The Sacramento Office of Arts + Culture is a public agency devoted to advocating, supporting, and promoting the arts for more than 40 years. 


The City of Sacramento, Sacramento Office of Arts + Culture (OAC), a division of the City of Sacramento Convention and Cultural Services Department, invites Artists and Artist teams to submit their qualifications for a new Gateway sculpture project at or near the intersection of Richards Blvd and North 12th Street.  The project will welcome visitors to the River District and become an important threshold for vehicular traffic coming from Hwy 160 and traveling toward downtown Sacramento.

We are seeking an artist or artist team to design, fabricate, and install this monumental artwork as an entrance gateway to the River District and the City of Sacramento downtown areas. This project will coincide with a number of housing, lighting, and street improvement projects through the corridor. The chosen artist will have a voice at the table to help shape the aesthetics of the corridor with community engagement as a central component of the transformation process. Mural artists (N12th St Mural Project) are already working along the corridor to create murals and engage the communities and stakeholders through workshops. The projects underway are working within the themes of “Transformation” and “Metamorphosis” as their conceptual framework for their mural designs.  The Gateway sculpture should ultimately have some relationship to these themes and work already underway along the corridor.

The selected Gateway artist will be asked to consider how their design is specific to the location.  Artists with experience in creating site specific sculpture and wishing to engage and work with communities as a component of their practice are encouraged to apply.


The projected artist’s budget for the Gateway artwork is up to $350,000 inclusive of all fees and expenses including but not limited to the artist’s fee, materials, design costs, travel costs, permitting (excluding NEPA related costs), fabrication, and installation of the artwork.

The selected artist will be expected to hear from and incorporate thematic ideas from community stakeholders, city staff, N12th St Mural Project artists, and other stakeholder organizations. Artists are encouraged to find ways to work with stakeholders as a component of their design or fabrication practice. Selected finalists will be provided information packets, including a history of the area and particular stakeholder themes and interests discussed during past community engagement sessions with the River District and partner communities.

While this Gateway Project is not required to have as robust community engagement as the N12th St Mural Project, applying artists are encouraged to consider ways to include Mirasol Village (a new affordable housing community being constructed close to the Gateway Project site) and River District residents and businesses to participate in some way in the artwork. How that is done and to what effect, will be part of the artist’s creative process and conceptual design proposal.


North 12th Street is a four lane, one-way arterial carrying over 20,000 southbound cars per day. Originated as the historic Lincoln Highway, North 12th Street is one of few streets that connect the “River District” and the northern Sacramento communities to Downtown Sacramento. The Gateway artwork is to be located at or near the intersection of Richards Blvd and North 12thStreet. Due to existing Regional Transit power lines and tracks, installation will only be possible on the western side of the road. Artists are encouraged to consider designs that might bend or cantilever over North 12th Street in some way or be made in series to create a “Gateway” effect entering North 12th Street. The overreaching design must be as high as or higher than standard traffic signals (approximately 18 -- 20 ft. high) along the corridor.

As mentioned previously, there are currently muralists working in the area on a series of exterior murals.  These artists will do a short presentation about their work and will be available for questions from the selected finalists during an information session.


The link below provides photos of the site locations possible, some information about the River District, and additional project site materials that may be helpful for applying artists to better understand the location and opportunities:

Information Packet Link

These materials provide some minimum background information about the project site. However, the main selection criteria will be mainly based on the artist’s past work, not the preliminary written proposal. See “Artist Selection Criteria” below for the rubric the selection panel will use in evaluating artists’ applications.

As mentioned previously, artists currently designing murals along the North 12th Street corridor are working with the themes of “Transformation” and “Metamorphosis” in the natural and urban environment. Artists have been researching the ecology of the Sacramento and American Rivers along with the diverse demographic of communities in the area, both currently and historically.

The selection committee will choose three to four finalists to prepare and present concept proposals. Selected finalists will be paid a design stipend of $2000 each to prepare and present a conceptual design proposal for the site. Finalists will also be provided additional information about stakeholders and the location in order to complete their concept proposals. After finalists have been selected, OAC will conduct an informational meeting for all finalists to meet (via Zoom) with project stakeholders and city staff.


