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Specification No. 23-11541-C

Aquatic Park Sculpture Public Art Project

RFQ Issue Date: October 11, 2022

Applicant Questions Due: November 15, 2022

Application Deadline: December 12, 2022 (by 5 PM Pacific Time)

Answers to Applicant Questions: Addendum "A" 


Berkeley Civic Arts invites artists and artists teams to submit qualifications for a public art commission at Aquatic Park.


Located in the southwest corner of Berkeley; Aquatic Park is a long linear 100-acre park between Ashby and University Avenues. The lagoon makes up 67.7 acres of the park; has two water sources—tidal water from San Francisco Bay and fresh water from storm water that drains into the lagoon. The park provides a wide range of recreational opportunities including, walking, biking, picnicking, boating, bird watching and Frisbee golf. Swimming and fishing are not allowed.

Aquatic Park was constructed between 1935 and 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was built as part of the Berkeley Waterfront Project along with the construction of the Bayshore Highway and Yacht Harbor. Tide gates were constructed to help keep the water level constant in Aquatic Park Lake. A citywide celebration entitled “Pageant of the Land and Sea” was held on May 7, 1937, to formally dedicate the park for public use.

Aquatic Park Lake was designed to conform to international standards for Model Yacht Racing, and in 1938 both the National and Pacific Coast Regatta for M-class Boats were held at the park.

Through the years, community participation has played a key role in the development of various features at Aquatic Park. Most recently, over 2,000 volunteers organized through Friends of Aquatic Park and Berkeley Partners for Parks participated in creating "Dream Land for Kids"; a fantasy playground designed by Berkeley school children under the guidance of architect Robert Leathers and Associates.


Berkeley Civic Arts seeks to commission a series of permanent sculptural artworks, at various locations along Aquatic Park Trail and/or Bolivar Drive, that inspire movement and exploration throughout Aquatic Park. Aquatic Park Trail is a 2.3-mile pedestrian and bicycle path that loops around the park’s lagoon. Sculptures may be placed in existing park conditions at multiple sites along the pathway.

Bolivar Drive between Addison Street to Dreamland Playground in Aquatic Park is undergoing a renovation in conjunction with the development at 600 Addison Street. Sculptures may be integrated with newly landscaped areas.


The goals for the artwork are:

· To enhance a visitor’s experience of Aquatic Park by beautifying its context, reflecting the multi-layered history of the site, and highlighting its ecological importance.

· To create a series of durable sculptures that can withstand public interaction and the natural elements.


The project budget is $350,000 inclusive of the artist fee, design, fabrication, transportation, and installation of the artwork.


Professional practicing artists residing in the United States are eligible to apply.


a. Artist will enter into a Professional Services Agreement with the City of Berkeley. The anticipated agreement term is from August 2023 – July 2025.

b. Artists will design, fabricate, transport and install a series of sculptural artworks at Aquatic Park for an amount not to exceed $350,000.

c. Artist will attend meetings and site visits, and supply shop drawing, renderings and material samples as needed to complete the project.

d. Artist will provide a maintenance plan for the artwork.



In order to be considered for this public art opportunity, applicants must submit a fully completed application using the online portal, Submittable and provide all required application materials. Applications that are mailed, emailed, or hand-delivered will not be considered.

The application consists of the following components:

a. Letter of Interest

Provide a description of your artistic focus, career highlights and qualifications, and particular interest in this project. One page maximum. Acceptable file types: .doc, .docx, .pdf.

b. Resume

If you are applying as a team, please include your team/studio resume. If that is not available, please combine the individual resumes (one right after the other) of each team member into one document. Acceptable file types: .doc, .docx, .pdf.

c. Ten images of previous work

Acceptable file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff

d. Image List

Provide a list of artworks with the title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project. You may also include a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work. Acceptable file types: .doc, .docx, .pdf.



Artistic Merit may be judged by such measures as originality of concept and artistic vision; the degree to which the work engages the viewer emotionally, intellectually, spiritually; the quality of craftsmanship or mastery of skills and techniques. Artistic merit may also be credited to artwork that reflects a significant or direct relationship between the artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.


