Call Detail
Santa Clara Valley - Capitol Light Rail Extension
Entry Deadline: 7/2/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 8, Maximum:Max. 8
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 8, Maximum:Max. 9
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: California


Submission Deadline: Friday, July 2, 2021,10:59 p.m. Pacific Time (11:59 p.m. Mountain Time)

Downloadable RFQ and Addendum 1 available for download here:


Eastridge to BART Regional Connector (EBRC) is the last phase of the larger Capitol Expressway Transit Improvement Project that transforms San Jose’s Capitol Expressway into a multi-modal boulevard offering Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), light rail transit, and safe connections to the regional transit system.

This 2.4-mile extension of VTA’s light rail “Orange Line” will extend from the Alum Rock Station (on Capitol Avenue) to the Eastridge Transit Center (on Capitol Expressway). The extension will be constructed on an elevated track operating in the median of Capitol Expressway and includes two new stations. At Story Road plans include an elevated station that will be accessed by a pedestrian bridge. The Eastridge Transit Center, one of the busiest hubs in VTA’s transit network, will acquire a new ground-level station. Work at this location will also include an expansion of the existing Park-and-Ride. The overall project also includes new traction power substations at Ocala Avenue and Eastridge Transit Center.

When complete, VTA riders will be able to board light rail at the Eastridge Station, and connect directly with BART at Milpitas Station, the northernmost BART station in Santa Clara County.


Public Art will be an important feature of the EBRC Project distinguishing VTA as a visible and significant part of the city landscape. Public Art will also contribute to the vibrancy of the cityscape, promote neighborhood pride by strengthening the unique character of the individual stations as landmarks, create engaging experiences for pedestrians and transit users, and reinforce intuitive wayfinding.

The primary opportunities for artwork are located at the Story Road and Eastridge Transit Center stations. These sites allow for both discrete sculpture as well as integrated plaza enhancements. While VTA is open to receiving recommendation for other opportunities within the overall budget, and without impact to project schedule, the final site selection shall be at VTA’s sole discretion.

  • Story Road:  Commuters from the surrounding community connecting to downtown San José, or BART at the Milpitas Station will be the predominate users of Story Station. The street level pedestrian area at the Southeast and Southwest drop off zone has been initially (although not exclusively) identified as the primary public art site.
  • Eastridge Transit Station:  Eastridge Transit Station is an end-of-the line station. It is adjacent to the busy Eastridge Mall, in proximity to Lake Cunningham Recreation Area, and will be one of the busiest stations in San José. Here the Park-and-Ride is being reconfigured, offering opportunities to distinguish the adjoining plaza.

Additional context (e.g. site overview of the transit line, renderigs of the stations, existing photos, etc.), for reference are available in the "View Floor/ Site Plan" link provided above, and attached to the downloadable RFQ as Appendix I.

We are seeking 2 artists/artist teams (one for each site) with diverse skill in object making, material integration, and community outreach and engagement. A wide range of artistic approaches is acceptable for these opportunities, but ultimately the work must be appropriate for conditions of an exterior installation.


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 and 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.

To be eligible, artists must demonstrate experience developing and implementing projects in public space with a budget of $200,000 or greater. 

Note: one of these commissions will be reserved for Bay Area region artists defined as artists living and working in one of the following counties: Alameda; Contra Costa; Marin; Napa; Santa Clara; Santa Cruz, San Francisco; Sonoma, Solano, and San Mateo.


There are two discrete opportunities. The total budget of each project shall not exceed $450,000, which includes all expenses related to the research, community outreach, design, fabrication, delivery and installation of artwork as follows:

Artist Fee: $70,000 for completion of the following:

  1. Research and investigation including, but not limited to, review of background documents and data to understand the EBRC design documents, project area, and community.
  2. Community outreach and engagement, including discussion with key stakeholders and public meetings with community members for the purpose of understanding the diverse community, their goals and values. The engagement process is intended to build community awareness, stewardship, and provide input and feedback for creative inspiration. Based on COVID-19, artist will work with VTA and SJPA to co-create a virtual process as appropriate based on health guidelines.
  3. Preparation of concept, schematic, and design development proposals including: dimensioned plans and elevations describing the artwork design, installation plan, colors, materials, fabrication processes, costs, schedule (from fabrication through installation), and maintenance specifications. Artists will also provide renderings, models and other visual material to adequately illustrate how the artwork will appear when installed.
  4. Presenting the design proposal to project stakeholders including, key community stakeholders, the VTA, and San José Public Art Committee for approvals. 
  5. Based on the approved Design Development Proposal, preparing construction documents and specifications (CDs”) for the artwork. Artist will be responsible to provide the services of all licensed design professionals, engineers, fabricators, installers, and other consultants, as needed, to ensure artwork’s code compliance, structural integrity, and durability.

