Transbay Block 3 Park & Alley Project

Transbay Park Rendering

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for the Transbay Block 3 Park & Alley Public Art Project.


The total budget for artwork is $135,000 inclusive of all artist's fees, as well as associated expenses for design, fabrication, insurance, and transportation. Installation will be managed by the Arts Commission under a separate budget/contract.

Project Description

The future Transbay Block 3 Park & Alley Project will be located within Zone 1 of the Transbay Redevelopment Project Area. The Transbay Redevelopment Plan governs land uses for the Project Area, and the Plan stipulates that Block 3 will become a public open space. The future Block 3 Park is located on the former Transbay Temporary Bus Terminal in the relatively new downtown East Cut neighborhood. The neighborhood is a mixed-use, high density residential district and is envisioned as a livable urban community with prime access to downtown and the waterfront, with well-designed streets, open space, and retail areas.  

The future park will be a one-acre open space, framed by two mixed use developments (Block 2 and Block 4), and new alleyways. The future park is designed to serve both adjacent residents and workers, and its program will serve its diverse community. The basis of the park design is informed by three key components: comprehensive community feedback, site-informed design, and climate-responsive design.  

The design scheme envisions a natural respite with an open and informal habitat meadow to framed by a dense landscape edge that contrasts with the park’s urban context. The new park will be a neighborhood hub that allows for small community gatherings and activities, children’s play, explorations in ‘nature’, walks along a looped pathway, or simply sitting on a park bench. The park includes a small playground with a large bird-like play feature, a small approximately 400 square foot Stewardship Building (which will include a restroom, storage and maintenance space), groves of trees along the park edges and a central habitat meadow with two deck areas for visitors to enjoy. The central habitat meadow feature recalls the site’s past as a rich intertidal landscape and creates a sampling of biodiverse habitat that will attract birds and butterflies to the urban park and enrich the lives of its residents. The park is designed to be a sustainable and contemporary public open space.

The artwork site is currently situated on property under the jurisdiction of the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (“OCII”) but will eventually transfer to the Recreation and Parks Department (“RPD”). Both City partners will be closely involved in the artist selection process for this project.

The Arts Commission is looking to commission a sculpture or series of sculptures located in or along the habitat meadow. An additional alternative for consideration may be art elements attached to the Stewardship building façade.

Artwork must consist of durable, sustainable materials intended for exterior use, such as stone or metal.

Selection Process

Artist Qualification Panel: The applications will be reviewed by an Artist Qualification Panel consisting of representatives from Arts Commission staff, an OCII Commissioner 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 consisting of two OCII Commissioners, one staff representative from RPD, one community member, three arts professionals, and one Arts Commissioner. 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 $2,500 for development of a conceptual design proposal.  

The proposals shall be displayed on SFAC’s webpage 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 select one artist for recommendation to the Arts Commission. 

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.

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


The scoring criteria is informed by the agency’s values and goals, as referenced in SFAC’s Racial Equity Statement and Civic Art Collection goals, and the goals specific to this project.

SFAC Racial Equity Statement

The San Francisco Arts Commission is committed to creating a city where all artists and cultural workers have the freedom, resources and platform to share their stories, art and culture and where race does not predetermine one’s success in life. We also acknowledge that we occupy traditional and unceeded Ohlone land. Fueled by these beliefs, we commit to addressing the systemic inequities within our agency, the City and County of San Francisco and the broader arts and culture sector. This work requires that we focus on race as we confront inequities of the past, reveal inequities of the present and develop effective strategies to move all of us towards an equitable future.

Scoring Criteria:

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 quality of craftsmanship or mastery of skills and techniques. Artistic merit may also be accredited to artwork that reflects a significant or direct relationship between artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.

Relevant Skills & Experience: The panel shall consider the assessed ability of an artist to successfully implement the 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.

Meets Project Goals: The proposal (or assessed ability of artist to design a proposal) that meets the specific goals of the project:

  • Artwork should be inspired by and responsive to both the site and the proposed park design, including its natural habitats, physical landscape, site history, sustainability, and program.
  • Artwork should have a visual impact from a distance yet be integrated into the landscape.

Appropriate to Site: The proposal is appropriate for its intended display location in terms of scale, media, design or imagery and is judged relevant within the context of the surrounding community and is appropriate for the mission and operations of the client department.

Feasibility and maintainability: The proposal is judged to be feasible within the budget and maintainable within the means of the Commission.

Contributes to the Quality of the Civic Art Collection: The proposal supports and improves the collection in terms of artistic quality and diversity of artists.

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 January 31, 2022, 11:59 p.m. (PST) deadline.

Application materials include:

1. 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.

2. Letter of Interest Questions

  • Provide a description of your artistic focus, career highlights and qualifications, and particular interest in this project, including a specific connection to the site or community where the project takes place.

3. 10 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, 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. (PST) on the deadline date, January 31, 2022. Please contact Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org, or 415-252-2249

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

Project Timeline

RFQ Application Deadline

January 31, 2022

Qualification Panel Meeting

Early February 2022

Review Panel 1st Meeting

February 2022

Orientation for Finalists

Late February 2022

Finalist Conceptual Proposal Due

April 2022

Review Panel 2nd Meeting

May 2022

Approval of recommended artist by Visual Arts Committee

May 18, 2022

Approval of recommended artist by Full Commission

June 6, 2022

Artist under contract

October 2022

Anticipated completion

Late Spring 2025



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

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 20
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 20
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 20
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 20
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting