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RFP Issued for Taxiway Asphalt Art Project

West End Arts District seeks creative proposals for giant artwork

Do you think big? How big? Could you imagine an artwork that would fill a 13-acre section of the former taxiway of the Naval Air Station Alameda? Now that the area is rapidly changing and being redeveloped into the Alameda Point Waterfront District, the West End Arts District (WEAD) is seeking proposals to turn a vast blank stretch of former taxiway into a canvas for a giant artwork.

The blue rectangle shows the site proposed along the North side of Seaplane Lagoon by WEAD for the project.

WEAD is seeking proposals from artists for the vast concrete/asphalt slab that stretches along the North side of Seaplane Lagoon, near the new Ferry Terminal, Naval Air Museum, Almanac Beer, Bladium Fitness Club, and Saildrone. It connects Waterfront Park with Spirits Alley (home to Building 43, Dashe Cellars, Scolari’s, Faction Brewing, St. George Spirits and others) on Monarch Street. The historic location has panoramic views of San Francisco and the entire Bay from the South Bay to Marin County.

Impressive views and neighbors

Alameda Post - Taxiway overview
The grey box indicates the proposed area along the North side of Seaplane Lagoon connecting Waterfront Park with Spirits Alley. Photo Maurice Ramirez for WEAD.

Waterfront Park opened recently at the eastern end of the taxiway. An extension of the park bordering the taxiway is anticipated during the next development phase. The taxiway is already a popular spot for walking, biking, skating and occasionally land sailing. With the extension of the park, a temporary performance space that is coming soon, and other planned development, this area has the potential to become a focus for community gathering and WEAD believes that a large-scale asphalt artwork would encourage people to appreciate the value and potential of this waterfront expanse.

The immense slab offers many possible uses for artists, including large-scale murals, abstract designs, augmented reality environments, games, interactive pieces and many other ideas that have yet to be imagined. The primary goal of the project is to beautify and revitalize the area, and encourage residents and visitors to use the area for recreation, cycling, and walking. The secondary goal is to connect businesses at either end of the taxiway and encourage more traffic to the area. As well, the project is intended to consider the representation and engagement of the diverse communities living and working at Alameda Point.

Taxiway project details

The total project budget is $60,000, with the artist’s contract being 77% of the total budget, or $46,500. In this first phase of the project, the artist will work with WEAD to carry out detailed onsite research including reaching out to communities living and working in Alameda Point. Also during Phase One, the artist will propose a design and a budget for phase two.

Using the proposal from the selected artist, WEAD will raise funding. Phase Two, implementation of the design with the artist and a team of volunteers, will take place in Summer/Fall of 2023 but is dependent on fundraising efforts. WEAD anticipates that the artist will rely on a team of volunteer painters to complete the project within the budget. WEAD staff will manage volunteer outreach and management in support of the artist.

About West End Arts District

Alameda Post - Waterfront park overview
An overview of Waterfront Park looking out over the proposed artwork site with San Francisco in the background. Photo Maurice Ramirez for WEAD.

WEAD is an emerging nonprofit connecting artists, community members, funders, and audiences to create exciting art experiences that foster a vibrant community and position the West End of Alameda as a regional hub for the visual and performing arts. Since launching their annual flagship event in 2015 (Blues, Brews, and BBQ) WEAD has expanded their programming to include free arts and community-building events. These art activations include Animate Dance Festival, West End Night Market, Webster Gateway Mural, outdoor art installations, and more. WEAD believes these community art projects are fundamental catalysts to the revitalization of Alameda Point.

How to apply

The full RFP is available in Google Docs. Individuals and teams of artists are encouraged to apply.

Those who are interested should submit the following:

  1. Contact details.
  2. A letter of interest. Provide a description of your artistic focus, career highlights and qualifications and particular interest in this project.
  3. A resume. If you are applying as a team, please include your team/ studio resume. If that is not available, please combine the individual resumes of each team member into one document.
  4. Up to five samples of previous work.

Submit proposals to [email protected]. The deadline for proposals is June 24, 2022.

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