Aerial view of Herz Recreation Center of San Francisco

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for the Herz Recreation Center Public Art Project.

The budget for artwork is $173,500 inclusive of all artist's fees, as well as associated expenses for design, fabrication, insurance, transportation and installation.

The artwork will be located on the building façade adjacent to the lobby entry. If an artist’s budget allows, an additional two-dimensional opportunity may be considered on the north/south interior gymnasium wall(s).

Project Description

The Recreation and Park Department is partnering with Mercy Housing and Related CA to construct a new recreation center/gymnasium at Herz Playground, a site within John McLaren Park bordered by Visitacion Avenue, Hahn Street, and Sunnydale Avenue. The new recreation center will be designed and built to fit cohesively within the existing park landscape and “the Hub,” a new community center campus with childcare services and recreational facilities. The vision for the overall Hub is to be an inclusive, friendly, family and youth focused place for neighborhood residents and visitors. The recreation center will feature an indoor basketball court with bleachers, a multi-purpose room, restrooms, and associated staff spaces such as offices. The facility will provide a much needed recreation center on the south side of San Francisco with the goal of creating a clean, safe, warm and modern resource for all.

The artwork commissioned for the project shall be a community asset promoting harmony and peace, and should reflect the identity of the surrounding neighborhoods while being appropriate to the Herz Recreation Center by contributing to its welcoming community environment.

Selection Process

Artist Qualification Panel: The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Qualification Panel consisting of representatives from Arts Commission staff and arts professionals to identify a list of qualified artists to be considered for the project opportunity.

Artist Review Panel: This list of qualified artists will be presented to an Artist review panel. After considering the artists’ qualifications, the artist review panel will identify finalists for recommendation to the Arts Commission for approval. The finalists will be invited to develop conceptual proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $3,000 for development of a conceptual design proposal, plus the reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses, approved by the Arts Commission prior to travel arrangements being made for the orientation and panel interview.

The proposals shall be displayed at a location near the project site, and posted on the Arts Commission website for written public comment prior to the final review panel meeting.

The Artist Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ concepts in an interview format along with any community input and will recommend one artist for the project to the Arts Commission. 

Arts Commission Approval: The Artist Review Panel’s recommendation will be submitted first to the Visual Arts Committee (VAC), a subcommittee of the Arts Commission and then to the full Arts Commission for approval. All Artist Review Panel recommendations are subject to the Visual Arts Committee and Full Arts Commission.

All Arts Commission meetings and Public Art Review Panel meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Arts Commission website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. To check the meeting schedule for public art projects, please go to our calendar.

Selection Criteria for Artists and Artwork: Artists and artwork will be selected in accordance with the Mission and Goals of the Civic Art Collection and in accordance with the criteria below. Artworks in all media may be considered. Criteria to be used when considering when scoring an artist’s application for a commission and/or acquisition of artwork by either purchase or commission shall include, but not be limited to the following considerations. Per City contracting requirements, artist applicants who are registered as a Local Business Enterprise will be given a rating bonus of 10% relative to other applicants.

  • Artistic Merit: Artistic Merit may be judged by such measures as originality of concept and artistic vision; the degree to which the work engages the viewer emotionally, intellectually, spiritually; the qualify of craftsmanship or mastery of skills and techniques. Artistic merit may also be credited to artwork that reflects a significant or direct relationship between the artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.
  • Relevant Skills & Experience: Review Panels and the Commission shall consider the assessed ability of an artist to successfully implement a proposed project, such as the ability to work constructively with other project stakeholders, meet deadlines, willingness to resolve issues as they arise, and generally manage the demands of the project. Cultural competency and/or significant connection between the artist and the project constituency, or experience that may particularly qualify an artist to meet project goals may also be considered.
  • Meet Project Goals: The proposed artwork (or the assessed ability of an artist to design a proposal) meets the specific goals of the project as defined in the Project Outline and/or RFQ or RFP as approved by the Commission.
  • The Artwork is Appropriate to the Site: The artwork or proposed artwork is appropriate for its intended display location in terms of scale, media, design or imagery and is judged to be relevant within the context of the surrounding community, and is compatible with the mission and operations of the client department.
  • Feasibility, maintainability: Proposed objects shall be evaluated relative to their feasibility and evidence of the artist’s ability to successfully complete the work as proposed. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to: project budget, timeline, and the artist’s experience. Due consideration shall be given to the structural and surface soundness, and to inherent resistance to theft, vandalism and weathering, and to the cost and amount of ongoing maintenance and/or repair anticipated.
  • Contributes to the Quality of the Civic Art Collection:  The  artwork is  judged to support and improve the city’s collection in terms of artistic qualify and diversity of artists represented. The Arts Commission is committed to acquiring art works that reflect diversity in style, scale, media, and artistic sources as well as diverse cultural communities and perspectives.  The Arts Commission also encourages exploratory types of work as well as established art forms. 
  • Public Safety and Accessibility: Artwork shall be evaluated to ensure that it does not present a hazard to public safety and complies Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and with all other applicable building codes. 
  • Duplication:  Artists will be asked to warrant, as a condition of their agreement with the City,that the artwork commissioned or purchased is unique and an edition of one, and shall not be duplicated unless it is part of a limited edition or otherwise stated to the contrary in the artist’s contract with the Commission.

How To Apply

Applications are available through Slideroom, an online application system for calls for entry. There is no charge to artists for using SlideRoom. Please be sure to allow adequate time to submit your application as technical difficulties can occur. Applications that are mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered will not be considered.

Applications will not be accepted after the July 2, 2021, 11:59 p.m. (PDT) deadline.

Application materials include:

1. Letter of Interest

  • 5,000 characters maximum.
  • This should be a summary of your artistic focus and professional career, especially as your background relates to your qualifications for this project. Do not make a specific proposal for a new commission.

2. Resume

  • 25,000 characters maximum.
  • If you are applying as a team, please include your team/studio resume. If that is not available, please combine the individual resumes (one right after the other) of each team member into one document.

3. Ten images of previous work

  • Slideroom accepts all image file types up to 5MB. Images should at least 72 dpi and no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels.
  • For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project.
  • For more information on working with media, please click here.

4. Image Descriptions

  • When you upload your images, Slideroom will prompt you to fill out image descriptions. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. You may also include a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work.

Check out our How to Apply to Calls for helpful tips on how to submit the most competitive application.

Please note that Arts Commission staff will be available to answer questions about this call until 5 p.m. (PDT) on the deadline date, July 2, 2021. Please contact Craig Corpora,

SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (CST)

Project Timeline

Application Deadline

July 2, 2021

Review Panel Meeting 1 Week on July 12, 2021

Applicant notification via email

July 12—July 21, 2021

VAC approval of recommended finalists

July 21, 2021

Full Commission approval of recommended finalists

August 2, 2021

Review Panel Meeting 2

Week of October 4, 2021

VAC approval of recommended artist

October 20, 2021

Full Commission approval of recommended artist

November 1, 2021

Artist under contract

November, 2021

Anticipated completion

1st Quarter, 2024



Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists who reside in the United States. Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

October 05
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

October 05
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

October 05
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

October 05
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting