Call Detail
All interested artists must complete their submittal for this project online through CaFE (; there are no exceptions.

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: California
Entry Deadline: 2/20/18
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 8, Maximum: 8
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 8, Maximum: 10


(View a downloadable pdf of the full RFQ with project site images.)

The City of San José Public Art Program in conjunction with the City of San José Department of Transportation’s Parking and Downtown Operations Division are seeking an experienced artist or artist-led team to develop an artwork that addresses the exterior façade of the Market/San Pedro Street Parking Garage in downtown San José. The garage is a prominent facility in San Jose’s downtown core and adjacent to the vibrant San Pedro Square commercial district, a popular destination for dining, retail and other activities day and night. The goal is for an enhancement that has a visual presence 24 hours a day.

As public art, this creative placemaking project is part of San José’s ongoing Illuminating Downtown program and is intended to strengthen the neighborhood identity in part through the creative use of illumination. Key goals for this project include: 1) to enhance the facility, and the vibrancy and character of the area, and enliven the streetscape through use of illumination and other possible elements; 2) to also increase safety, visibility, and to encourage active use of the parking facility at all hours; and, 3) engage residents, business owners and visitors in this vibrant downtown district and, where relevant, in participatory aspects of the design process.

In consideration of the use of illumination and night time activation in the project, the artist or artist team needs to have experience in the design, programming and operation of energy-efficient lighting effects and systems, appropriate to the nature and scale of this project. Design that is sustainable and maintainable will be an important consideration.

Interested artists shall submit qualifications to design, fabricate and install an artwork that provides visual enhancements and lighting elements which will serve to transform the parking garage into a more inviting, and more interesting structure within the pedestrian environment. ALL artist submittals must be through CaFE, the online artist call system.

The San José Public Art Program (SJPA), a program of the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs, seeks to build community identity by initiating artworks and exhibitions that enhance the civic landscape. Public art strives to reflect the City’s diversity, historic richness, and envision its present and future. The City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) seeks to provide a transportation system that is safe, efficient, and convenient for all modes of transportation, and which supports San José’s livability and economic vitality.  DOT’s Parking Program provides a comprehensive range of services to meet the needs of businesses, downtown employees, visitors, schools, and residents. Services include operation and maintenance of the city’s public parking facilities and on-street parking meters, and various parking compliance activities.


The Market/San Pedro parking garage is located between St. John Street, Market Street, and North San Pedro Street.  The structure features both horizontal and diamond-pattern cross bars and a circular car ramp which can serve as a platform for dynamic lighting/façade enhancements. Although the enhancement is intended primarily for the cross bars on the North San Pedro Street side and the exterior of the circular car ramp, there is a very strong interest in designs that maximize the utilization of the entire facility façade for the art installation. All designs will be subject to applicable City of San Jose permitting processes. Please refer to the pdf version of this artist call for photos of the project site.   

Approximate measurements of the cross bars are about 400’ of the length along the garage at North San Pedro Street and cover three floors in height or approximately 30’. The circular car ramp that faces St. John Street is a curved surface that is roughly 210’ long and 60’ high.


The total project budget is $600,000, for design, fabrication and installation, and a mandatory contingency.  The funding will be allocated as follows:

DESIGN: 15% of the total project budget, which is $90,000, will be for design of the project. Design work will include all costs related to background research, development of concept design proposal through approval of final design development, creation of a proposed budget, and submittal of construction documents prepared by a licensed engineer. Costs will include all of artist’s expenses including artist fees, travel, fees to consultants including engineers and other, related project-specific costs.

FABRICATION and INSTALLATION: Fabrication and Installation: Up to 85% of the total project budget ($510,000) is allocated for fabrication and installation. The actual amount shall be determined by the artist’s design and its supporting budget proposal that is approved by the City as part of the Design phase of the process.  The mandatory 10% contingency (see below) is held back, so the actual working fabrication and installation budget is up to $459,000.

CONTINGENCY: the total project funding includes a contingency that is 10% of the approved Fabrication and Installation budget; depending on the approved Fabrication and Installation budget, the contingency can be up to $51,000. The contingency is to cover unanticipated costs that are the result of critical, unforeseen circumstances and which impact the artist’s ability to deliver the project. Contingency funds are retained by the City and will be paid to the artist on an as-needed basis when approved by City. Unused contingency funds will not be paid to the artist or artist team.