Review Panels and the Civic Arts Commission shall consider the assessed ability of an artist to successfully implement a proposed project, such as the ability to work constructively with other project stakeholders, meet deadlines, willingness to resolve issues as they arise, and generally manage the demands of the project. Cultural competency and/or significant connection between the artist and the project constituency, or experience that may particularly qualify an artist to meet project goals may also be considered.


The proposed artwork (or the assessed ability of an artist to design a proposal) meets the specific goals of the project as defined in the RFQ.


The artwork or proposed artwork is appropriate for its intended display location in terms of scale, media, design or imagery and is judged to be relevant within the context of the surrounding area.


Proposed objects shall be evaluated relative to their feasibility and evidence of the artist’s ability to successfully complete the work as proposed. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to project budget, timeline, and the artist’s experience. Due consideration shall be given to the structural and surface soundness, and to inherent resistance to theft, vandalism and weathering, and to the cost and amount of ongoing maintenance and/or repair anticipated.


A local business is defined as “a business firm with fixed offices or distribution points located within the City of Berkeley boundaries and listed in the Permits and License Tax paid file, with a Berkeley business street address.”

Pricing is not considered while reviewing competitive responses for professional services. When evaluating a technical response for professional services, local Berkeley business can earn an additional five (5) points by meeting the following years as a local Berkeley-based business:

Years as a Local Business

Years in Berkeley / Additional Points

0 - 5 Years: 1 Point

6 - 10 Years: 2 Points

11 - 15 Years: 3 Points

16 - 20 Years: 4 Points

20+ Years: 5 Points

As an example, if a firm is evaluated and their score is 85/100, and they have been a (verifiable) Berkeley business for 25 years, five (5) points would be added to their score under the heading of “local vendor preference”, and their adjusted score would be 90/100.



Civic Arts staff will review applications to identify a list of prequalified artists using the list below:

Criteria / Points

Artistic Merit: 1 - 35 Points

Relevant Skills & Experience: 1 - 30 Points

The Artist’s Past Work is Appropriate to the Site: 1 - 30 Points

Local Vendor Preference: 1 - 5 Points

Maximum Points: 100 Points


This list of prequalified artists will be presented to the Aquatic Park Public Art Review Panel consisting of 2 arts professionals, a Civic Arts Commissioner, a Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Commissioner, and a community representative. The panel will identify 3-4 finalists for this opportunity. Criteria for this phase of the process are:

Criteria / Points

Artistic Merit: 1 - 50 Points

Relevant Skills & Experience: 1 - 45 Points

Local Vendor Preference: 1 - 5 Points

Maximum Points: 100 Points


Finalists will be invited to develop conceptual site-specific proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders. Finalists will be paid an honorarium of $1,000 for development of a proposal.


The Panel will reconvene to consider the finalists’ proposals in an interview format and will select 1 artist/artist team for this opportunity for recommendation to the Civic Art Commission for final approval. Criteria for this phase of the process are:

Criteria / Points

Artistic Merit: 1 - 20 Points

Relevant Skills & Experience: 1 - 15 Points

Meet Project Goals: 1 - 20 Points

The Artist’s Proposal is Appropriate to the Site: 1 - 20 Points

Feasibility, Maintainability: 1 - 20 Points

Local Vendor Preference: 1 - 5 Points

Maximum Points: 100 Points

The City reserves the right to reject any and all submissions.

VI. SCHEDULE (dates are subject to change)

  • Issue RFQ to Potential Bidders: October 11, 2022
  • Questions Due November 15, 2022
  • Application Deadline December 12, 2022 (by 5 PM Pacific)
  • Complete Selection Process May 2023
  • Council Approval of Contract July 2023
  • Award of Contract Date July 2023
  • Sign and Process Contract Date August 2023
  • Notice to Proceed Date August 2023


For questions concerning the anticipated work, or scope of the project, please contact Zoe Taleporos, Public Art Program Lead, via email at ZTaleporos@CityofBerkeley.info no later than November 15, 2022. Answers to questions will not be provided by telephone or email. Answers to all questions or any addenda will be posted on the City of Berkeley’s Civic Art site at https://berkeleyca.gov/community-recreation/civic-arts. It is the vendor’s responsibility to check this site.


Submittable technical support is available on their website https://www.submittable.com/help/submitter/ or by emailing support@submittable.com. Their business hours are 9am-5pm MT. They aim to respond within 24 business hours.

To read the full RFQ with City contracting and payment requirements, please click here.

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