Treasure Island – Cityside Park Request For Proposals (RFP)

Land Acknowledgment
The San Francisco Arts Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone. We affirm the sovereign rights of their community as First Peoples and are committed to supporting the traditional and contemporary evolution of the American Indian community and uplifting contemporary indigenous voices and culture.
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 unceded 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.
Please note that this is a Request for Proposals (RFP) which is being issued by the San Francisco Arts Commission on behalf of the Treasure Island Development Authority for the Treasure Island Art Program, as further described below.
Rendering of Cityside Park Lawn
Rendering of Cityside Park Lawn

Project Overview

*FAQ and Information Sessions recording located towards bottom of page*


The Treasure Island Art Master Plan sets forth a vision for the island to be known as a destination for the arts. The large-scale redevelopment of Treasure Island provides an unparalleled opportunity to commission bold, imaginative and forward-thinking contemporary art projects. The new artworks will embody the spirit of innovation that characterized the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition and will ensure an ongoing cultural legacy for the island. Treasure Island’s vibrant and robust art program will affirm its reputation as a remarkable place to live and visit and will establish it as a magnet for cultural tourism. Over the next 20 years, there will be multiple permanent and temporary art works commissioned for the island.

This RFP announces the second permanent public art commission planned for the Treasure Island Art Program which follows the completion of the Point of Infinity sculpture by Hiroshi Sugimoto installed on Yerba Buena Island.


  • Engage and delight the viewer to enrich their experience of Cityside Park and help make it a destination for residents and visitors alike
  • Artwork may be whimsical, playful or interactive in nature (without having moving parts or being play equipment)
  • Enhance the viewer’s experience of the intended uses of the site by creating a work that will lift the spirits, inspire awe, laughter or joy
  • Consider the past and present character of Treasure Island and the new development that is emerging
  • Consider Treasure Island’s unique ecology and maritime environment of bright and brilliant sunshine, intense periods of fog and strong winds and its unique vantage point in the bay
  • Engage artists with a meaningful connection to the San Francisco Bay Area

Project Description

Situated on the western edge of Treasure Island with dramatic views of the Bay Bridge, downtown San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge, Cityside Park is an attractive destination that will draw visitors and residents alike to partake in various forms of recreation and leisure along this spectacular waterfront. The entire Cityside Park is a 24-acre open space, 300 feet wide from the shore to Cityside Avenue and three-quarters of a mile in length. Oriented to deflect and reduce the prevailing northwesterly winds, the double allees of windrow blue gum trees are both utilitarian and formal, structuring space, framing views, and defining a series of large rooms, each of which has a specific program and identity. The character of Cityside Park will vary from more urban at the southern end to more rustic and natural at the northern end. There will be a wide range of activities for people, including picnic and barbecue areas, seating areas, flexible lawn spaces, an amphitheater and native plantings filtering storm water. The entirety of the waterfront is connected by a gracious promenade. The Cityside Park will be constructed in several phases over the next 5-10 years. The first phase of the park is the southern end and is the site for this art opportunity.


The artwork opportunity is a pedestrian-scaled sculpture or series of sculptures installed along a pathway through the park. The proposed sculpture location may be a 10’ x 20’ paved area near an open lawn known as “The Bowl” (please see arrow in the image above), or in other accessible paved areas in the park. The adjacent lawn area is gently sloped towards the water and includes a small, paved stage, allowing for informal amphitheater type seating for events and performances. The views to the water and the San Francisco skyline are stunning from this location.

TI-Cityside Park-Art Location 1 (2).jpg

The artwork will serve as a visual beacon for those on the waterfront promenade, inviting them into the park area. Final design of the paved area for the art and its precise location will be coordinated with the park design team. Construction of the park will soon begin; therefore, possible modifications to the park design are very limited. The art will not be located in the center of the lawn due to accessibility requirements. With the park’s proximity to the bay, the artwork should be constructed of the most durable materials, which will be evaluated by a fine arts conservator relative to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions associated with a maritime environment.

Selection Process

Artists are asked to submit a unique and site-specific preliminary design proposal for a sculpture to be placed at the site along  with a brief narrative which includes a description of the dimensions of the sculpture, all materials to be used and a project budget (artist fee, structural engineering, fabrication, transportation, insurance and contingency) which shall be reviewed by the Cityside Park Review Panel.

Three to five finalists will each be paid an honorarium of $2,000 and invited to further develop their proposals after attending a site visit and orientation session with the project team and the Treasure Island Art Steering Committee. Each finalist will be reimbursed for the cost of travel in accordance with City requirements.

