will become the property of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation. Final artwork must be submitted electronically by October 2023 (exact date to be determined with sufficient notice). The Foundation reserves the right to use the artwork in future marketing efforts and for possible reproduction in other formats. The Foundation also reserves the right to adjust any deadlines as needed.

Application Requirements

All are welcome to apply, including emerging and professional artists. Submissions must be delivered no later than 10:59 PM PST on Friday, July 14, 2023.

The submission must include:

1. An artist statement limited to two pages and with the following:

  • Your interest in this specific project (or describe your connection to the park)
  • Professional and artistic qualifications and standards of excellence in creativity and originality of style as demonstrated by past projects, as well as appropriateness of applicant’s style to the project
  • The aesthetic direction you envision for your poster
  • What you bring to the project as an artist
  • Your experience with designing posters and/or with other projects of similar scope and size
  • Your approach to developing the art project, i.e. will you visit the park?
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with Parks Foundation project managers in a design-team context
  • Any other comments that might help differentiate you as a candidate

2. A resume/CV that includes your name, address, phone number, email, and website URL as applicable.

4. At least three references from past projects (can also include instructor or mentor references) with contact information and connection to artist(s).

Please note: Selected artists will be asked to submit a bio and an inspiration statement for our website.

Eligibility Criteria


Medium: All mediums except photography. Final artwork must be submitted electronically and designs must translate well to a poster. Saturated colors are preferred. 

Specifications: Final posters will be 11”x17” and vertical.

Open to all professional and emerging artists, with priority given to those who live or work in San Mateo County, followed by the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma, who are 18 years and older and legally able to work in the United States. Upon review of materials, three artists will be selected, each to design a poster for one of the first three selected parks.

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Members of our jury and their immediate family
  • San Mateo County Parks Foundation staff and board members
  • County of San Mateo elected or appointed officials
  • San Mateo County Parks staff