Office of Economic Development
Office of Economic Development



Marina June ImageMarinaJune2010 image 

The Open Circle: Environmental Artwork for the Berkeley Marina

Public Art Contract awarded to

Jeffrey Reed + Jennifer Madden



Marina-June22-2010 wrkinprogress   MarinaJune 22-2010wrk in progress
June 21, 2010 beginnig with trenching for the wall footings.



Inspired by shoreline dunes and windswept forms, this earthform artpiece echoes the colors and textures found in the sandstone shorelines of the Bay.


Low berms rise up along the east side of the main path. A 30”-34” high barrier, made from a combination of earth-like concrete walls, rocks and cables, separate man (as well as man’s best friend) from the Western Owl’s habitat from October through March.  These low walls (backed with sloping clean earth) are made from environmentally friendly concrete, colored to blend in with the rocks and clay of the surrounding area. Between the undulating concrete walls is open cable fencing that spans the openings.  In three places, where asphalt paths lead into the environmentally sensitive area, cable fences will pull back to allow access from April to October.

Seating and seven education plaques are placed within the 500+-foot fence/wall. Two destination seating areas are located at both ends of the enclosed area. A literal “Open Circle” at the southeastern corner of the habitat area will become the prime destination area for observing birds and nature.  This seating area will have 30 linear feet of seating built into the retaining wall’s spiral shape, as well as a large central rock for seating. At the northeastern corner will be 18 linear feet of seating and a path between where people can sit and look across to each other and the views beyond.

A 6’-wide ADA accessible path and landing into the “Open Circle” seating will be made out of colored concrete with gravel salt finish to blend into the colored and artistic walls.


•         A “green concrete” will be used with 50% less cement quantity by substituting flyash (from refinery chimneys).  Finished walls will be at least 2000 p.s.i. with        spread footing.

•         Cable fencing between the undulating concrete walls will be made out of darkened galvanized cable and vertical poles.  The poles will be artistically designed to   bend gracefully and hold up the educational plaques.

•         9”x12” Educational plaques will be made of polycarbonate over laminated colored illustrations, held up by metal frames attached to the cable railings.

Open Circle Attributes:
– Creates a buffer for the Burrowing Owl habitat.
– Creates an educational walking tour.
– Allows views through to the water.
– Is made with environmentally low-impact concrete.
– Creates three destination areas for viewing the habitat and wildlife.
– Creates an “open circle” outdoor classroom where large groups can meet.
– Improves the overall appearance of the Marina walk.

Marina Project image 2




Three finalists for the Open Circle Berkeley Marina Public Art Project will be on public display in the Civic Arts Office on the first floor of the Martin Luther King Civic Center. The Civic Center is located at 2180 Milvia Street in Berkeley, California.

                  The public and staff are invited to view the three models on: 

Thursday, July 9, 2009 from noon to 5 p.m.

Friday, July 10, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, July 13, 2009 from 8 a.m. to noon

This public art project was made possible by the generous grant from the Open Circle Foundation. The unique site is also the part-time home of the burrowing owl and this project is in special communication with the Audubon Society. 

To find out more about this public art project please see the Civic Arts web site:

This project is part of the City of Berkeley, Public Art Program in partnership with the Civic Arts Commission. For more information call the Civic Arts Coordinator, Mary Ann Merker at (510) 981-7533.

Open Call (pdf format)  -  Word Format 


Images of Applicants Previous Work 

Agenda for Public Art Selection Panel for the Berkeley Marina 

Addendum No. 1 to supplement the terms, provisions and description of the Call of Artist

Addendum No. 2 to supplement the terms, provisions and description of the Call of Artist 

Open Circle Foundation $100,000 Grant for the City of Berkeley Public Art Program (pdf)

Open Circle Foundation:


Map of the Berkeley Marina (pdf)

Marina Project image 5   Marina Project Image 3





This project is open to all artists residing in the State of California, working with site specific environmental artwork installations in sensitive wildlife habitat areas. 


The site of this project is at the extreme Northeast corner of the former landfill area known as the Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina.  The site is adjacent to a designated Protected Natural Area of the Park, and overlooks the San Francisco Bay, with the Albany Bulb and Richmond to the North, and Golden Gate Fields and the new Gilman Regional Sports Fields to the East.   Refer to the map and photos of the site on the Civic Arts Public Art webpage (noted below) for the paved circular pathway and existing boulder to be incorporated into the installation.

