September 17, 2004

Port of San Diego Seeking Artists for Three Public Art Projects

Opportunities for artists to have their talent displayed along San Diego Bay are currently available through the Port of San Diego’s Public Art Program. Requests for Proposals have been issued for three new projects. They include: a “trompe l’oeil mural for the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, a tribute to San Diego’s cannery workers and a site furnishings and amenities program. Below is a brief description of each project.

Trompe-l’oeil Mural for Cruise Ship Terminal: This project involves designing, fabricating, painting and installing a trompe-l’oeil mural on the facade of the cruise ship terminal building. The artist is asked to recreate the image of the former 1920s-era Broadway Pier building as depicted in an historical photograph, which will be provided. The terminal is in the midst of a bustling tourist area where thousands of visitors pass daily. This year, nearly 200 cruise ships called at the Port of San Diego bringing approximately 500,000 passengers. The purpose of this project is to enhance the aesthetics of the existing building and to enliven the pedestrian experience along the waterfront promenade. The budget range for this project is $35,000 to $75,000.

Cannery Workers Tribute: Tuna canning was one of Southern California’s leading industries from the 1920s through the 1960s. In 1951, there were five large canneries in San Diego, marketing tuna brands such as “Star-Kist” and “Chicken of the Sea.” Over 17,000 employees worked in the tuna canning factories and approximately 800 vessels brought the tuna into San Diego Harbor. To honor the contributions these workers brought to San Diego, the Port of San Diego is seeking an artist team to design a large-scale public art project. The site of the project is an approximately 4,000-square-foot parcel at the southeast corner of Cesar E. Chavez Parkway and Harbor Drive, on the leasehold of Continental Maritime of San Diego. The design team will create a life-size sculpture and public plaza that will become a pedestrian route linking the community to the waterfront. The budget for this project is $275,000 to $345,000.

Site Furnishings and Amenities Program: The Port has also issued a Request for Proposals for a Site Furnishings and Amenities Program. Examples of site furnishings include bollards, seating, lighting standards, playground items, shade structures and trash/recycling receptacles. The Public Art department is developing a portfolio of artistic and functional site furnishings for its tideland parks and public spaces around San Diego Bay. The purpose of this project is to present the waterfront as a fun, inviting atmosphere where the community can relax and enjoy the views. The budget for this project varies depending on need.

Deadlines and additional Information: The deadline is receive proposals for the trompe-l’oeil mural and the cannery workers tribute is November 1, 2004. The site furnishings and amenities project will be ongoing, although artists are encouraged to submit items beginning November 15, 2004 for the public art portfolio. Interested artists may download Requests for Proposals at or request a copy by calling (619) 686-7246.

The Port’s Public Art Program was created in 1996 to promote a healthy, vibrant atmosphere that contributes to the quality and identity of the region. The Port enacted the first “percent for art” program in San Diego County and now dedicates one percent of its projected revenues each year toward a public art fund that is used for the acquisition and maintenance of public artworks on Port tidelands.

The Port of San Diego is a public benefit corporation and special government entity. Created in 1963 by an act of the California legislature, the Port manages San Diego harbor and administers the public lands along San Diego Bay. The Port has operated without tax dollars since 1970 and has been responsible for $1.5 billion in public improvements in its five member cities-Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego. With a $3.7 billion economic impact on the San Diego region, the Port oversees two marine terminals, a cruise ship terminal, 16 public parks, various wildlife reserves and environmental initiatives, a Harbor Police Department and the leases of over 600 tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

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