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Open Call 2021

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Every year the Department of Arts & Culture seeks applicants to be considered for a pre-qualified list for three-year duration. The pre-qualified list consists of artists and public art professionals, reviewed by a panel and approved by City Council, eligible for potential opportunities. 

We are seeking professional qualifications from area, state, national, and international artists and arts organizations as well as individuals and businesses that provide support services including, but not limited to, consulting, curating, writing, project management, art history, art handling and shipping, art appraising, restoring and conserving art, art fabrication/installation, photo and video documentation, graphic and web-based design, and technical design. 

  • Deadline: Applications must be submitted by Monday, January 18, 2021, 4:30pm (Central Standard Time). 
  • We will be hosting an optional Virtual Information Session to provide an overview of the program:
    • Takes place on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 5:30 pm (CST). 
    • Click here to register
    • If you cannot attended this virtual meeting, it will be recorded and uploaded here once it is available. 
  • Need help with applying? See this informational guide.

The City of San Antonio seeks professional qualifications from area, state, national, and international artists for potential public art projects. The 2021 Pre-Qualified List is used to select public artists for upcoming commission opportunities.

Once approved by City Council, all pre-qualified artists remain eligible for contract opportunities over a three-year period. Artists added to the 2021 Public Artist Pre-Qualified list will be considered for public art opportunities funded through the 2017-2022 Bond Program.

The Department of Arts & Culture’s Public Art Division manages public art projects and programs that express the vibrancy and diversity of the community through art and place-making for the City of San Antonio. The Public Art Division has selected projects throughout San Antonio that increase connectivity within neighborhoods and citywide, advance equity, leverage funds and partnerships, have transformative potential for communities and places and community support, and meet project feasibility requirements. Art project opportunities are diverse in scope, and include 2-Dimensional, 3-Dimensional, Environmental, Functional, and other temporary and permanent commissions.

EVALUATION AND SELECTION INFORMATION

Selection Process

A selection panel will be responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications. The panel's proposed pre-qualified list will be recommended to the City’s San Antonio Arts Commission for final consideration and ultimately approved by the City Council. Notifications will be delivered to applicants by email after City Council approval. Additionally, pre- qualified applicants will be notified when they are being considered for specific projects. Inclusion in the pre-qualified list does not guarantee selection for a public art contract.

Restriction on Communication 

Once approved, all applicants agree and acknowledge that they will not contact any City Council member or their staff regarding potential contracting opportunities available to those on the pre- qualified list. Such contact may result in removal from the pre-qualified list and disqualification from eligibility for a contract. 

Evaluation Criteria  

Applications will be evaluated based upon submitted qualifications and background experience, level of expertise (including education, training, and certifications), technical proficiency (media and technical capacity), reputation (three references requested), and work examples.

The following criteria will be used by the panel to evaluate artists for the Pre-Qualified Artist List: 

(50%) Artistic Merit & Creative Capacity

  • Artistic merit and overall strength of the artist’s or artist’s team’s body of work.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a variety of artistic expression and media in either permanent or temporary art projects.
  • Creative capacity to innovate and originality as demonstrated in past projects (this is inclusive of design-only projects).

(40%) Applied Experience & Proficiency

  • Level of demonstrated professional and artistic excellence in public art projects and capability to propose and create artworks for the built environment, or equivalent.
  • Design and construction proficiency.
  • Ability to meet City and client requirements, including project schedules and budget constraints.

    (10%) Experience Working with Community

  • Knowledge and experience engaging community culture and history.
  • Active participation in community arts and cultural programs.
  • Artistic leadership in civic and neighborhood revitalization.

Pre-Qualified Artist Selection for Public Art Projects

Once approved for the Pre-Qualified Artist List, artists will be considered by selection panels comprised of curators, commissioners, subject matter experts, and community members. Selection panels will recommend artists based on their suitability for a specific project opportunity. Selection panels will be asked to consider The Public Art Division’s Curatorial Goals to develop new projects and commissions that are:

  • Connective: Artworks connect to environment, sense of time, communities and individuals.
  • Artist-driven: Projects elevate the role and vision of artists, allow artists to lead interdisciplinary projects. The Public Art Division strives to nurture and support diverse artists.
  • Accessible: Projects are physically and conceptually accessible to a wide audience – they embody openness and generosity to the public.
  • Dynamic: The collection offers variety and changing experiences. Artworks could promote a sense of calm, stimulation, playfulness, introspection, or collectivity, etc.
  • Innovative: Projects embrace experimentation and expand expectations of publicly commissioned art.
  • Experiential: Artworks engage the senses and bring heightened awareness to the space, moment, and broader social and spatial context of the work.

BACKGROUND AND APPLICATION OVERVIEW

The City of San Antonio seeks professional qualifications from individuals, firms, and creative non-profit arts organizations that provide a combination of creative and technical services that can support art in public spaces and project delivery in conjunction with City-funded and bond-funded capital improvements. Qualified candidates are required to demonstrate successful experience and technical expertise in providing support and collaborative services related to art in the public realm.

The 2021 Pre-Qualified List will be used to select individuals, business, and non-profit arts organizations to provide on-call services including but not limited to: consulting, curating, writing, project management, art history, art handling and shipping, art appraising, restoring and conserving art, art fabrication and installation, photo and video documentation, graphic and web-based design, and technical design. Collaborative opportunities for non-profit organizations may include the development and implementation of projects, community engagement initiatives, and public art residencies.

Once approved by City Council, all pre-qualified artists remain eligible for contract opportunities over a three-year period.

Selection Process

A selection panel will be responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications. The panel's proposed pre-qualified list will be recommended to the City’s San Antonio Arts Commission for final consideration and ultimately approved by the City Council. Notifications will be delivered to applicants by email after City Council approval. Additionally, pre- qualified applicants will be notified when they are being considered for specific projects. Inclusion in the pre-qualified list does not guarantee selection for a public art contract. 

Restriction on Communication

Once approved, all applicants agree and acknowledge that they will not contact any City Council member or their staff regarding potential contracting opportunities available to those on the pre- qualified list. Such contact may result in partner’s removal from the pre-qualified list and disqualification from eligibility for a contract.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based upon expertise, specialization, experience, relevance to art in public spaces, and available resources. The following scoring rubric will be used by the panel to evaluate public art support service providers and collaborative partners for the Pre-Qualified List: (60%) Art Inventory Expertise & Specialization

  • Level of art inventory expertise (education, training, and certifications) and technical proficiency (media & technical)
  • Specialization proficiency (art conservation, art fabrication/restoration, art handling, documentation)
  • Art in public places and installation-based visual artworks and exhibition experience
  • Professional resources dedicated to collaborative projects (40%) Relevant Experience
  • Employment experience that demonstrates knowledge of art inventory services.
  • Proven capacity to meet City and client requirements, including project schedules and work within budgetary limitations.
  • References, certifications, and awards
  • 11/20/2020 – 1/18/2020: Submit Open Call Applications
  • 12/08/2020: Optional Virtual Information Session with at 5:30pm 
  • 1/18/2021: Deadline to Submit by 4:30pm CST
  • 2/2/21: Public Art Committee Reviews and Votes on List
  • 2/9/21: San Antonio Arts Commission Reviews and Votes on List 
  • February/ March 2021: Public Art Division Presents to City Council Culture & Neighborhoods Committee
  • February/March 2021: City Council “A” Session Votes on Adoption of Prequalified list
  • March/April 2021: Applicants will be notified of the Pre-Qualified List Results
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Saturday, December 5, 2020