Purchase Awards

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In 2005, the City of Emeryville established a purchase award program connected to the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts, the annual juried exhibit for Emeryville based artists. The Exhibit Purchase Award Program has built the city’s permanent art collection through the yearly acquisition of an art work. The first artwork was purchased in 2006 and today visitors to City Hall can see an array of works created by local artists including a light sculpture by Therese Lahaie, a textile by Ana Lisa Hedstrom, paintings by Canan Tolon and Michael Murphy, and a ceramic wall installation by Cuong Ta. The program reinforces the city’s commitment to the arts and, at the same time, expands the city’s main government building 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.

Can my work be considered for the Purchase Award program?

If you would like your pieces to be considered for the Purchase Award program, please submit them through the Call to Entry for the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts. For more information, visit the website or email emeryarts@aol.com.

Works selected by the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts for inclusion in the show, that are eligible for purchase, are considered by a Selection Panel typically made up of a representative of each of these five groups to reflect the City’s values and commission a work: 

  • Outside Art Professional 
  • Public Art Committee (PAC) Member 
  • Community Member
  • Emeryville Celebration of the Arts (ECA) Affiliate 
  • City Staff Member 

This Panel will not consider the work of PAC members, City staff, ECA affiliates or their spouses. 

Works considered for purchase will be evaluated for the following criteria:

1.     Aesthetic Quality: Is the artwork of the highest aesthetic quality? Is it well conceived and well crafted?  

2.     Public Appeal: Will the artwork be interesting to the public? Will it remain interesting over time? 

3.     Curatorial Focus: Is the artwork something that the City will be proud to own and display? Is it a positive addition to the City’s collection of artwork?

4.     Longevity: Are the materials appropriate for long-term exhibition in a public space, even with appropriate framing or covering? Will the artwork require excessive or unusual maintenance?

Purchases will consider the available spaces and should a work not have an available space, while well regarded, it may be excluded from purchase. Similarly works that present risk of harm to the public may be excluded as well due to legal considerations.  

Where can I see the Purchase Award Pieces?

Purchase Award pieces can be viewed in person at City Hall (1333 Park Ave), the Emeryville Senior Center (4231 Salem St), and the Emeryville Police Station (2449 Powell St). 

Click here to view the City’s full collection of purchase award pieces.