The project funding must cover all expenses related to the research, investigation, design, fabrication and installation of the artwork including, but not limited to: design time and fees; design documents, renderings and/or other media as required to communicate artist’s concept design to stakeholders and approving bodies; signed and certified structural, electrical and/or other construction/engineering drawings and specifications, required for fabrication; fabrication of the artwork; transportation and installation of materials, transportation and accommodations for artist(s); heavy equipment, rentals, tools or other devices necessary for fabrication and installation; insurance, permits, special inspections, studio and related project support costs, and all other project related expenses.




There are four key steps in the Design Phase of the project. As summarized below, these are: 1) Research, 2) Concept and Design, 3) Budget and Construction Documentation, and 4) Approvals; Concept and Design consists of three distinct phases: concept proposal development, schematic design proposal, and design development, each of which requires approval by the City’s Public Art Committee. The following overview is a typical range of tasks associated with these steps. (Note: This is a general outline, not a specific scope):

1. RESEARCH. Artist or artist team selected for this project will engage in background research. Activities to include but are not limited to review of background documents and data to understand the Parking Garage, the project area, and project goals; perform research about the neighborhood and area history; engage in discussion with key stakeholders and meet with community members as appropriate.

2. CONCEPT & DESIGN. Artist or artist team shall develop one or more proposed concepts for the project. The artist shall proceed with schematic design development to refine the proposed concept into more specific elements of the design. Upon approval of the schematic design proposal, the artist shall proceed with design development in which the details of the project are finalized; this may include but is not limited to size, number of elements, placement, materials, colors and types of or approach to content, method of installation and related details about the project. 

3.  PROPOSED BUDGET AND CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTATION. As part of the design process, artist or artist team shall develop a detailed estimated budget as part of artist’s design development. The budget shall include but is not limited to all costs associated with the fabrication and installation of the approved design including all labor, fees, materials, and related costs necessary to fabricate and install the artwork within the available project funding.  Upon City’s approval of the design development proposal, artist or artist team shall have construction documents prepared by a licensed engineer or engineers appropriate to the project; this may include structural, electrical and other engineers. Construction documents must be submitted to City’s Department of Public Works for review and approval.

4.  REVIEW & APPROVALS. There are several key steps in review and approvals during the project’s design phase which are a functional part of the preceding steps.

       a. Concept and Design Proposal Review. Artist’s concept proposal shall be initially reviewed by City staff; in addition to staff from SJPA, this will also include staff from the Department of Transportation, Public Works, and other departments as necessary. 

       b. Stakeholder and Community Input: The artist or artist team shall engage with key community representatives and stakeholders to review proposed artwork concept and approach and to receive input. Key stakeholders may include the Downtown Parking Board, the San José Downtown Association and others as appropriate. Key community representatives may include members of the panel that recommended selection of the artist for this project;

      c. Approvals:

            i). Concept & Design: The San José Public Art Committee is the authority that approves proposed artwork design at each of the three design phases: concept proposal, schematic design proposal, and final design development proposal. The Public Art Committee holds regular public meetings.

            ii). Budget: SJPA staff approves the proposed project budget and any related schedules.

            iii). The Department of Public Works must give final approval of construction documents.

During the Design Phase the artist or artist team are expected to attend the meetings necessary to accomplish the work described above.

Fabrication and Installation

The artist or artist team shall be responsible for the fabrication and installation of the artwork. This shall include all aspects of the creation of the artwork elements, the transportation of the artwork to the project site, and the installation of the artwork at the site. Artist shall use licensed contractors for all on site construction and installation and shall comply with all permit requirements.



  • SUBMITTAL DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • Artist Selection (including Finalist Interviews, if applicable) & Contracting: March – April, 2018
  • Research & Concept Development: April – June 2018
  • Presentation of Concept Proposal: June 2018
  • Presentation of Schematic & Design Development Proposal: July – September 2018
  • Construction Documentation: October 2018 – March 2019
  • Installation and project completion: January 2020

* This is a typical schedule; dates may be subject to change.



The City of San José will contract with the artist(s) using its standard public art design-fabrication agreement. A boilerplate of this agreement can be viewed online.

