(CLOSED) Call for Artists: St. Mary’s Square Public Art Project

St. Mary’s Square Public Art Project

Call for Artists 

Application Deadline:

Monday, March 14, 2016.

Info Session:

2:30pm, Thursday, February 25, 2016

See details below.

Thank you for your interest. The application deadline has closed. CCC received a record 100+ applications for the St. Mary’s Square Public Art Project from artists, architects, and landscape designers from 64 cities and 13 countries.

Stay tuned for selection results on CCC’s Facebook page in late March 2016

*Click here to access all application references including the RFP.

RFP Issue Date: January 29, 2016

Project Summary:

Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco (CCC) is requesting proposals for a permanent public art piece that will be installed on a rooftop park connected to the St. Mary’s Square, at Pine and Kearny Streets in Chinatown, San Francisco. The public art is expected to be completed by early 2017. The rooftop park is located on the fifth story of a new office building at 500 Pine Street. The site is the former location of the Kong Chow Temple, a historic building of the Kong Chow Benevolent Association founded by Chinese immigrants in 1854. St. Mary’s Square was an important core area of Chinatown for Chinese settlers during the mid-19th century. The new piece will help convey a contemporary San Francisco Chinatown and could reflect and reference the former building’s cultural and historic legacy.

CCC is the lead organization for the project collaborating with 500 Pine Street Company, LLC, the sponsor of the new office project, and community stakeholders Heller Manus Architects, Chinese Historical Society of America, Chinatown Community Development Center, and the Committee for Better Parks and Recreation in Chinatown to bring an art installation into the Chinatown neighborhood, which will increase open space and community engagement in Chinatown and the Financial District.


Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists and collaboratives. Artists who have public art experiences or partner with designers and architects are strongly preferred.

Project Budget:

The 500 Pine Street Company, LLC intends to satisfy the public art requirement in San Francisco Planning Code Section 429 by financing and installing artwork with an estimated value of $145,000 in a portion of the Project’s rooftop park. The $145,000 budget shall be used for the design, materials, and installation of the public art, as well as the artist’s compensation.

Project Timeline (dates subject to change)

RFP Issue                                             Jan 29, 2016

Info Session                                   Feb 25, 2016

RFP Deadline                                March 14, 2016

First Selection                                     Late March, 2016

Artist Notification                              Late March, 2016

Finalist Proposal Due                        April 25, 2016

Final Selection                                    Early May, 2016


To Apply:

All application materials must be submitted online via www.cccgallery.org by Monday, March 14, 2016.  Application materials include:

  1. 10-20 Images of sample works, preferably public artworks
  2. Artist Bio
  3. Artist Resume / CV
  4. (optional but encouraged) Project Proposal (500 words maximum)

How to submit:

  1. Create your own account at www.cccgallery.org and log in.
  2. Add images of your sample works under the “Work” and tag them all with “stmary
  3. Under “My Page – Profile Information”, add Bio, Resume/CV, and/or Project Proposal.  

* Privacy setting of your sample works can be changed under “Options”. Resume/CV and proposal can only be viewed by administrator.

* Applicants can also email all materials as one PDF document not to exceed 5MB to Anqi Li (anqi@c-c-c.org).


Selection Considerations:

  1. Complete application submitted prior to the application deadline.
  2. Artwork examples represent the artist’s own original work and reflect artistic excellence.
  3. Availability of participating in public hearings and community presentations, implementing the project as required, overseeing the production and installation of the work.
  4. Proven ability to meet project deadlines and to perform work in a timely and professional manner.


Selection Procedure:

All application materials that meet requirements will be reviewed and selected by the Chinese Culture Center Public Art Panel. Three finalists will be notified by CCC staff once selection has been made. Each finalist will be given a $1,000 stipend to prepare and submit a full project proposal by Monday, April 25th, 2016 with specified requirements.

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Info Session:

2:30pm Thursday, February 25, 2016, applicants are highly encouraged to attend an Info Session to get a comprehensive understanding of the public art project, the 500 Pine Street building, the history of the Kong Chow Temple, and the dynamic Chinatown community. The session will start at the Chinese Culture Center at 2:30pm. Please RSVP to Anqi Li (anqi@c-c-c.org).


2:30pm      Project Introduction (10min)

                    Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco

                    750 Kearny Street 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

2:40pm      Walk to 500 Pine Street (10min)

2:50pm      Site Visit with the Building Architects (30min)

                    500 Pine Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

3:20pm      Democracy Walk – Chinatown’s Past and Present (40min)

                     Starts from 500 Pine Street; Ends at 855 Stockton Street.

4:00pm      Kong Chow Temple Tour (30min)

                     855 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108


For Questions Regarding the RFP:

Visit Chinese Culture Center during office hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9:30am-6pm, Saturday: 10am-4pm. Or contact Anqi Li by email at anqi@c-c-c.org.


Background Information and Other References:

The location of the St. Mary’s Square Public Art Project is the former site of the Kong Chow Temple. It housed the red-faced, long-bearded Guan Yu, but was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire. We encourage all artists to read the Kong Chow Temple Report generated by the Chinese Historical Society of America before applying. Click here to access the report online. 

The construction drawings, photos, and design package is provided by Heller Manus Architects. Click here to access files online.


About CCC:

Chinese Culture Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1965 dedicated to sparking intercultural discovery through art, education, and engagement. CCC shifts the dominant narrative on Asian Americans through contemporary art. Some previous exhibitions and programs are Present Tense – Future Perfect 2015, Social Botany: Keywords Lab • San Francisco, and Sky Bridge, a temporary public art installation that was named the Best Public Art of 2015 by KQED.

About the Developer:

500 Pine Street Company, LLC is the real estate developer of the office building at 500 Pine Street, San Francisco.

About Other Organizations:

Chinatown Community Development Center is a place-based community development organization that builds community and enhance the quality of life for San Francisco residents.

The Chinese Historical Society of America is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America.

Heller Manus Architects is a San Francisco based architecture firm providing architectural and urban design for public and private sector clients.

The Kong Chow Benevolent Association, founded in 1854, was the first Chinese benevolent society formed in America. The original Kong Chow temple was built in 1857 at 520 Pine Street and replaced with a new building at Clay and Stockton Streets in the 1960s.

Committee for Better Parks and Recreation for Chinatown is a long standing advocate for preserving the neighborhood’s limited open space.