The Cityside Park Review Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ proposals in an interview format and will select one artist’s proposal for review and comment by the Arts Commission prior to presentation to the Treasure Island Art Steering Committee and Treasure Island Development Authority for approval.

All Arts Commission and Treasure Island Development Authority meetings are open to the public and are posted on the City’s website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. To check the meeting schedule for public art projects, please go to the Arts Commission calendar or the Treasure Island Development Authority calendar.


  • 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 reflect a significant or direct relationship between the artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.
  • Project Goals: The proposed artwork should meet the specific goals of the project as defined in this RFP and approved by the Treasure Island Art Steering Committee.
  • 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 site.
  • Relevant Skills & Experience: Artist Selection 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.
  • Feasibility, maintainability: Proposed artworks 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. Proposals will be evaluated by a Fine Arts Conservator to determine the internal structural and surface soundness, the structure’s inherent resistance to theft, potential risks of vandalism and weathering, and to the cost and amount of ongoing maintenance and/or repair anticipated. Given its proximity to the Bay, this particular site will require a work made from materials that can withstand the effects of a maritime environment.
  • Contributes to the Quality of the Treasure Island Development Authority Art Collection: The artwork is judged to support and improve the Treasure Island Development Authority’s collection in terms of artistic quality and diversity of artists represented.

How To Apply

Applications are available through SlideRoom (https://sfgov.slideroom.com), 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 March 15, 2024 11:59 p.m. (PDT) deadline.

All applications must include the following. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. The Arts Commission may follow up to clarify details in the materials submitted.

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 and Proposal Narrative

  • Two pages maximum.

  • Artists are asked to submit a narrative that explains their preliminary design proposal, including medium and scale. Artist shall design the Proposal for Cityside Park in response to the project goals as outlined in this RFP and in response to the site and other background information provided to the Artist by the Commission.

  • Artists should include a summary of their artistic focus and professional career, especially as their background and experience qualify them to execute relates to the artist’s qualifications for this project.

  • Artists should describe their meaningful connection to the SF/Bay Area.

3. Rough Budget for Cityside Park

  • Budget shall include line items for artist fee, structural engineering, fabrication, transportation, insurance and a 10% contingency.

  • Artist shall design a Proposal that can be implemented for the project budget of $350,000 not including construction of a foundation and installation of the sculpture which adheres to the Uniform Building Code and be compliant with the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) and other state and city codes and policies as may apply.

  • The foundation and installation will be separately funded, not to exceed $100,000.

  • Artist represents and warrants that the Proposal submitted is an original and unique design by the Artist, created specifically for this project.

4. 1-3 Images of Proposed Artwork and 7 images of Previous Work (no more than 10 images total)

  • SlideRoom accepts all image file types up to 5MB. Images should be 72 dpi and no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels.

  • For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project.

5. 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 "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, March 15, 2024. Please contact Paris Cotz at paris.cotz@sfgov.org, or 415-539-6213. SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 9 a.m. - 9p.m. (CDT) support@slideroom.com.

Project Timeline

RFP Issued: December 14, 2023

Public Information Meeting:  Wednesday, January 10 at 5:00pm and Thursday, February 8 at 5:00pm (please check our calendar for more details on how to join). 

RFP Deadline: March 15, 2024

Application Review Period: Mid-late March 2024

Applicant notification via email: Early-mid April 2024

Orientation: Late April/Early May 2024

Finalist Proposals Due: Late June/Early July 2024

Final Project Artist Review Panel: Early July 2024

Agency Review and Approval Process: July - mid August 2024

Artist Under Contract: September 2024


Questions & Answers

Treasure Island Cityside Park RFP Pre-Application Workshop (Virtual)


There are different grades of aluminum or steel that can be salt-resistant, and different paint coatings can be applied to aid in longevity (such as powdercoating or Tnemec). 


If illumination is appropriate to the artwork, then yes lighting and/or illumination would be desirable. As for lighting in the park, there will be pedestrian lighting at night for safety purposes. It would be possible to tap into that and modify it to create power. 


It is important to establish your team that can execute your vision. It is equally important to demonstrate how they are qualified to do so and show examples. This RFP is a great opportunity to show a concept and ideas. 


As long as the glass is durable and vandal resistant, and scaled to a size that is easily replaceable in case of vandalism. 


A size under twenty feet would be suitable, but it depends on material and configuration. It is important to consider that objects appear smaller in a large landscape with a flat horizon and to keep in mind that the artwork should be visible from a distance of 200 feet. 


