Plaque Honoring Mayor Edwin Lee for the San Francisco International Airport: International Terminal

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists residing in the United States to submit qualifications to design and fabricate a plaque honoring the late Mayor Edwin Lee. The plaque will be installed in the Mayor Edwin M. Lee International Terminal Departures Hall of the San Francisco International Airport.

Note: Artists that have previously applied to the Dr. Maya Angelou Sculpture Project RFQ issued in November 2018 will automatically be considered for this Mayor Ed Lee plaque opportunity unless they request otherwise.  

Project Overview

San Francisco International Airport is renaming the International Terminal Departures Hall in honor of the late Mayor Edwin Lee. On behalf of the Airport, the Arts Commission will manage the artist selection process and Artist’s contract for design and fabrication of a bronze plaque honoring the late Mayor Edwin Lee for the Departures Hall. The plaque will be 5 ft. x 5 ft. and will feature a bas relief portrait of the Mayor along with biographical text. The format of the plaque will be similar to the plaque honoring Henry Berman (see below). The plaque will be located between aisles six and seven of the Departures Hall of the International Terminal. Funding for the project will be from the Airport. The completed plaque will not become part of the Civic Art Collection.



Project Description

Plaque Honoring Mayor Edwin Lee for the San Francisco International Airport: International Terminal will depict a bas relief portrait and  biographical text in honor of the late Mayor Edwin Lee. The text will be provided by SFO.


Finalist Honoraria:       $1,000 each for the development of a proposal

Artist’s Contract: The artist’s contract for artwork will be $42,000, inclusive of all artist's fees, and associated expenses for design, structural engineering, fabrication, insurance, transportation and consultation during installation.

Installation: Installation of Artwork will be performed through a separate contract between the Arts Commission and Fine Arts contractor.

Selection Process

Prequalified Panel: After the application deadline, the Arts Commission staff will establish an artist qualification panel consisting of two arts professionals and one Arts Commission staff member to screen the applicants to establish the pool of artists best qualified to execute the project as evidenced by examples of past work.

Review Panel: The list of qualified artists will be presented to the Mayor Edwin Lee Plaque Project Review Panel consisting of a representative of the Arts Commission, a representative of the Airport Commission, a member of the Ed Lee Dedication Community Advisory Board, an Arts Commissioner, and one outside arts professional. The panel will identify three finalists who will be invited to develop a maquette for the plaque. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $1,000.

The Mayor Edwin Lee Plaque Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ proposals in an interview format and will choose one proposal to recommend to the Arts Commission and the Airport Commission. Both the Arts Commission and Airport Commission must approve the selected proposal.

Arts Commission Approval: The Artist Review Panel’s recommendation will be submitted first to the Visual Arts Committee, a subcommittee of the Arts Commission, and then to the full Arts Commission for approval. The Artist Review Panel recommendations must be approved by the Arts Commission by Resolution.

Airport Commission Approval: The design approved by the Arts Commission must also be approved by Resolution of the Airport Commission.

Public Meetings: All Arts Commission meetings and Public Art Selection 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 website at: https://www.sfartscommission.org/calendar. To check the meeting schedule for the Airport Commission, please go to their website at: https://www.flysfo.com/meeting-schedules.


  • Complete application submitted prior to the application deadline. 
  • Artwork examples submitted represent the artist’s own original creative work.
  • The artist’s work reflects artistic excellence, innovation and originality, as evidenced by professional quality of craftsmanship and mastery of skills, techniques; professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communicate a unique vision or perspective. 
  • The artist’s work exhibits skill in portraiture.
  • The artist’s work is judged to be appropriate to the goals of the project.
  • The artist's professional experience is adequate to meet the demands of the project. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist, an exhibition record in museums, commercial art galleries, and/or non-profit art spaces, previous public or private commissions; participation in artist-in-residency programs, or other related activities indicative of a professional art practice.
  • The artist is available to participate in the design, approval and implementation of the project as required. 
  • Assessed ability to meet project deadlines and to perform work in a timely and professional manner.
  • Results of reference checks for project finalists.

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 Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (PST).

Application materials include:

1. Letter of Interest

  • 5000 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 under 5MB
  • For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project
  • For more information on File Size and Types, 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 5:00 PM (PST) on January 21, 2020. For questions, you can contact Program Associate Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org or 415-252-2249. 

SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM (PST) support@slideroom.com.

Project Timeline

Application deadline

January 8, 2020

Qualification Panel

January, 2020

First Artist Review Panel

January 2020

Final Review Panel

February 2020

Approval of recommended proposal by Visual Arts Committee

March 18, 2020

Approval of recommended proposal by Arts Commission and Airport Commission

April 15, 2020

Artist under contract

Summer 2020

Anticipated completion

October 2020



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

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

July 20
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 18
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

July 11
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 18
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting