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City Hall Public Art Project

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Call to Artists

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The City of Manhattan Beach, invites artists, as individuals or teams to submit qualifications for the design and implementation of a public art project at the Manhattan Beach City Hall. The proposed location is in the entry way to City Hall and will replace a mural that is being moved to another location.

Submission Deadline: 4:00 PM PST, February 13, 2019. See application procedures below.

City Hall LobbySite Location and Constraints

The site is located in the City Hall Lobby area. There is a grand stair case that runs between the upper and lower floors. Submissions that address the whole space, including both upper and lower floors, furniture, and fixtures are encouraged.

Project Goals

Elements of the Manhattan Beach City Hall public art project may:

  • Create an iconic image for Manhattan Beach, unique to the setting and of a scale and quality to be a memorable image.
  • Utilize innovative and visionary methods to create an installation that activates the whole space and takes into account the architecture and fixtures currently in place.

Public Art Budget

The budget for this project is a not-to-exceed figure of $ 250,000.00.

This amount includes all costs related to the Artist’s design and project management fees; all subcontracted, and consultant costs, including engineers, electricians, materials, fabricators, studio, and overhead costs; fabrication, transportation, delivery, storage and installation of all art components; General and Automobile Liability, Professional Liability insurance, and automotive insurance as required; and all other costs associated with the art project including a minimum budget contingency of 15%. Please note that the budget includes all costs required for all permits and licenses.


This RFQ is open to professional artists residing in the United States who meet the minimum eligibility qualifications indicated below:

  • Successful completion of at least 2 (two) permanent art installation or design projects valued over $150,000.00, preferably those that are similar in scope and nature to this project. Prior work could include architecture, landscape or urban design projects if public art was an integral component.
  • Experience in working cooperatively with multiple professionals including City staff, regulatory agencies, community members, and design professionals such as engineers, landscape architects, and architects.
  • Aesthetic excellence in the design and execution of completed projects.
  • Ability to install or oversee the installation of the commissioned work.
  • Ability to comply with the project deadlines as indicated below.

Community Participation

Manhattan Beach schools have robust visual arts programs and the Manhattan Beach Art in Public Places Program is interested in incorporating school children and other members of the community in the design and development of Artist’s works or creating teaching opportunities for students and/or community members with working artists.

For artists proposing the inclusion of community participants, including Manhattan Beach Unified School youth, a stipend of $1,500.00 is available, independent of the call’s budget, to support the effort. Participation can be in the design, fabrication or installation of the proposed art work(s) or an educational opportunity for an apprentice or multiple students in the Artist’s studio or lab space or at the project site. An additional optional narrative of the proposal for community participation can be submitted with the Artist qualifications at the time of application or after selection, should the Artist wish to explore this opportunity.

Artist Selection Process

Phase One: Selection of Finalists

Applications will be pre-screened by City staff to ensure that applicants meet the minimum qualifications.

The Art in Public Places Committee (APPC) is the Selection Panel and is comprised of:

  • Representatives from the Cultural Arts Commission.
  • Two arts professionals with experience in evaluating or administering large- scale outdoor art projects.
  • One student representative.
  • One community member representative.
  • The Selection Panel will review the applications and rank them according to the selection criteria outlined below.

The artists or artist teams with the highest scores will be invited to develop conceptual design proposals.
The Selection Panel will then review the final submission, and rank them to recommend an artist or artist team for consideration by the City of Manhattan Beach Cultural Arts Commission. The Commission will review and make a recommendation to the City Council for final approval and appropriation of funds.

Selection Criteria

Artists will be selected to produce design concepts based on the following criteria:

  • The aesthetic quality of the Artist’s past work, including content, craftsmanship, uniqueness, and relevance to its environment.
  • The degree to which the Artist’s past work relates to the goals and parameters of the City Hall Public Art project.
  • The Artist’s demonstrated ability to translate art concepts into durable and safe materials.
  • Evidence that Artist’s existing public artworks have maintained an appropriate level of quality and integrity over time.
  • Artist’s demonstrated ability to work successfully as a member of a project design team and ability to work within public review processes.

