Public Art

Public Process


Our public process supports artists and a broad network of creative and allied professionals through our pre-qualified artist list, mentorship program for San Antonio-based artists, and special programs. The San Antonio Art Commission reviews and makes recommendations to guide our work.

How the Public Art process works: 


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, including the creation of new public artworks, providing services for the City's art inventory, and collaboration with the Department of Arts & Culture to implement art in public places.

Our 2020 Call of Public Artists and Support Services closed on November 12, 2019. 

Selection Process

A selection panel evaluates the applications and proposes a recommended list to the City’s San Antonio Arts Commission for final consideration and for City Council approval. Applicants are notified by email after City Council approval. Pre-qualified applicants are notified when being considered for projects. Inclusion in the pre-qualified list does not guarantee selection for a public art contract. 

Restriction of Communications

Once approved, applicants agree and acknowledge they will not contact any City Council member or their staff regarding 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 are evaluated based on qualifications and 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 is used 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.


Public Art Mentorship Course

Cultivating artists based in the San Antonio area for participation in the City’s pre-qualified list is critical to the success of public art in San Antonio. Each year, the public art division hosts the Public Art Mentorship Course for emerging artists in the San Antonio area. Led by the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts and Culture with the participation of experienced artists and administrators, the course is open to roughly ten artists on an annual basis. 

The Public Art Mentorship Course is a professional development opportunity where artists:

  • Attend educational sessions on contracts, budgets, the public art process and other key information about working in the public realm
  • Network with artists and professionals in public art and allied fields
  • Respond to a brief  by developing a proposal and presenting to a panel

Participating artists must reside in the San Antonio area, attend all mentorship course sessions, and develop and present a public art concept proposal. Interested artists apply by indicating their interest when they submitting their qualifications to be considered for the City’s Public Artist Prequalified List.

2017 Participants: Fernando Andrade, David Blancas, Julia Barbosa Landois, Mari Hernandez, Jayne Lawrence,  Benjamin McVey, Michael Menchaca, Samuel Morales Urbina, SCOTCH! Cristina Sosa Noriega, Nancy Wood

2018 Participants: Sabra Booth, Joe de la Cruz, Emily Fleisher, Doroteo Alberto Garza, Megan Harrison, Jennifer Hermann, Ana Hernandez Burwell, Ashley Mireles, Cherise “Rhys” Munro, Kara Salinas, Ryan Takaba.

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Thursday, October 29, 2020