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Open Call 2021

The deadline to submit applications closed on Friday, January 22, 2021. 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. 

If you have questions on the status of our application, please email PublicArt.SanAntonio@sanantonio.gov.

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 – 1/22/2021: Submit Open Call Applications
  • 1/22/2021: Deadline to Submit by 12:00 pm (noon, CST) 
  • 2/2/2021: Public Art Committee Reviews and Votes on List
  • 2/9/2021: 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

 

We hosted an Ask a Public Artist Virtual Panel Discussion on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 5:30 pm. 

If you missed this meeting, watch the recording of it by clicking here. 

Panel Line-Up Included: 

  • Artist Ashley Mireles - is an interdisciplinary artist and educator producing drawings, prints, murals for public consumption. Employing homage, social critique, and often humor, she uses an illustrative style to explore her environment, cultural issues, and the human condition. Her work has been collected by the National Museum of Mexican Art, Mexic-Arte Museum, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Texas Christian University Print Collection, City of San Antonio, and University of Texas Libraries Special Collections. Her work has been published in The American Statesman, Huffington Post, Mitú, and Remezcla.

  • Artist Cade Bradshaw  - studied Ecology and Biology at Trinity University, conducting primary research on grassland composition in the Texas hill country. Leaving science to pursue greater freedom of exploration, his artwork continues to demonstrate the attentive gaze of science. The winner of The Eyes Got It, 2016, Bradshaw was awarded a solo exhibition at grayDUCK gallery in Austin Texas, and his work has been exhibited around the United States. A rising voice in Texas’ diverse art community, Bradshaw is deeply involved in the design and fabrication of public artworks. He and his collaborators’ projects can be found at the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge, on the San Antonio River Walk, at San Pedro Creek Culture Park, and in numerous private collections. 

  • Artist Leticia Huerta -  is a native of San Antonio who earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting in 1991 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, a BFA in Painting at UTSA in 1985, and a BA in Biology from St. Mary’s University in 1976.  Huerta has exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally.  Her work has been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin; San Antonio Museum of Art; Meadows Museum, Dallas; among others. Huerta has attended residencies at the McColl Center for the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina, Coronado Studio in Austin, Texas, and Self Help Graphics in Los Angeles. You can see the first installation of her "Bloom" series at McAllister Park. 

  • Artist Mari Hernandez -  Is a co-founder of the Chicana art collective Mas Rudas (2009-2015). Solo exhibitions include the Southwest School of Art and Staniar Gallery at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Hernandez is a graduate of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership Institute and Arts Advocacy Institute, and she participated in the inaugural Public Art San Antonio Mentorship Course. In 2017, she was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Fund for the Arts Grant. Hernandez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

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Friday, May 14, 2021