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April 1, 2023

$100,000 for Fitch Mountain Public Art

City seeks proposals by March 10 for ‘permanent’ improvement project

Professional artists are invited to submit ideas and qualifications for a signature public art project as part of the Fitch Mountain Access Improvement project, the City of Healdsburg announced this week.

The Fitch Mountain Art Committee is seeking an artist to design and implement a permanent (site-specific) public art project on Fitch Mountain, the 991-foot peak on the city’s eastern boundary, surrounded on three sides by the Russian River.  

“Fitch Mountain is a Healdsburg icon, and now that it’s open to the public, we want to enhance the experience of reaching the summit,” said State Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire, who spearheaded the acquisition of Fitch Mountain as a city-owned preserve while he served on the Healdsburg City Council and later as a Sonoma County supervisor.

McGuire helped secure funding for the art project, up to $100,000 in Coastal Conservancy funds that will pay an artist or team of artists to create, transport and install a work of art that reflects and celebrates the natural landscape and experience of being on Fitch Mountain.

This public art opportunity is for one artist or team of artists to create an installation that reflects and celebrates the natural landscape and experience of being on Fitch Mountain. The preserve includes hiking trails that will be improved this spring in another city project. 

The public art may or may not be interactive. Installations integrated with the landscape and/or those with functional components will also be considered.

“We want to honor this majestic setting that has inspired our community,” said Healdsburg Mayor Ariel Kelley, who leads the volunteer team tasked with developing the art project framework. “It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. The artist (or artists) who are chosen will be installing their work in rugged terrain and on a deadline.”

The Fitch Mountain Art Committee is open to practicing, professional artists residing in the United States. Artists working in a variety of 3-D installations and permanent media are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to artists residing in Northern California or those with a connection to Sonoma County or the State of California. 

All artists must be able to participate in an orientation and visit the summit of Fitch Mountain at least once during this process. 

The maximum project budget is $100,000 and should be inclusive of all artist fees, and all expenses related to design development, including engineering; fabrication; travel, transportation and installation of the artwork; insurance; and all other project related expenses. 

Finalists invited to submit specific proposals will receive an honorarium of $1,000 for their efforts and materials for a maquette (small preliminary model) of their proposed project.

Artists are invited to submit qualifications through the online form available at tinyurl.com/yck5en9n no later than 5pm on Friday, March 10. 

For more information, email [email protected]


  1. The money would be better spent for conservation or maintenance than for another twisted hunk of steel to make some wealthy “art lover” feel relevant and happy. Natural beauty is more of enough in this space. A total waste of money.

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  2. For that kind of money, make it utillitarian art work, like some nicely carved benches for sitting at several spots. v

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