Project Description:

This project is funded by the Open Circle Foundation, a supporting organization to the East Bay Community Foundation.  The amount of the grant for this project is up to $100,000 for an environmental artwork installation.  The Open Circle Foundation is dedicated to funding projects, programs and services that encourage a positive dialogue between the arts and the natural and urban environment.  The City of Berkeley Civic Arts Program provides in-kind support to this project through its administrative and management services.

The installation is intended to create a work of art that is related to, and in response to the local environment and habitat, incorporating the existing boulder and onsite materials if feasible, and to include the possibility of interactivity for all park users to enjoy.  It must consider the seasonal inhabitation of a population of Western Burrowing Owls, and provide for the safe observation of the Owls as well as other species of ground squirrels, birds, raptors and waterfowl that migrate and forage in the area.

Scale and Materials:   

The scale of the installation shall provide for a measure of physical separation of the habitat area from the main pedestrian paved pathway during periods of “wintering over” while not interfering with the views toward the water and seasonal bird habitat.  Materials shall be selected for appropriateness to the site and interactive use by park users, both adult and children, for observing the area.  Stone, rock, soil, seasonal grasses (subject to approval of the City Landscape Maintenance Department and Waterfront Manager), recycled materials, and other appropriate, durable materials may be considered for use, however, bright metal, glass, reflective surfaces, plastics, hazardous chemicals and petroleum products will not be permitted.   Artificial lighting, moving or rotating elements shall not be acceptable as part of the installation artwork.

The artwork installation shall include within its overall budget, a durable plaque of cast bronze, incised stone, or other similar permanent material, to acknowledge the funding source, date of installation, name of the artist, and relevant information, to be installed at the completion of the work and for the public opening event. 

Site Walk:    

There are two dates noted in the Project Timeline for a pre-proposal site visit and walkthrough to be conducted by representatives of the Civic Arts Commission.  While this Site Walk is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that all prospective applicants attend at least one such date for clarification of any questions prior to completing a proposal for submission.  A steady, heavy rain cancels the date. 

Public Presentation of the completed installation:  

Upon completion of the artwork installation the selected artist, or artist team shall prepare and provide a public presentation of the work, including a demonstration or description of the methodology and construction techniques used in the development of the work.  This presentation shall be organized with the assistance of the Civic Arts Coordinator to address a diverse audience, and will be scheduled on a day and time to be attended by as many Park users and members of the public as possible.

Selection Criteria:

Lists will be selected to develop proposals based upon the following criteria:

  1. As shown in relevant and recent past works, from digital .jpg images on a PC compatible CD and other supporting materials.
  2. Appropriateness of the artist’s choice of materials, medium, style and experience with similar and relevant environmental projects.
  3. Experience with projects of similar scale, scope and complexity including familiarity with public agencies and public art installations. The artist must indicate experience with public review processes, must possess good communication skills, and be able to work productively with City representatives and a diverse public audience. 
  4. Completeness of the proposal package, including design sketches,  drawings and images to convey the finished installation, public interactivity features, and adaptability to existing sensitive habitat conditions.
  5. Overall creative and esthetic nature of the proposal.
  6. Inclusion of reasonable cost estimates and realistic construction process, schedule and durability of materials.
  7. Ability to communicate with City Staff, Commission members, non-profit organizations and the general public in a clear and professional manner. 

Materials for Submission:

A.   The Initial Proposal  shall be submitted in writing on 8-1/2” X 11” white Bond paper, accompanied by a PC compatible CD of 3 .jpg  images of previous public art projects completed by the Artist, and formatted for a MS Power Point presentation.  The 3 images shall not exceed 3 megabytes each.  The written submittal shall include a description of the proposed artwork, a list of materials and sketches or drawings of the proposed scheme, and a budget estimate of the proposal.   The proposal shall name the artist and members of the team who will be designing and installing the artwork, as well as names of the suppliers of materials, consultants for engineering and environmental aspects of the artwork if known. 

B.   Finalists Proposals shall provide more detailed information, drawings to scale, material lists and maquette, if appropriate.  Finalists will be provided an honorarium of $500 ( Five Hundred Dollars ) to develop schemes and details to be presented to the Selection Panel and Civic Arts Commission.   Finalist schemes shall include an updated cost estimate and an outline schedule for construction and completion by the target date of July 30, 2010 or earlier.

Application Deadline: 

Proposals must be received no later than 4:00 PM, on Thursday April 30, 2009, in the Civic Arts Program Office, 2180 Milvia Street, First Floor, Berkeley, California, 94704, Attention:  Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Program Coordinator.  Proposals not received by the deadline shall not be accepted.  Late proposals and mailed parcels not received by the deadline shall not be accepted.   Proposals may be submitted prior to the deadline to ensure timely delivery and receipt.