Artists are asked to review this contract prior to submitting for this project and refer any questions to SJPA staff or to your own legal counsel as necessary. If you cannot access this agreement via the Internet, please request a copy be mailed to you prior to the submittal deadline so you may review it in advance of your application. Appropriate adjustments will be made in Exhibit A to reflect the unique nature of this project. Final award shall be contingent upon selected artist/team accepting Terms and Conditions of the agreement in substantial conformity to the terms listed in the referenced document. 

The selected artist must comply with any local business licensing requirements including any local Business Tax requirements and will be required to obtain Automobile Insurance and General Liability Insurance coverages in conformance with requirements set by the City of San José’s Risk Manager.


This opportunity is open to individual artists or artist-led teams working and living in the United States. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have all necessary documentation and permits to work in the United States at the time of submittal of qualifications. If submitting as a team, a professional artist must be the lead team member.

In most cases, artists currently under contract for an art project with the City of San José Public Art Program are not eligible to apply for this project unless their current project will be complete by April 2018, or the project is currently suspended with no proposed re-activation date. If you are unsure of your status, please contact Lynn Rogers ( for verification.


The artist or artist team will be selected based on their submitted work samples from previously completed projects and how those demonstrate design and execution of projects in varied environments. All eligible submittals shall be reviewed by an artist selection panel comprised of key project stakeholders and local art professionals who will utilize the following evaluation criteria: 

  • Aesthetic excellence of past projects; appropriateness of prior concepts as they relate to the project goals and opportunity.
  • Experience, success, and/or interest in creating public artworks in collaboration with stakeholder group including public outreach, in determining scope and development of artwork.
  • Experience developing artworks in outdoor environments.
  • Experience in construction materials and methods appropriate to the scope of the project.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects on time and on budget. Demonstrated delivery of projects with similar budgets will be reviewed.


All interested artists must complete their submittal for this project online through CaFÉ™ (; there are no exceptions.


  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Geographically ineligible applications will not be considered.
  • Please make sure you have started your application with time to ask questions, particularly if you have not used CaFÉ™ previously.


The application submission must include the information and materials described below, all of which are required to constitute a complete application.  Please review carefully as incomplete applications will not be eligible for consideration and will not be reviewed. 

1. Artist Statement of Interest: Submission shall include completion of the  Artist Statement of Interest question on this CaFÉ™ listing that outlines your interest in this opportunity. The Artist Statement of Interest will be an important aspect of the review process; it will assist the selection panel in understanding your perspective on approaching a project of this nature, and your perspective on the potential of this commission. (Note: specific proposals are not requested and will not be reviewed at this time.) Please address the following in your statement (5000 character maximum):

i.) What specifically interests you about this project for enhancement of an urban garage façade and the use of illumination?

ii.) Provide a summary of your experience in public art and collaborating with clients and communities. Please specifically address your experience creating with light and illumination

iii.) What perspective and/or experience would you bring to this project that is unique to you? 

2. Résumé + References: Submission shall include uploading to CaFÉ™a current résumé that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist or as members of an artist team. References should be relevant to artist’s public art projects. (Maximum of 5000 characters/equivalent of 2 pages whether submitting as an individual or a team.)

3. Images of Past Work: Submission must include submittal of images of past artwork that demonstrate your qualifications for this project. To be considered for this project, applicants must submit a total of 8 digital images of previously completed projects. Proposal images may be submitted, but must be clearly marked as proposals and cannot be more than 2 of the requested 8 images. Artist may also submit up to two video clips of completed artwork; per CaFÉ’s specifications, each clip can be no more than100 mb.

Submissions must be completed electronically through the CaFÉ™ system. (Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found on the CaFÉ™ website under Image Prep.)  

4. Descriptions of the Submitted Images of Past Work: Submission must include  completing the request on this CaFÉ™ listing for a list of the submitted project images with descriptions that clearly explain both the projects and images. Each image must include information about: a) title; b) date of completion; c) location; d) dimensions; e) significant materials; f) budget and g) description.

If you were the member of a team or otherwise worked with other artists on a project you are submitting for consideration, please clearly state your specific role in the creation of the work.

5. Check your Application for Completeness: Please confirm that your application includes all the required materials listed below: incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

______ Artist statement of interest (5000-character maximum)

______ Resume (5000-character maximum)

______ Images of Past Work (8)

______ Descriptions of Submitted Images of Past Work

______ Reviewed the San José Public Art boilerplate agreement (optional but recommended.)


Please contact Lynn Rogers via email at if you have questions about the project opportunity. No calls please.


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