Fabrication and Installation: Up to $350,000 for each location may be allocated for fabrication and installation as determined by the approved Design Development Proposal including, but not limited to: off site fabrication; transportation to site, and final installation; developing comprehensive operation and maintenance specifications, required staff training, and preparing final as-built documentation.

Contingency: In addition to the fabrication and installation budget a contingency of $30,000 is set aside to cover unanticipated costs that are the result of critical, unforeseen circumstances, which impact the artist’s ability to deliver the Project within budget. The VTA retains unused contingency funds and must approve of the use of them.


The Artist will enter into a three-party agreement between VTA and the City of San José. The Exemplar agreement is attached as Appendix II to the downloadable RFQ available online at the City of San Jose Public Art Program website "For Artists":

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. Final award shall be contingent upon selected artist/team accepting Terms and Conditions of the agreement in conformity to the terms listed in the referenced document. City reserves the right to accept an offer in full, or in part, or to reject all offers.

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 coverage in conformance with requirements as directed in the three-party agreement.


RFQ advertised                                                     Monday, April 26, 2021

RFQ Submittal Deadline                                       July 2, 2021

Artist Selection                                                      July 2021

Contracting                                                            August 2021

Research & Concept/Schematic Development     September - November 2021

Concept/Schematic Proposal Review                   December 7, 2021

Design Development                                             December 2021 – January 2022

Design Development Proposal Review                 February 1, 2021

Construction Documentation                                 February – March 2022

Fabrication, Installation, and Completion              TBD - prior to Winter 2025

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


There will be a two-phase selection process:

  1. Short List: A selection panel will review artist qualifications, statement of interest, and past work examples with the goal of selecting 4 - 6 finalist artists for interviews. Qualifications, work samples and statement of interest must be submitted through CaFÉ™ per instructions below. Artists need only submit once and will be considered for both opportunities. NOTE: Specific proposals are not requested and will not be reviewed at this time.
  2. Finalist Interviews:  Interviews will be conducted virtually and will focus on prior experience of the artist/team; artists’ conceptual approach to developing artwork for specific sites; and strategies for creative virtual community engagement.


The following is the schedule for the artist selection process:

RFQ advertised                                             Monday, April 26, 2021

Last date to submit questions/objections      Friday, May 7, 2021

RFQ Closing Date                                         Friday, July 2, 2021

Selection Panel / Short listing                       Week of July 12, 2021

Artist Interviews and Selection                      Week of August 1, 2021

Once selected and contracted, a site visit will be scheduled for commissioned artists to begin site investigations. The timing of this activity will be based on COVID-19 status, design development priorities, and other goals as determined collaboratively with artists.


Qualifications, work samples, and statements of interest shall be submitted through CaFÉ™ in accordance with the instructions below; there are no exceptions.

Staff will preview all submissions for completeness prior to Selection Committee review and may reject incomplete or non-responsive submissions.

While submittal through CaFÉ is free to artists, any other potential costs associated with responding to this request are to be borne by the Artist.


  • Aesthetic excellence of past projects; appropriateness of prior concepts as they relate to EBRC project goals and opportunity.
  • Experience and/or interest in creating public artworks in collaboration with stakeholder group.
  • Interest in innovating virtual and/or socially distant community engagement strategies.
  • 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: Artists must demonstrate experience developing and implementing projects in public space with a budget of $200,000 or greater. 
  • Experience working with a government agency.




Submissions (described below) must be received as a complete application in CaFÉ™ by no later than 10:59 p.m. (PST) 11:59 p.m. (MST) on Friday, July 2, 2021.

Note: 10:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) is the same as 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST), the time zone in which CaFÉ™, the host for online submittal is located; CaFÉ™ will automatically stop accepting submittals.)

Please make sure you have started your application with time to ask questions, particularly if you have not used CaFÉ™ previously. Late and incomplete applications will not be accepted.

All materials will be submitted online, via CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system. 

To view the application, go to, register a username and password, navigate to “Apply to Calls”, and search the list for “Santa Clara Valley – Capitol Light Rail Extension”

Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours via e-mail at



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. Images of Past Work: Submission must include visual representations of past artwork that demonstrate your qualifications for this project. In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must submit a total of 8 digital images that represent no more than 5 previously completed projects. Proposal images from prior projects may be submitted, but should be clearly marked as proposals and cannot be more than 2 of the requested 8 images.  All images are to be submitted electronically through the CaFÉ™ system. Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found on the CaFÉ™ website under Image Prep. 
  2. Descriptions of Past Work: Submission must include a list of the submitted project images with descriptions that clearly explain both the projects and images. More specifically, each image must include the following: a) artwork title; b) date of completion; c) location; d) dimensions; e) significant materials; f) budget and g) relevant conceptual and/or contextual 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 actual role in the creation of the work.
  3. Statement of Interest in in this project: What specifically interests you about this project? What interests you in the site or site opportunities? Do you have specific interests as an artist that you feel align well with a project of this nature?
  4. Stakeholder Engagement/Community Outreach: What is your public art experience collaborating with clients and communities? Given issues associated with COVID-19, how might you approach community outreach?
  5. Résumé: Submission shall include a current résumé that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist (maximum of 5000 characters/equivalent of 2 pages; if a team, then 3000 character maximum for each team member.)
  6. Application for Completeness: Please confirm that your application includes all the required materials listed below:
    • Images (no more than 8 images representing no more than 5 projects)
    • Past Work - Image Description Detail 
    • Statement of Interest
    • Stakeholder Engagement/Community Outreach
    • Résumé (5000 characters/2 page maximum)
    • Reviewed the three-party VTA, City of San José, Public Artist agreement as recommended 


A.  Responsiveness of Applications: An application that is not current, accurate and/or completed in accordance with the requirements of this RFQ will be deemed non-responsive and will be eliminated by the City from further consideration.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the City reserves the right to waive minor irregularities in an Application.

B.  Supplemental Information: The City reserves the right to require any or all Artists to provide supplemental information clarifying the submitted materials.

C.  Consideration of Information Outside the Application: The City has the right to conduct a further and independent investigation of the information provided in an application.  This includes contacting and speaking with references.  The evaluation panel may use any relevant information gathered by such investigation – and any other information that comes to the attention of the City – to evaluate an Artist.



A.  Submitting a Question or Objection: Artists must submit any questions and/or objections to this RFQ to the Contact Person: Mary Rubin, Senior Project Manager:

B.  Questions and/or objections must be submitted via email. Contacting any City representative(s) other than the Contact Person about this RFQ is prohibited and is grounds for disqualification.

C.  Content of Question or Objection:  Artist submitting an objection must describe the objection as specifically as possible and set forth the rationale for the objection, including the section number and paragraph title at issue. 

C.  Deadline for Submitting a Question and/or Objection: Artists must submit any questions or objections no later than the Deadline for Submitting Questions and/or Objections as noted in the schedule referenced in Section VIII above.

E.  City’s Issuance of Addenda, Notices and Answers to Questions: The City will post all addenda and notices regarding this RFQ. The City may provide a written response to any question(s) and/or objection(s) in the form of a single answer or by issuing an addendum. 

F.  Artists are Responsible for Checking CaFÉ™: The addenda, notices and answers to questions issued by the City become part of this RFQ.  Each Artist is responsible for checking the City of San José Public Art Program website’s “For Artist” for addenda, notices and answers to questions.  In the event an Artist obtains this RFQ through any means other than to CaFÉ™, the City will not be responsible for the completeness, accuracy or timeliness of the final RFQ document. 

G.  Relying on Other Written or Oral Statements Prohibited: Artists can rely only on this RFQ and any subsequent addenda, notices and answers issued by the City. Artists cannot rely on any other written or any oral statements of the City or its officers, Directors, employees or agents regarding the Project or the RFQ.



A. If an interested party wants to dispute the award recommendation, they must submit their protest in writing to the City’s Public Art Director no later than five (5) business days after the Recommendation of Award is approved by the San José Public Art Committee, detailing the grounds, factual basis, and providing all supporting information.  Protests will not be considered for disputes of requirements or specifications, which must be addressed in accordance with the Objections Section above.  Failure to submit a timely written protest to the contact listed below will bar consideration of the protest.