Responsibilities of Finalists 

  • Artists selected to design conceptual proposals will be required to attend a project orientation with representatives from the City, regulatory agencies, and other project stakeholders. Artists who attend the orientation and who travel more than 90 miles from the orientation site will receive a pre-approved travel allowance based on applicable Federal reimbursement rates.
  • Artists will be given 10  to 12 weeks to develop design concepts.
  • Artists must confer with the City and applicable regulatory agencies when developing the conceptual design for artwork, including identifying initial ideas for artwork locations, content, scale, and media.
  • Conceptual design proposals must indicate the Artist’s design intent, the location of the proposed artwork or installation, materials and fabrication processes, a preliminary budget based on actual cost estimates, and a project timeline. Finalists will be expected to provide to-scale renderings and other visual materials to adequately illustrate the proposed artwork.
  • Proposed art budgets must include verifiable cost estimates for design development, fabrication and/or fabrication oversight, delivery, installation, professional consultants, including engineers, the Artist’s project management fees, project documentation, required insurance, and all other costs associated with the art project.
  • The proposed artist fees, which may include artist’s design and project management costs, are expected to be within 10% to 20% of the total art budget. The proposed budgets will be evaluated based on the Artist’s proposed scope of work and will be an integral part of the selection process.
  • A Maintenance Plan is required from each Finalist. If the proposal includes electrical or mechanical components, artists will be required to submit a proposed maintenance plan that specifies how the City can maintain these components over a 20+ year lifespan.
  • The Concepts will be placed on display in City Hall for a two-week period during which the public may comment, though not vote on, the proposals.

Final Selection of Criteria

The Selection Panel will review and evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence, creativity and originality of the project’s concept.
  • The artist's response to the stated goals of the project, including the physical relationship of the artwork/installation to the site.
  • The technical feasibility of the proposed artwork/installation, including minimum maintenance requirements, resistance to vandalism and appropriateness for public use and access.
  • An evaluation of the proposed budget, including: 1) its feasibility for the nature and scope of the project, and 2) an analysis of whether the artist has done appropriate research and obtained viable cost estimates from subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Positive feedback from professional references.

Finalist's Honorarium

The honorarium for the submission of the conceptual design proposal is $3,000.00, plus $1,000.00 in pre-approved travel expenses (if applicable), as well as reimbursable costs for the shipping of the proposal display materials for the presentation, not exceeding $4,000.00. The honorarium will be paid upon the successful submission of the proposals and reimbursable expenses as invoiced by the Artist. Only expenses for which receipts are presented and verified can be reimbursed and any expenses in excess of the budget will be the sole responsibility of the artist.

Ownership of Materials

All submitted documents, including sketches, plans, specifications, reports, and all other materials, including models, submitted as part of the conceptual design proposal will become the property of the City of Manhattan Beach upon payment of the honorarium to the artist. Exceptions include material samples, tapes or other materials presented to illustrate the proposal, but which are not integral parts of the proposal.

Phase Two: Design Development

During Design Development each selected artist or artist team will develop final designs for the artwork or installation. Artists will collaborate with the City, regulatory agencies, and others as required to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

Project Schedule*

Target dates for completion of preliminary design and final design are shown below.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Issued November 19, 2018
Applications Due February 13, 2019
Panel meets to select semi-finalists February 2019
Project orientation for semi-finalists March 2019
Conceptual design proposals due May 2019
Proposals displayed for public viewing in City Hall May 2019
Project finalists recommended by Selection Panel May to June 2019
Cultural Arts Commission reviews Selection Panel recommendations June 2019
City Council Considers Cultural Arts Commission Recommendations – project finalists selected June 2019
Contracts and notice to proceed issued and permits obtained June 2019
Design development, fabrication and installation June 2019 to January 2020
Dedication event January 2020

**This schedule may be subject to change due to permitting processes, fabrication periods, and installation requirements. Final schedule will be refined with artists or artist team, agencies, and consultants.

Insurance Requirements

Selected artists will be required to carry insurance as follows:

  • General Liability: Coverage with a minimum of $2,000,000.00 per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage, with the City named as additional insured on the policy.
  • Automobile Liability: Coverage with a combined single limit of$300,000.00 combined single limit for any owned, non-owned or hired vehicle used in connection with the performance of the proposed project.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Coverage as required by the State of California and Employer’s Liability Insurance with a minimum limit of $1,000,000.00 per accident for bodily injury or disease. If Consultant has no employees while performing Services under this Agreement, workers’ compensation policy is not required, but Consultant shall execute a declaration that it has no employees.
  • Fine Arts Insurance: Coverage for the value of the artwork/art elements will also be required.
  • All proposed concepts for artwork are subject to approval by the City and must meet all applicable regulations for public access, safety and security. Applicable regulations will be provided to artists who are selected to prepare conceptual design proposals.
  • All finalists must read and acknowledge acceptance of the terms of the City's Public Art Agreement (PDF or WORD) prior to finalist presentation to City Council. The terms of the agreement are non-negotiable and failure to accept the terms of the agreement will result in disqualification from the project at the conceptual design proposal phase.
  • All artwork materials must have a 20-year minimum lifespan, and Artist must be prepared, if selected, to provide a detailed maintenance plan for the work as part of the final submission.
  • The selected Artist will be required to confer with City staff and their designated consultants, as well as with other regulatory agencies when developing the conceptual design proposals, and if selected, in the final design development and construction phases of the project.
  • The City of Manhattan Beach reserves the right to reject any or all applications or proposals and to modify or terminate the application process or the selection process for any reason and without prior notice.

Submittal Requirements

Please make sure you have submitted, correctly labeled, emailed to the correct address, and correctly addressed the email Subject line. Any incomplete applications may be rejected from the process. Any emails and materials not named/labeled/subjected correctly may be lost or misplaced due to high volume of submissions.

Please note: All artists must read through and acknowledge acceptance of the terms of the City's Public Art Agreement (PDF or WORD) prior to finalist presentation to City Council.  The terms of the agreement are non-negotiable and failure to accept the terms of the agreement will result in disqualification from the project at the conceptual design proposal phase.

Written Materials
  1. Artist Statement
    • A maximum 5,000-character artist statement indicating interest in and potential approach to the project. If applying as a team, please indicate the name and contact information for the team’s representative, and their project role.
    • Submit this as a single PDF file, named as follows: ArtistLastName_ArtistFirstName_Artist_Statement.pdf
  2. Community Participation Proposal
    • If proposing community participation, a description of the means and methods for recruiting participants, and roles to be taken by participants should be defined.
    • Maximum 3,000-character optional Community Participation Plan is needed if a stipend is being requested as part of the Artist’s proposed design or fabrication process (this may be submitted at the RFP phase for selected finalists).
    • Submit this as a single PDF file, named as follows: ArtistLastName_ArtistFirstName_Community_Participation.pdf
  3. Artist Resume
    • Professional resumes for each applicant. Edited versions of not more than 3 pages per applicant, are requested.
    • Submit each resume as a single PDF file, named as follows: ArtistLastName_ArtistFirstName_Artist_Resume.pdf
    • If submitting multiple resumes, add a number to the end of the file name.
  4. Professional References
    • Five professional references, including phone and email contact information.
    • Submit this as a single PDF file, named as follows: ArtistLastName_ArtistFirstName_References.pdf
  5. Image List
    • Include an annotated image list with full descriptions including title, medium, dimensions, project budget, location and commissioning agency.
    • Submit this as a single PDF file, named as follows: ArtistLastName_ArtistFirstName_Image_List.pdf
  • Applicants must submit at least 6 (six) and up to 10 (ten) separate images of prior works of the scale and nature proposed for the Manhattan Beach City Hall project.
    • Submit each image as a PDF or JPEG file, named as follows: ArtistLastName_ArtistFirstName_Image_Number.pdf
    • Number all images sequentially starting with 1, make sure this numbering corresponds to the image list.
    • Images should be of high enough quality to see well on a computer screen, but need not be large enough for print (approximately 600 – 1500 pixels in any direction).
  • Images should highlight a minimum of 2 (two) projects valued over $150,000.00.
  • Images may include overall installation shots, details and/or progress views, but must clearly represent the scope, quality, and scale of the completed project.
  • All applications must contain a minimum of 11 and maximum of 16 individual files in PDF (or JPEG for images) format.
To Submit
  • Email all images and application materials to:
  • Subject line: City Hall Public Art RFQ ArtistLastName ArtistFirstName

Please keep in mind: we are anticipating a large number of submissions and materials, any emails NOT SUBJECTED CORRECTLY may get lost in the volume and will be difficult to search for when needed.

Application materials must be received no later than 4:00 PM PST on February 13, 2019.


Direct all questions related to this RFQ via email only to: City Hall Public Art Project Committee.

City Hall Public Art Project

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