It is really preferred that the artwork site remains where it currently is, behind the view of the city skyline.


Lighting fixtures should be a part of the sculpture budget. The installation of the lighting fixtures would be part of the installation budget. 


 Yes, you may submit an additional proposal, but each proposal must include all submission requirements. 

There are two ways to submit an additional proposal:

  • You may either create a second SlideRoom account (with a second email) and submit a new proposal that way. 
  • *If you have already submitted and would like to submit an additional proposal*: The other option is for us to 'un-submit' your application, and for you to re-submit with your additional proposal images included (max 4 images for various proposals, 6 images of past work). Please be sure to save what you have already submitted before you choose this option. (Please reach out to paris.cotz@sfgov.org if this is the option you choose).

If the scale, color and/or material is adapted to the site, then that would count as 'unique.'


Please include their resume, and examples of their work. Please distinguish their CV from others, as well as identifying their work in the image samples. 


Yes, commercial general liability and automobile insurance is needed from fabrication to installation, 


Yes, commercial general liability and automobile insurance is needed from fabrication to installation, 


The project site is located on sandy soil and bay mud. We will work with the artist to determine foundation and geotechnical needs based upon weight and size of the proposed artwork. 


Weight requirements are contingent on the type of foundation and nature of artwork, and how the load is distributed. Thefoundation will not be built until the artist is selected, and the foundation will be tailored to the selected sculpture.


That is the zone for the sculpture, and the artwork can exist within that zone. There is an existing 4’ border for ADA accessibility.


The height corresponds to the foundation needs. The higher the sculpture, the bigger the foundation needs to be. There are no concerns about large scale work blocking views since the footprint is relatively small. Don’t underestimate the impact of the sky and the bay as the backdrop when considering scale and height.


There is a certain amount of flexibility but would want to know plans for the foundation sooner rather than later (once the work is selected).


The design of the site can respond to the sculpture, within limitations. Cityside Park construction will be completed by December 2024.


Fiberglass is not recommended due to maintenance issues.


Please list artist fee, structural engineering, fabrication, transportation, insurance, contingency. Travel costs can be folded into the artist fee, and can add this project to existing insurance policy if you have one.


We are looking into this and consulting with a conservator.


The site has been used as a staging area and variable near surface soils range from sands, to clays, to gravel.

We would recommend moisture conditioning and compacting the top couple of feet of soil below the footings of the art structure(s). We typically require minimum 1-foot embedment on the footing.

When compacting the subgrade to 95% relative compaction and at above optimum moisture content, the allowable bearing capacity will 3,000 PSF. For seismic or wind loads the capacity can be increased by 1/3 to 4,000PSF.

A friction coefficient of 0.35 can be used at the base of the footing.

Passive resistance of 300 PCF equivalent fluid pressure can be used provided area around the flooring is flat and the top 12 inches passive resistance is neglected.     


This RFP is open to professional, practicing artists within the United States including artists from abroad who reside in the United States. San Francisco Bay Area artists are encouraged to apply. Entries not meeting these eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from further consideration. The Arts Commission reserves the right to request clarifications from artists prior to rejecting a proposal for failure to meet these eligibility guidelines.


The Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) is a non-profit, public benefit agency dedicated to the economic development of former Naval Station Treasure Island. The Authority is vested with the rights to administer Tidelands Trust property.  TIDA is also responsible for administering vital municipal services to Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands.


Treasure Island will become San Francisco’s newest neighborhood. The Treasure Island Development is an approved 465-acre redevelopment project on Treasure Island and parts of Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland within San Francisco city limits. This is a visionary redevelopment which will feature 8,000 new homes for approximately 20,000 people (including 2,173 affordable units, approximately 300 acres of publicly accessible open space including parks, trails, plaza and dog parks, a 20-acre organic farm, and a 400-slip marina and beach along with state-of-the-art community facilities). There will also be new restaurants and shops in addition to the multiple public art projects envisioned. The Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) is a city agency that oversees the goal of reusing the island in an environmentally and economically viable way, as well as creating and minting the master development plan and community facilities. The entire redevelopment will take 20 to 30 years to build.

Phase 1 construction of almost 1,000 homes involving 12 buildings is well underway. By 2024, 1,208 market rate and affordable units will be completed on both Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. Construction of Phase 1 parks will be finished by late 2024. The new ferry terminal is fully operational and ferry service commenced in March 2022 bringing people to and from the Ferry Building to Treasure Island.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

December 16
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 11
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

December 09
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online