General Specifications for Artwork Installations:

The Artwork installation must be designed to meet all safety, environmental and public accessibility standards of the City of Berkeley.  The installation shall be durable and easily maintained, and shall not require irrigation or special or regular upkeep and maintenance.  

Due to seasonal habitation of this site, the preparation work, construction and installation must be accomplished within the time periods noted in the Project Timeline, allowing for the proposed delay period.   It is possible that some variation may occur in the migration of the Burrowing Owls to and from this site, which may require adjustment of the schedule for construction, and consultation with local naturalists, Audubon Society representatives and environmental protection experts.  

Environmental and Habitat Issues:

Western Burrowing Owls, among other bird and ground animals are known to inhabit the project site.  The population of Burrowing Owls has been diminished to the point that it has been named a Species of Special Concern, and is protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the California Fish and Game Code.   Specific protection methods and mitigation measures are specified in these laws to prevent further destruction of habitat, or the trapping, capture or killing of Burrowing Owls.  

While the Owls migrate and nest in other areas and vicinities outside of the Berkeley Marina during the breeding season from February through August- September, some Owls remain in the Berkeley Marina area during the winter months to rest and prepare for migration elsewhere.  This “wintering over” period runs from November through April, during which time Owls are frequently seen standing outside their nest areas, searching for insects, beetles, lizards and small rodents.  They are most active in the morning and early evening hours.  

A temporary barricade fence currently is in place to keep Park users ( and especially dogs ) from approaching the habitat area too closely.  The fenced area broadly describes the project site, with the central, circular paved area as the primary installation location.  The small boulder at the center of the circle shall be incorporated in the design if feasible, at the request of the granting Foundation.  

The existing post and trash can at the circle area will be removed by the Marina Maintenance Staff. 

Artwork Selection Panel:

The Selection Panel shall be composed of two member representatives of the Open Circle Foundation, two members of the Berkeley Waterfront Commission, two representatives of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, two members of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, and one representative of Park users generally. Staff of the Berkeley Civic Arts Program will provide support and coordination for the Selection process. 

Project Timeline:

 Issue Call for Artists

February 4, 2009
 Pre-Proposal Site Walk  ( #1 )
 Saturday, 10:00 AM,  March 7, 2009
 Pre-Proposal Site Walk ( #2 )
 Saturday, 4:00 PM April 4, 2009
 Proposals Due
 Thursday, 4:00 PM, April 30, 2009
 First Selection Panel
Thursday, May 21, 2009
 Announcement of Finalists and Honoraria
  (to be determined)
 Finalists Schemes Due
 (tentatively)  Friday, June 26, 2009
 Interim Report to Open Circle ( Staff )
 w/o  June 29, 2009
 Display Finalists Schemes ( two weeks )
 through July 10, 2009
 Final Selection Panel
 July 10, 2009
 Announcement of Selection, prepare Council Item
 w/o  July 13, 2009
 Civic Arts Commission acceptance
 July 22, 2009
 Contract Award by City Mgr. (in lieu of City Council)
 August 10, 2009
 Notice to Begin Work *
 August 11, 2009
 Sitework and Installation Preparation
 August 11 to October 16, 2009
 Delay for Seasonal Habitat
 October 17, 2009 through May 15, 2010
Second Notice to Begin Work on site
 May 15, 2010
 Completion of Installation
May 17 through July 30, 2010
Reception at Site  ( tentative )
 July 31, 2010
 Final Report to Open Circle ( Staff )  August 6, 2010


* Notice to Begin Work is contingent upon full execution of contract documents.  This date, and all subsequent dates are pending issuance of the Notice.

Acceptance of Proposals:

The Civic Arts Commission and the City of Berkeley reserves the right to reject all design proposals submitted in response to this Call for Artists.  Artists of all ethnicities and genders are encouraged to apply.   All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.  The provisions of this Call for Artists are subject to change.

Retention of Proposal Materials and Models.

In the event that an artist is provided an honorarium to develop drawings and/or a model of a proposal, the following policy shall apply:

  1. The Civic Arts Commission shall, at its sole discretion, have the unconditional right to maintain ownership of any model, drawing or other materials used for its evaluation and selection process, as part of commission awards.
  2. The Civic Arts Commission may at its option choose to retain all such requested models, drawings and other materials until completion and final approval of the project installation, at which time such materials may be returned to the artist.
  3. Models and proposals submitted to the Civic Arts Commission shall be original, and unique in design and fabrication, and shall convey the proposal concept with reasonable accuracy, scale and detail.  

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