Public Art Prequalified Artist Roster - Apply Now!

The Oakland Public Art Program is inviting emerging and experienced California artists to submit applications for inclusion in a Public Art Prequalified Artist Roster. Selected artists will be considered for public art commissions from the City of Oakland to create new work for various city improvement projects. The deadline to apply is August 16th, 2024, 11:59 pm PST.

Joining Circles by Eduardo Pineda & Joaquin Newman, Golden Gate Recreation Center

Joining Circles by Eduardo Pineda & Joaquin Newman, Golden Gate Recreation Center


The City of Oakland's Public Art Program, established in 1989, commissions original works of art for public spaces throughout Oakland. The program enriches the city’s visual environment, integrates the creativity of artists into public construction projects, and provides a means for residents and visitors to enjoy and experience the richness and diversity of Oakland culture. For more information about the Public Art Program visit the City’s website.

Our program is guided by the principles uplifted in Belonging in Oakland, the City’s Cultural Development Plan that aims to promote cultural equity, belonging, and well-being for all communities of Oakland. 



Artists selected for the prequalified artist roster will be used by Public Art Program staff to recommend appropriate applicants for a range of city-funded improvement projects. Improvement projects include but are not limited to various streetscape projects and city facilities including parks, libraries, fire stations, and recreation facilities. These projects will be focused primarily in the 2-D and 3-D visual arts, but may include interdisciplinary components (e.g. new media, electronic, performing, literary arts) if relevant to the project’s overall concept. Projects that are commissioned through this artist roster are predominantly permanent artwork that is site responsive and/or integrated. The Public Art Prequalified Artist Roster will be the primary source for selecting newly commissioned artists.

Upcoming sites/projects may include but are not limited to 14th Avenue Streetscape Project, DeFremery ParkMosswood Community Center, Estuary ParkLincoln Recreation CenterFire Station 29, and Fire Station 4. Additionally, artists may be selected for grant projects supported by funds allocated for Council district murals. Future projects will be commissioned in accordance with the City’s equity goals across all Council districts. Stay tuned for more!

Rendering of Mosswood Community Center designed by LMS Architects and EinwillerKuehl Landscape Architecture

Rendering of Mosswood Community Center designed by LMS Architects and EinwillerKuehl Landscape Architecture


This call is open to practicing artists, visual art professionals, and artist teams living or working in the State of California. Arts organizations, companies, or programs are not eligible. 

Emerging and established artists working and living in Oakland who reflect Oakland’s diverse artistic community in regard to race, age, class, and gender are strongly encouraged to apply.

Artists working and living in Oakland and in the Bay Area are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Artists who apply as part of a team may also apply as an individual artist, in a separate application. 

You must be 18 years or older to have your name added to the artist roster.

Artists who have successfully completed the Cultural Strategist in Government Workshops with ABG Art Group in 2023, are preapproved for this artist roster but still need to submit materials and information through the SlideRoom™ application process outlined below for administrative purposes. Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Learn more about our public art workshops on our HERE!

City of Oakland employees, Public Art Advisory Committee members, and members of other standing City committees are not eligible to apply for this opportunity. 



Budgets for commissioned public art projects will range from $15,000 to $500,000, including all artist fees for artwork design, fabrication and installation, project coordination, insurance, permits, engineering, accessibility design, and travel. Public Art funding comes from a 1.5% allocation from all eligible City capital improvement projects, private contributions and eligible grant revenue.

Artists may choose to be considered only for projects with budgets under $100,000, or only for projects with budgets over $100,000, or both, as part of the application process. Please select the appropriate categories in the application. 



  • Application Open: June 26, 2024
  • Application Webinar: July 17, 2024
  • Submission Deadline August 16, 2024 – 11:59pm PST
  • Applicant Notifications: October 2024
RAINBOW POWER by Johanna Poethig, Rainbow Recreation Center

RAINBOW POWER by Johanna Poethig, Rainbow Recreation Center


Submittals from artists and artist teams will be pre-screened by City staff for compliance with the application requirements. A selection panel of artists/arts professionals, City staff, and representatives from the Oakland Public Art Advisory Committee will review the applications and recommend applicants for the Public Art Prequalified Artist Roster. The recommended artists will be approved by the Public Art Advisory Committee prior to being considered for public art commissions. 

In addition to a commitment to racial equity, the City of Oakland’s Public Art Policies require that a majority of public art commissions or acquisitions be awarded to artists living in Oakland.



Artists will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Artist communicates innovation, creativity and originality with a unique vision or perspective; 
  • Appropriateness of artist’s medium and style for prospective projects;
  • Demonstrated ability or understanding of cultural competency and a thoughtful approach to engaging a community and/or site;
  • Demonstrated ability or readiness to execute site-responsive work, in alignment with project schedules and budgets;
  • Artist communicates flexibility and collaborative attitude with stakeholders and project teams. (Familiarity with public agencies and construction processes will be a requirement for some projects.)
MAKKEWEKS by Wowhaus, Snow Park

MAKKEWEKS by Wowhaus, Snow Park


Click Here to access the application via SlideRoom.

