Call to Artists – $100,000 Plaza Artworks



Proposals Accepted from May 29 – June 26, 2018

Starting on May 29, 2018, artists can apply at

DEADLINE: June 26, 2018

BUDGET: $100,000 (two artists will each be awarded a $100,000 grant in this call)



Burning Man Project is pleased to announce a third opportunity for artists to create artwork for the City of Mountain View’s Charleston East public plaza — site of the City’s new public park and Google’s new Charleston East campus. It is currently under construction and due to be completed in early/mid 2020. Burning Man Project is collaborating on the process of community engagement, along with selecting, creating and installing the artworks, as part of its ongoing efforts to promote opportunities for artists to create art and share it with the world.

The call is open to artists, artist teams, community groups working with designers, architects, landscape architects, or place-keeping experts who are interested in creating a newly commissioned exterior art installation that serves as an activation point for the Charleston East plaza site, for the Mountain View community and for the Google campus.

Situated at the southeast corner of the campus, Charleston East plaza will serve as a place where the City of Mountain View and Google may host events, performances, and gatherings that bring the community together.  Seen as a place to serve the community and generate opportunities for play, Charleston East Plaza is a part of a contiguous set of parks and wetlands that serve the bayshore area.



The artwork should be referent to the following design attributes:

  • Dynamic
  • Interactive
  • Delightful and surprising
  • Inspires curiosity
  • Fun and approachable
  • Offers interesting lighting at night
  • Memorable
  • Doesn’t conflict with or overshadow the building architecture


Other Important Considerations

  • Artwork Details / Requirements
    • Dimensions – footprint must not exceed 23’4” feet in diameter.
    • Type of surface – artwork will be situated on a paved surface or within landscape as noted on the Location Map.
    • Must be a new artwork (not pre-existing) that is conceived exclusively for placement at the Charleston East campus.
  • Materials – Seeking both “tech-based interactives” and “noble materials”
    • Tech-based interactives – Artworks that employ technology – such as digital sensors, computer-controlled lights and images, or robotics – to encourage viewer interaction and involvement with the piece.
    • Noble materials – Artworks made from high quality natural materials that are likely to be hand crafted, such as metal, stone, and wood.
  • Infrastructure
    • Artwork must include base and/or anchoring element designed to install on a flat surface and anchor into the ground.
    • Artwork design and budget should include any intrinsic lighting.
    • Lighting plan will need to address environmental impact on local bird estuary (details to come at proposal stage).
    • Electrical power and wifi will be available at the artwork sites.
    • Any other special infrastructure needs should be called out in the proposal.

NOTE: Please reference the Selection Process section of this call; not all requirements will be requested at the Concept Statement phase.



The Artwork should be designed for the designated locations on the Charleston East plaza. Please review the Location Map for specific details.



The budget for each Plaza Artwork in this call is $100,000 (two artists will each be awarded $100,000 to complete their projects). Artists, designers, architects or teams invited to submit a full proposal will be required to provide a detailed budget including the cost of labor, materials and logistics for the creation, execution, and installation of the artwork as described above. In some instances, installation assistance may be provided by Google (please articulate any specific requests you may have for equipment or installation support outside of the stated budget parameters).



Artworks will be selected based upon the following criteria:

  • An artistic vision that:
    • Delivers on the design attributes noted above (dynamic, interactive, fun, etc.)
    • Encourages use of the plaza as a gathering place for the Mountain View community
    • Displays sensitivity to community residents and businesses
  • Evidence of previous works of the highest caliber and effective execution
  • Demonstrated ability to complete work within a specified timeframe and budget



The selection process will consist of four stages:

1. Concept Statements

a. In response to this call, artists are invited to submit Concept Statements (see application below).

2. Full Proposals (Semi-Finalists)

a. A small group of artists whose Concept Statements fit the project intent and stated criteria, and are consistent with the messages we glean from our community engagement work (see FAQs for more information about the Community Engagement opportunities), will be invited to submit full proposals (Semi-Finalists).

b. Full proposals to include: detailed project description, renderings, detailed budget, materials list (must meet healthy materials requirements), timeline with key milestones and critical path items, plan for community involvement (if relevant), identified build location and build team, and references.