B. Protests must be addressed to the following:

     Office of Cultural Affairs
     Attention: Michael Ogilvie
     200 E. Santa Clara Street
     San José, CA  95113

C.  Grounds for which No Protest is Allowed: There is no right to protest based on the following:

  • Incomplete (non-responsive) applications;
  • Late submission of applications; or
  • A dispute regarding the application requirements and/or specifications that could have been addressed by submitting a question and/or objection in accordance with Section XIV.  

D.  Director’s Decision: The Director or an appropriate designee of the Director will issue a written decision on any protest.  The Director, or designee, may base the decision on the written protest alone or may informally gather evidence from the Artist filing the protest or any other person having relevant information.  The Director’s decision is final.



A.  All Artists are expected to have read and understand the "Procurement and Contract Process Integrity and Conflict of Interest", Section 7 of the Consolidated Open Government and Ethics Provisions adopted on August 26, 2014.  A complete copy of the Resolution 77135 can be found here.

Any Artist who violates the Policy will be subject to disqualification.  Generally, the grounds for disqualification include:

  1. Contact regarding this procurement with any City official or employee or Evaluation team other than the Procurement Contact from the time of issuance of this solicitation until the end of the protest period.
  2. Evidence of collusion, directly or indirectly, among Artists in regard to the amount, terms, or conditions of this proposal.
  3. Influencing any City staff member or evaluation team member throughout the solicitation process, including the development of specifications.
  4. Evidence of submitting incorrect information in the response to a solicitation or misrepresent or fail to disclose material facts during the evaluation process.

B.  In addition to violations of Process Integrity Guidelines, the following conduct may also result in disqualification:

  1. Offering gifts or souvenirs, even of minimal value, to City officers or employees.
  2. Existence of any lawsuit, unresolved contractual claim or dispute between Artist and the City.
  3. Evidence of Artist’s inability to successfully complete the responsibilities and obligations of the proposal.
  4. Artist’s default under any contract, resulting in termination of such contract.



A. City’s Right to Terminate Process: The City reserves the right to terminate this RFQ at any time.

B. Costs of Preparing Submittal:  Artist bears all costs associated with its efforts in responding to this RFQ.

C. Gifts Prohibited: Chapter 12.08 of the San José Municipal Code generally prohibits a City officer or designated employee from accepting any gift(s).  The Artist selected as a result of this RFQ will be required to comply with Chapter 12.08  accessible here.

D. By submitting a response to this RFQ, the Artist represents that:

  • It is familiar with the requirements of Chapter 12.08, and
  • It has complied with, and throughout the remainder of this application process will continue to comply with, the requirements of Chapter 12.08.

The Artist’s failure to comply with Chapter 12.08 at any time during this process is a ground for disqualification.

E. Discrimination:  It is the City’s policy that the selected Artist shall not discriminate, in any way, against any person on the basis of race, sex, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, actual or perceived gender identity, disability, ethnicity, or national origin, in connection with or related to the performance of City of San José contracts.

F. Public Nature of Submissions:  All applications and submissions and other correspondence with the City regarding this RFQ become the exclusive property of the City and become public records under the California Public Records Act (California Government Code section 6250 et seq.)  All submissions and other correspondence will be subject to the following requirements:

  1. The City has a substantial interest in not disclosing submissions during the evaluation process.  For this reason, the City will not disclose any part of the Application before it issues the Final Notice of selection.  After issuance of the Final Notice of selection, all submissions will be subject to public disclosure. 
  2. There are a limited number of exceptions to the disclosure requirements under the Public Records Act, such as for trade secret information.  The City is not in a position to determine what information in a submission, if any, may be subject to one of these exceptions.  Accordingly, if an Artist believes that any specific portion of its submission is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, the Artist must mark the portion of the submission as such and state the specific provision in the Act that provides the exemption and the factual basis for claiming the exemption.  For example, if an Artist believes a submission contains trade secret information, the Artist must plainly mark the information as “Trade Secret” and refer to the appropriate section of the Public Records Act, which provides the exemption for such information and the factual basis for claiming the exemption.
  3. If a request is made for information in a submission that an Artist has properly marked as exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act (e.g. information that the Artist has marked as “Confidential”, “Trade Secret” or “Proprietary”), the City will provide the Artist with reasonable notice of the request and the opportunity to seek protection from disclosure by a court of competent jurisdiction.  It will be the Artist’s sole responsibility to seek such protection from a court.
  4. Any submission that contains language attempting to make all or significant portions of the submission exempt from disclosure or that fails to provide the exemption information required above will be considered a public record in its entirety.  Therefore, do not mark your entire submission as “confidential,” “trade secret,” or “proprietary.”