You will be asked to provide the following information on the application: 

  • Name & Contact Information Please submit your name, phone, email, residential address, work address (if applicable), website/social media (optional). Your personal contact information will only be shared with Public Art Program staff. 


  • Artwork Samples: Submit 8-10 images of your completed work that demonstrate your creative skills and aesthetic approach. Up to 2 of the past work submissions may be video files (one minute or less). If applying as a team, please submit images that show the result of your team’s collaboration if available and specify your role in the creation of the work. 


  • Image Descriptions: When you upload your images, SlideRoom™ will prompt you to provide information about each image. Please include the title, medium, year, location and client (if applicable), and a brief description about each work (3 sentences maximum) that includes the size of the work and your specific role if it was a team project. If you are including examples of completed public art commissions, please include the budget. 

    Recognizing that generative artificial intelligence (AI) programs may constitute part of the artist’s/designer's toolbox, we permit the use of AI tools in preparing submissions but require disclosure of their use. Any substantively AI-generated image you submit must be so labelled on the image and must also be declared.


  • Artist Statement/Bio: (2000 characters maximum) Describe your experience and approach to artmaking, and the inspirations/interests reflected in your artwork. Share your experience in public art, and on design team collaborations, if applicable. If you have not previously executed a public art project, explain how you would approach working in this field.

    If applying as a team, describe your individual roles. If your team has not worked together before, please describe how you propose to do so.


  • Project Budget Category: Select budget category/categories under $100,000, over $100,000, or both. 


  • Artist Apprenticeship / Training Program (optional): For select projects, an emerging public artist may be selected to work with an experienced public artist. Indicate if you are interested in being matched as a mentor with an emerging public artist. Or indicate if you are interested in being matched as an apprentice with an experienced artist mentor.


  • Race/Ethnicity Information (optional): For City reporting purposes only. This information will not influence application results. Check all that apply.


Applications for the Public Art Prequalified Artist Roster must be submitted online through the SlideRoom™ application system ( 

Tutorials and guidance for using SlideRoom™ are available from the SlideRoom Applicant Help Center. Applicants may receive technical support from SlideRoom™ by emailing from Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm Central Time. Responses are typically provided within 48 business hours.



Submissions must be received as a complete application in SlideRoom™ no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on August 16, 2024. We recommend submitting your complete application before 3:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) to allow sufficient time to contact our program or SlideRoom™ staff regarding any difficulties. Please also note that City of Oakland offices will be closed after 5:00 pm. Incomplete, non-compliant and/or late submittals will not be reviewed, nor will materials not specifically requested in this call. This Call to Artists is also available online on the Cultural Affair Division’s website at

For more information about the City of Oakland’s Public Art Prequalified Artist Roster or the Public Art Program, please contact Kristen Zaremba, at / (510) 238-2155 and/or Josie de Mira, at / (510) 238-7033.



Additional workshop resources for working in public art are available on the Oakland Public Art Website on our Workshops & Trainings page. 

Join our free Application Workshop webinar that will cover strategies for making a strong application and provide an introduction to SlideRoom: July 17, 2024, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

No registration needed. Please use the Zoom information provided below to join.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 882 5307 5294

Dial in: (669) 444-9171

Mosaics at West Oakland Youth Center by Trust Your Struggle Collective

Mosaics at West Oakland Youth Center by Trust Your Struggle Collective


Acceptance of Proposals

The City of Oakland Cultural Affairs Division reserves the right to reject all applications and/or subsequent design proposals or to augment the roster of applicants by direct invitation as needed. 

Proposal Policy

If an artist or artist team is paid to develop a digital or physical proposal maquette, or other conceptual design materials for a proposal, the following policy shall apply. The Cultural Affairs Division shall:

  • At its sole discretion, have unconditional rights to own digital or physical proposal boards or maquettes, or other design materials produced as a part of this selection and/or commission process.
  • Have the right to display and/or reproduce any maquettes or proposal commissioned, whether selected for implementation or not.
  • Require that all concepts, proposals and/or maquettes submitted are original and unique. 

Americans with Disabilities Act

The selected artist(s) will be required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in addition to related federal, state and local codes and will be encouraged to develop artwork(s) sensitive to programmatic as well as physical accessibility issues.

Other Requirements

Any selected artists or artist teams, once recommended for a project and approved by the City, shall be asked to enter a contract with the City of Oakland for the duration of the project. All proposed locations and concepts for artworks are subject to approval by the City and/or other representatives. Depending on the specific scope of the project, prior to the issuance and throughout the duration of the contract, the artist may be required to secure and maintain various types of insurance, including Automobile Liability, General Liability, Fine Arts and other insurance as required by the City.

All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract and these provisions are subject to change.

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