A selection panel will review submissions and identify a short list of qualified artists or artist teams as finalists.   The composition of the selection panel members may vary but will typically include a member of the Arts Commission, a curator or arts administrator, an artist, a neighborhood stakeholder, and a participating agency stakeholder.

If awarded the project commission, the lead artist will be required to attend periodic meetings in Sacramento, present concept proposals to the selection panel and Arts Commission, and attend community meetings as required. The selected artist or artist team will be responsible for overseeing the design, fabrication, delivery, and installation of the commissioned artwork and for working cooperatively with the project stakeholders, city staff, and consultants.


Due to restrictions with the funding sources for the project, the timeline below is not very flexible. Applying artists should be available to complete work as indicated in the timeline below:

· December 2020 – RFQ goes out to artists for Gateway Project

· February 2021 – Panel meets to review artists for Gateway Project / 3-4 finalists selected and asked to prepare concept proposals / artists provided materials about area / Q and A info session with project stakeholders and finalists via Zoom.

· April 2021 – Artists present proposals to Panel and Community / Chosen artist selected / NEPA EA (handled by OAC) submitted based on artist’s conceptual design proposal

· April 2021 – Artist’s contract finalized and fully executed

· June 2021 – Artist finalizes design and submits for building permit (BP)

· August 2021 – Artist receives BP / NEPA approval received

· April 2022 – Fabrication of sculptures complete

· May 2022 – On-site installation of sculptures


The project is open to experienced professional artists nationally and internationally. The final commission will be awarded based on experience in the design, fabrication, and installation of major sculptural artworks. Past use of community collaboration strategies and participation are a plus but not required for selection.  Artist Teams should have proven experience that demonstrates their professional qualifications working together as a team. Professional artists living in the Northern California are encouraged to apply.


Finalists will be selected based on the following criteria:

· Innovation and creativity in previous projects/artwork

· Demonstrated experience and professional practice with community engagement

· Demonstrated proficiency in craftsmanship and technical knowledge of sculptural materials

· Experience and success in creating a public artwork in cooperation with city agencies and multiple stakeholders

· Knowledge of durable materials appropriate to the environment the art will be placed.


The entire submission must be completed on Submittable at . There is no application fee to apply or to use Submittable. To apply register a username and password and follow the instructions. The call is listed as the City of Sacramento, North 12th Street Gateway Project. All requirements listed below must be met or the application will not be considered.

· Artist Statement: (Maximum 250 words) Include a general introduction to your work. Discuss the concepts and ideas you explore in your artwork and how these ideas and issues are presented. If you are applying as a team, the letter should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator. Teams may present an artist statement up to 350 words maximum.

· Resume: (Maximum 2 pages) Outline your recent experience and accomplishments as an artist. If applying as a team, each member may submit a separate one-pageresume.

· Samples of your work - a maximum of ten (10) files: digital images, video, and audio files are all acceptable with corresponding titles to match the Support Description list. Each file should highlight only one project.

· Support Description list: (Maximum 2 pages) For each image/file submitted, include relevant project information. For example, list the title, date, size, and medium for studio work. For public art projects include a description,location, materials, budget, andcommissioning organization.

· References: Provide three references who are familiar with your work as a professional artist. Include names and contact information only.

· Preliminary Proposal: (Maximum 250 words) Briefly describe your design process. If you have ideas for the Gateway artwork at this location, describe what you might design for this location. Selected finalists will receive a full information packet, so this preliminary proposal is only meant to give a general concept overview of the kind of sculpture you might create. The committee understands this is a preliminary proposal and subject to change once you are given more information about the site. However, proposals will give the committee an ability to understand your conceptual thought process. Proposals need not discuss fabrication specifics but should address what types of durable materials you might use to create the Gateway artwork.


Donald Gensler, Project Manager, Sacramento Office of Arts + Culture, Art in Public Places, or call 916-808-8493.