Calling all Artists!

calling all artists

Apply to design our first San Mateo County Park posters!


Request for Qualifications: We are seeking three artists to create the first three San Mateo County Park posters

Issued: June 5, 2023

Entry Deadline: July 14, 2023

Contact: Leslie Holzman, Membership & Communications Coordinator, or 650-321-5812 (main office)

Artist fee: $2,500



Project Overview: In celebration of the San Mateo County Park Foundation’s 25th anniversary and San Mateo County Parks’ centennial, the Parks Foundation seeks three professional or emerging artists to design a poster for three of the 24 amazing San Mateo County Parks. The poster design shall capture the essence of the specified county park. We are seeking artists to design posters for 1) our first county park, Memorial Park, 2) the rocky seashore of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and 3) Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, known for its spring wildflower displays. In the future, we expect to commission artists to design posters for additional parks on a rolling basis.

Each park poster will be designed by a different artist. Unifying design details will be incorporated into each design, such as consistent border size and the park’s name and San Mateo County Parks Foundation’s name in a consistent font at the bottom of the design.

Photo by Rob Cala

photo by Rob Cala

The goal is to engage the arts community and create lasting designs that capture and celebrate the essence of each park. The chosen artist should be familiar with their assigned park. Memorial Park is a popular camping spot in the redwoods with Pescadero Creek flowing through it. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve hosts a community of marine life, like crabs, sponges and seastars, who make their home in that area between low and high tide. The serpentine grasslands of Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve are famous for their magnificent displays of wildflowers each spring. Artwork must include recognizable landmarks or park features. Artists should expect to engage with staff to learn more about the goals and criteria for the posters and to learn more about the parks themselves.

Edgewood's wildflowersMedium: All mediums except photography. Final artwork must be submitted electronically and must translate well to a poster. Saturated colors are preferred. 

Specifications: Posters will be 11”x17” and vertical.

Eligibility: Open to all professional and emerging artists, with priority given to those who live or work in San Mateo County, followed by the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma, who are 18 years and older and legally able to work in the United States. Upon review of materials, three artists will be selected, each to design a poster for one of the first three selected parks.

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Members of our jury and their immediate family
  • San Mateo County Parks Foundation staff and board members
  • County of San Mateo elected or appointed officials
  • San Mateo County Parks staff



Review Process and Timeline:

Step 1: Application period opens inviting any artist(s) interested in the project who meet the artists’ evaluation criteria to submit their qualifications and portfolio.

Application period will be open between June 5, 2023 and July 14, 2023.

  • There will be a 1-hr zoom check-in on June 20 for potential applicants to learn more and ask questions. If you are interested, please email for the meeting link.

Step 2: A jury will review submitted qualification packets and select several artists to come back for informal interviews in late July 2023.

Step 3: The jury will deliberate and select one artist each to design posters for Memorial Park, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and Edgewood Natural Preserve. All entrants will be notified by early August.

Step 4: Selected artist(s) will meet with staff to learn more about the goals of the project, the criteria for the posters and address any other questions that come up by mid-August. The artist will submit a proposal that includes a rendering of the work and a general statement about the theme and design of the work. Artists should expect to engage in some back and forth with staff regarding goals for the project.

The selected artists will each receive a $2,500 commission for their work – $1,000 paid upfront at the start of the project and $1,500 paid upon successful completion of the poster. Final, submitted artwork will become the property of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation. Final artwork must be submitted electronically by October 2023 (exact date to be determined with sufficient notice). The Foundation reserves the right to use the artwork in future marketing efforts and for possible reproduction in other formats. The Foundation also reserves the right to adjust any deadlines as needed.

photo by Elaine Reade

Artists’ Evaluation Criteria and Submittal Requirements

All are welcome to apply, including emerging and professional artists. Submissions must be delivered no later than 10:59 PM PST on Friday, July 14, 2023.

The submission must include:

1. An artist statement limited to two pages and with the following:

  1. Your interest in this specific project (or describe your connection to the park)
  2. Professional and artistic qualifications and standards of excellence in creativity and originality of style as demonstrated by past projects, as well as appropriateness of applicant’s style to the project
  3. The aesthetic direction you envision for your poster
  4. What you bring to the project as an artist
  5. Your experience with designing posters and/or with other projects of similar scope and size
  6. Your approach to developing the art project, i.e. will you visit the park?
  7. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with Parks Foundation project managers in a design-team context
  8. Any other comments that might help differentiate you as a candidate

2. A resume/CV that includes your name, address, phone number, email, and website URL as applicable.

4. At least three references from past projects (can also include instructor or mentor references) with contact information and connection to artist(s).

Please note: Selected artists will be asked to submit a bio and an inspiration statement for our website.


Please note: The following information is for the consideration of any interested applicant. This information is provided so that all applicants have a better understanding of their responsibilities and rights should they be selected and contracted by the San Mateo County Parks Foundation for this project. Agreement terms are subject to change.  

If selected to design a San Mateo County Park poster, the artist will enter a separate contract with the San Mateo County Parks Foundation. Below is a sample of the terms and conditions included in the agreement:

  • Designs will remain the sole and exclusive property of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation
  • Artists will waive all rights to the artwork
  • Artists will be credited for their work as feasible and will be profiled on our website
  • Proceeds from any and all future poster or product sales are for the San Mateo County Parks Foundation
  • San Mateo County Parks Foundation reserves the right to refuse the final artwork if it considers it inconsistent with previously accepted or agreed-upon design criteria.


Selection Jury

We are pleased to have the following professionals on our jury:

Cindy Abbott has been engaged with “Creating Community through Art” at Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, since 2012.  First serving as Board Treasurer, she was selected as Executive Director in October 2015. Ms. Abbott is an ocean, beach and parks enthusiast, also serving on the City of Pacifica’s Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission.  

Rob Cala is a Photographer, Videographer and San Mateo County Park Ranger who creates a wide range of images focusing his lens on the often-unseen elements of the natural world. Mr. Cala produces educational, informational and travel documentaries and his visual portfolio has been used in print and online to highlight the diversity of life that colors Northern California and beyond. 

Robin Rodricks assumed Directorship of San Mateo County’s new Office of Arts and Culture in June 2021 after volunteering for 8 years as a San Mateo County Arts Commissioner. Previously, she was a Marketing Manager at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Robin works to build community through arts and culture for a healthy, vibrant San Mateo County. 

Carla Schoof is San Mateo County Parks Department’s Communications Manager and part of her job is engaging diverse stakeholders in park planning efforts like Reimagine Flood Park. Prior to this role, she was a senior public affairs representative for Kaiser Permanente and a Program Coordinator for the City of Palo Alto.

Beverley Talbott hikes frequently and enthusiastically throughout the Bay Area and this led her to join the San Mateo County Parks Foundation board of directors in 2019. Before retiring, she held principal technical editor positions at Apple, Microsoft, and VMware. Ms. Talbott’s artwork has appeared in juried shows at galleries in San Francisco and elsewhere.



Please contact Leslie Holzman at or call the main office at 650-321-5812


Comments are closed.