3. Interviews / Presentations (Finalists)

a. The proposals will be reviewed (using a range of stakeholder inputs) and the field narrowed to six Finalists who will be invited for an interview.

b. Finalists will be given funding support to prepare a digital presentation of the proposed project, a maquette or 3D rendering, and fabrication drawings.

c. Finalists will be provided with consultation support and preparation assistance by volunteer professionals within the Burning Man community. Such assistance could include support in creating the 3D rendering in AutoCad, opportunity to practice presentation and get feedback, and engineering response (no official engineering opinions, stamped drawings, or draftsmanship included). This is optional for the artist, subject to the availability of volunteers, and will be provided by experts who are not involved in the selection process.

d. Finalists will be interviewed in person at Google headquarters in Sunnyvale, or by Skype (accommodation for an in-person interview in San Francisco may be possible).

4. Selected Artists Announced – Late 2018 or early 2019

a. Two artists will each be awarded $100,000 to complete their projects.

b. Artist woodshedding in the first half of 2019 to include test models, review of stamped engineering drawings, review of site specifications and design refinement.

c. Art fabrication to take place in the second half of 2019.

d. Installation by March 2020.


NOTE: Artists will not be reimbursed for the cost of initial proposals, only for Finalist presentations. Digital documents should be on 8.5 x 11 paper layout.



  • May 29, 2018: SUBMISSIONS OPEN. 12:00AM Pacific Time. Burning Man Project available to respond to questions during submission period.
  • June 26, 2018: SUBMISSIONS CLOSE. 11:59PM Pacific Time.
  • July 17, 2018: Semi-Finalists selected. Artists notified and invited to submit full proposals.
  • August 14, 2018: Full proposals due. 11:59PM Pacific Time.
  • Nov 1, 2018: Finalists selected. Artists notified and invited to present proposals.
  • Early December, 2018: Finalist presentations. Artists to submit a graphic presentation and maquette, interviews conducted in person or via Skype.
  • Late 2018 or early 2019: Selected artists announced.
  • March 2020:  PROJECT COMPLETION.




To qualify, artists must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Work as a professional artist or artist team (including designers, architects, and engineers).
  • Architects, community groups, and other non-professional artists are required to submit their application in conjunction with a professional artist who meets all eligibility requirements.
  • Carry personal liability insurance for the duration of the project.
  • Meet all contractual obligations and adhere to the timeline provided.
  • If selected as a Finalist, be prepared to present their concept to a selection committee.



Starting on May 29, 2018, artists can apply here. Applicants will be asked to submit the following:

  • Concept Statement – What is your concept of the artwork to be created? Why will people like it? How is it playful and interactive? How will it demonstrate the design attributes noted above?
  • Design Sketch – Show your conceptual idea graphically (full rendering not required at this stage)
  • Statement of Qualifications – Resume(s) or CV(s) of the artist and primary team members
  • Work Samples – Images and descriptions of relevant previous work



Find answers to frequently asked questions in this FAQ.



All inquiries should be directed to Burning Man Project retains the right to reject any and all submissions. All proposal materials shall become the property of Burning Man Project, while all copyrights created during the process belong to the artist.


About Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project, a nonprofit organization, produces the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, and works year-round to extend and facilitate the culture that has grown from the event into the larger world. Burning Man Project provides inspiration, connection, education, and grants to a creative ecosystem of builders, makers, artists, and community leaders. Its work spans six interconnected program areas: Art, Education, Civic Involvement, Culture, Philosophical Center, and Social Enterprise. An ever-growing global network supports and furthers these efforts in 44 U.S. states and 37 countries around the world. The vision of the Burning Man organization is to bring experiences to people in grand, awe-inspiring and joyful ways that lift the human spirit, address social problems and inspire a sense of culture, community and personal engagement.


About Google Inc.

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