Public Art Sought to Celebrate San Antonio Tricentennial

Public Art Sought to Celebrate San Antonio Tricentennial


 San Antonio, TX, Unknown

Bexar County, Texas, has engaged the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) to assist Bexar County in selecting an artist for a commission to install a permanent public artwork at the newly renovated San Pedro Creek Plaza at the Phase 1 of a significant County-funded public works project: San Pedro Creek Improvements Project in San Antonio, Texas.  The artwork will serve as the signature Tricentennial public art work that commemorates the Tricentennial of Bexar County and the City of San Antonio.

The Tricentennial Artwork will engage the viewers in a thoughtful and celebratory way, and reflect the rich interweaving of cultures that define Bexar County and San Antonio. The site is near the location where the first Spanish Colonial Mission was founded, Mission San Antonio de Valero, which was later moved to the San Antonio River and became known as the Alamo. This commission is an official project recognized by the Joint Bexar County/City of San Antonio Tricentennial Commission. The Tricentennial celebration year is 2018 and the commemorative week will be May 1-6. This art installation will emphasize the historic importance of San Pedro Creek and convey the story and culture of Bexar County and San Antonio. The site offers a unique opportunity to create a landmark for the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project that will dramatically transform the Westside of downtown San Antonio.

The art budget for the San Pedro Creek Tricentennial Art Installation is $735,000. The budget includes but is not limited to: all artist design and project management fees; artist travel; artist models and renderings of artworks; the fabrication, transportation, and installation of artwork; required insurance; signage for the artwork; and documentation of the final art installation. Additionally, a stipend of $5,000 will be provided by Bexar County to each of three finalists during the competitive selection process.

The project is open to all artists, age 18 and over, regardless of residence, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical or mental disability. Artist teams are eligible to apply, including teams of artists from multiple disciplines. Teams must include at least one visual artist or new media artist. Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.

Artwork Goals
The artwork commissioned for this site will be an iconic representation of San Antonio’s unity and diversity by honoring its past and embodying its future. We seek a dynamic artwork that supports the cultural mandate of the project, to create a “culture park.” The plaza at the beginning of the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project is the selected location for this Tricentennial Artwork because it is located at what is considered to be the founding of San Antonio de Bejar – both the first of five Missions, San Antonio de Valero, and the Presidio de Bejar were founded on the Creek.  As the community evolved cultures, languages, values, and religions were interwoven over hundreds of years, and are still evident today. Revered as a life source (for drinking, abundant flora and fauna, and irrigation), the spring-fed creek provided direction for settlement. The creek eventually ceased to bring lives together and resulted in segregation, emerging as a dividing line between Anglo and Hispanic populations. Returning its healing spirit and embracing its ability to unite the community is part of the creek’s legacy and the goal of the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project.   Additional information on the history of the creek, a historical narrative and mythic narrative are available on the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project website:


  • July 8, 2016: Request for Qualifications for an “Open Call for Artists” is issued
  • July 22, 2016: Information session for interested artists
  • August 12, 2016: Artist’s Request for Qualifications submittals due
  • August 15–19, 2016: Selection committees and stakeholder review proposals
  • August 23, 2016 Bexar County Commissioners Court approve shortlisted finalists
  • August 24, 2016 Shortlisted finalists receive Request for Proposals
  • October 17, 2016 Proposals due from finalists
  • October 18-25, 2016 Selection committees and stakeholder reviews of finalists’ proposals, and interviews conducted
  • November 1, 2016 Bexar County Commissioners Court select and approve artist
  • December 2016 Artist contract with SARA issued
  • April 5, 2018 Completed installation (in time for Tricentennial Celebration)
  • May 1-7, 2018 Public ceremony to dedicate the Tricentennial Artwork


Selection Process
The process will occur in two phases. During the first phase, artists are invited to submit qualifications through a process that will be reviewed by an advisory committee consisting of local community leaders, artists, elected officials, government staff, Tricentennial chairs, historians, art program directors and property owners. A limited number of finalists, with a maximum of three, will be chosen. During the second phase, the selected finalists will be asked to submit proposals for which they will each receive a $5,000 honorarium upon delivery of the proposal by October 17, 2016. The honorarium includes the cost of travel to interview and all costs of preparing the proposal. Proposals will detail the finalist’s conceptual approach for artwork at the site and presentations must be made in person or via Skype, and describe the concept, materials, size, weight, installation requirements, maintenance requirements, and budget. Finalists will be interviewed after the submission of the proposals and one artist or artist team will be selected for the commission. A recommendation for approval of the selected artist will be presented at the subsequent regular meeting of Bexar County Commissioners Court. Once approved, the artist will contract with SARA, the Project Manager of the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project.

Selection Criteria
At the RFQ phase, artists should demonstrate the following:
1) Experience to complete a public project in a prominent location, with a budget of this size.
2) Sensitivity, creativity and engagement with diverse community.
3) Interest in the way that San Pedro Creek influenced the development and culture of San Antonio.
4) Narrative of approach to this specific project.
5) A schedule that allows for the installation to be complete by April 5, 2018.

How to Apply

Artists interested in being considered should submit the materials requested in the request for qualifications no later than August 12, 2016, 11:59 p.m. Central Time through Slideroom, an online application system. The application can be accessed by visiting: is no application fee to use the Slideroom online application system. Visit to access the application and sign up for a Slideroom account. Applicants can receive support by emailing: or by accessing a help desk here: Applications mailed or delivered to San Antonio River Authority will be considered ineligible and will not be accepted.

Bridget Hinze, or 210-302-3257

Please review the full Request for Qualifications for complete project, site and application information.