City Initiatives for Local Artists

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Bus Shelter Applications


The Bus Shelter art installations brighten the mundane with original works from Emeryville artists celebrating flora and fauna. The program started in October 2009 and is currently in its 7th iteration. Every four months a new artist has the opportunity to install four original works in four bus shelters. Artists have been chosen through a juried process and employ an amazing range of media, including pen and ink, digital collage, drawings, mixed media sculpture, oil on canvas, painting and collage, scanned plant material, acrylic and oil on panel, and neon sculpture. Nearly any media can be photographed and included in the series  Selected artists are provided half sized copies of the four works and $1,250 per original image ($5,000). Future calls are expected as the program is ongoing. The 2023 call is open February 17, 2023 to April 18, 2023 and the RFP can be found  here.

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Purchase Award

The Exhibit Purchase Award Program has built the city’s permanent art collection through the yearly acquisition of an art work from the annual Celebration of the Arts. The first artwork for the City’s collection was purchased in 2006 and today visitors to City Hall, Senior Center and Police Station can see an array of works created by local artists; the City Hall exhibition alone contains a light sculpture by Therese Lahaie; a textile by Ana Lisa Hedstrom; paintings by John Wood, Canan Tolon, and Michael Murphy; sculpture by Po Shun Leong and William Schwob; and ceramics by Cuong Ta, Jeff Margolin, and Sara Paloma. The program reinforces the city’s commitment to the arts and, at the same time, expands the city’s main government buildings to another purpose. City Hall now serves as a showcase for the engaging works of local artists to the delight of all those who work and visit the building. Learn more about the annual show and the opportunity for inclusion in the show and consideration for the Purchase Award here.

Emeryville Poet Laureate

The City of Emeryville has local poets service as literary ambassadors to the community for a two year te`nure as the Emeryville Poet laureate.

Call for 2020-2022 Poet Laureate

Selection Schedule

  • Call for Nominations posted -- June 3, 2020
  • Submissions for Poet Laureate – rolling acceptance, first review June 26, 2020
  • Review of Submissions by Selection Panel – Week of June 29, 2020
  • Appointment of Emeryville Poet Laureate by City Council – July 21, 2020

To view the RFP for the Emeryville Poet Laureate click here.

Prior Poets

Sarah Kobrinsky was named the 2013-2015 Emeryville Poet laureate on Oct 15, 2013. She served until November 2015. Ms. Kobrinsky proposed a robust program targeting multiple residential and employment sectors including:

  • Poetry Idol - a workshop for high school students with performances before supportive “judges” including teachers, poets. and local celebrities
  • Poetry and Play - creative movement and poetry for elementary students
  • Poetry the Practice - writing workshops for adults at the library or senior center potentially culminating in book or public reading

Her most notable legacies included:

  • Poetry in Motion - Printed poems distributed on the Emery Go Round monthly? Click here for information on the prior calls.
  • Poet laureate readings at the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts
  • Readings at ribbon cuttings and art openings
  • Two of her poems are framed with public art installations she dedicate the poems to at the works installation

Janell Moon, was selected as the city’s first Poet Laureate for 2010-2012. Ms. Moon taught the varying forms of poetry, including poems from her lyrical-narrative collection, Riding Free in a Blue Studebaker (Main Street Rag), and her poetry-prose memoir, Salt and Paper (RAW ArT PRESS). Examples included prose poems, poetry shorts, and poetry rant or slam.

A graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Moon is a San Francisco Bay Area poet, counselor, memoir editor, a poet of seven volumes of poetry, writer of a memoir, and author of four spiritual nonfiction books with publishers such as Charles Tuttle and Elements (UK Harper Collins). Moon taught for the College of Marin Community College and San Francisco City College for many years.

Ms. Moon’s poem Emeryville, CA is hung in lithograph in City Hall