G.  Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy:  The City has adopted an “Environmentally Preferable Procurement” (EPP) policy. The goal is to encourage the procurement of products and services that help to minimize the environmental impact resulting from the use and disposal of these products. These products include, but are not limited to, those that contain recycled content, conserve energy or water, minimize waste or reduce the amount of toxic material used and disposed. Computers and other electronics are a growing focus of environmentally preferable purchasing activities due to their high prominence in the waste stream, their numerous hazardous chemical constituents, and their significant energy use. Moreover, when these products are improperly disposed of they can release hazardous substances that pollute the environment.

  1. In support of this policy, the selected Artist will be required to work with the City to apply this policy where it is feasible to do so.  In addition, Artists should address any environmental considerations with their proposal response.
  2. The entire EPP policy may be found in the City’s internet site here.  

H. Unfair Competitive Advantage:

  1. The City seeks applications for this RFQ through a competitive, impartial process in which all Artists are treated fairly.  An Artist that has an actual or apparent unfair competitive advantage jeopardizes the integrity of the competitive process.
  2. A number of different situations can give rise to an actual or apparent unfair competitive advantage.  Most commonly, an actual or apparent unfair competitive advantage arises because the Artist has unequal access to nonpublic information or unique insight into the scope of work.  Whether an unfair competitive advantage exists depends on the specific facts of each situation.
  3. The existence of an unfair competitive advantage is a basis for the City to disqualify an Artist’s participation in this RFQ.  If the City determines that an Artist is disqualified because of the existence of an unfair competitive advantage, it will provide the Artist with a written statement of the facts leading to its conclusion that an unfair competitive advantage exists.  The Artist may protest the determination in accordance with Section XII of this Application.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Section XII, the Artist shall submit its written protest no later than 5 business days after the date of the City’s letter of disqualification.
  4. The Artist represents that before submitting a response to the RFQ it investigated and considered the issue of potential unfair competitive advantage, including considering any subconsultants it has worked with.  By submitting a response to the RFQ, the Artist further acknowledges that performing the work resulting from this RFQ potentially could be the basis of creating an actual or apparent unfair competitive advantage for any future work.  The City strongly advises Artists to consult with their legal counsel regarding these issues.

I. Disqualification of Former Employees

  1. Chapter 12.10 of the City’s Municipal Code generally prohibits a former City officer or “designated employee”, as defined in Chapter 12.10, from providing services to the City connected with his/her former duties or official responsibilities.  The Artist selected as a result of this process will be prohibited from either directly or indirectly using any former City officer or designated employee to perform services in violation of Chapter 12.10. 
  2. By submitting a response to this RFQ, the Artist represents that:
  • It is familiar with the requirements of Chapter 12.10, and
  • Its response to this RFQ does not contemplate the use of any former City officer or designated employee in violation of Chapter 12.10.


The Artist’s failure to comply with Chapter 12.10 at any time during this application process is a ground for disqualification

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have all necessary documentation and permits to work in the United States at the time of submittal of qualifications.

The City of San José reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject any or all applications, proposals, applicants, or projects, and to modify or terminate the application process or the selection process for any reason and without prior notice.

Applicant agrees that any and all materials submitted pursuant to this Application for entry become the property of the City of San José and shall not be returned to Applicant. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Applicant shall retain all copyright in the work, which may be held by Applicant. 

If selected for a public art commission, Applicant will be required to enter into an Special Purchase Demand with the City of San José and will be required to comply with any relevant requirements, including but not limited to permits, licensing and/or insurance coverage requirements (if any).  

Scope of Work and Form of Terms is attached to this PDF version of the RFQ as an Exemplar Agreement.



Please contact Mary Rubin via email at if you have questions about the project. No calls please. Any pertinent questions submitted prior to Friday, May 7, 2021, will be addressed by an addendum and posted on City website here:


Please contact CaFÉ™ at



Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria