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Muralists Sought for Shipping Container Artwork

Posted by City of Wauwatosa ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Muralists Sought for Shipping Container Artwork




The city of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, is searching for artists to create a mural on a publicly-installed shipping container. The container will be used as storage for a summer evening concert series in 2020.

Budget: up to $5,000 plus materials and travel, depending on mural panel(s) assigned (see details below)

Eligibility: Artists over 18

Deadline: April 1, 2019

NOTE:  This process requires applicants to submit designs for the mural they wish to create as part of the application process.  Applicants are not compensated for this up-front design work.

The City of Wauwatosa is building upon the excitement of its new mural arts program and is pleased to announce a new project that will be located in Hart Park next to the Rotary Performance Pavilion. The Tourism Commission plans to sponsor a mural installation on a shipping container that will be used as temporary storage for Tosa Tonight, a summer evening concert series that takes place in Hart Park. To that end, we are issuing this Call to Artists, in search of proposals for up to three surfaces to be installed on the shipping container.

Project Goals

  • Artistically enhance the overall aesthetic of the shipping container and physical environment of the park, and activate the space.
  • Spark engagement from local community members, the creative community, and outside visitors to the Wauwatosa area.
  • Highlight Wauwatosa’s arts, history, and cultural traditions to visitors who seek authentic, arts-based experiences.

Submission guidelines

  • All submitting artists must be able to create the mural on-site, during the month of July, for a final completion date of July 26, with some flexibility. Artist(s) must be comfortable and experienced painting outdoors using a ladder or small scaffold to access the surfaces. One night of installation must overlap with Tosa Tonight, an evening concert series in Hart Park, on July 22, 2020. Artists must ensure that their work/personal schedules allow for availability.
  • The City of Wauwatosa will reject any design submissions that include words, or letters of the alphabet.
  • The City of Wauwatosa will reject any submissions that could be deemed to be advertising, or billboards for a business. The committee will also rule out any submissions that it considers rude, offensive or political, as this is a community project, and its goals are to unify and draw the community together as a place of peace.
  • Applicants may present a total of three design proposals, with a color sketch of the proposed design(s) made to scale and proportions of the final surfaces, as long as they understand they will only be selected for one possible design.
  • The City of Wauwatosa reserves the right to change the surfaces if necessary. Artists will be notified if the surface arrangements change, and will be given an opportunity to adjust their designs accordingly.
  • A committee of jurors will review the submissions and select a winner(s) based on artistic merit, representation of Wauwatosa, and creativity of design.
  • Artist(s) must use acceptable graffiti/UV coating on the finished mural that provides resistance to vandalism and weather.

Materials and Equipment
Artists are responsible for acquiring their own materials such as paints and supplies from the budgets provided; the City of Wauwatosa will work with the selected artist(s) to arrange supply pick up. The organizers of the project will be renting scaffolding and providing ladders. The organizers will also prep the surface and provide lighting for the evening installation at Tosa Tonight. Artists will be asked to sign a liability waiver.

Mural surface sizes and artist payment schedule

Artists are invited to submit up to three proposals for the submittal options described below. For example, an artist can submit one proposal for Option A, one proposal for Option B, and one proposal for Option C. Another example is an artist can submit two proposals for Option A and one proposal for Option B. When submitting your proposal, please indicate which option(s) you are applying for.

SURFACE 1:  20 ft long x 8 ft 6 in. high (170 sq. ft.):  (payment combined with Surface 2)

SURFACE 2:  8 ft long x 8 ft 6 in. high (68 sq. ft.): (payment combined with Surface 1)

SURFACE 3: 20 ft long x 8 ft 6 in. high (170 sq. ft.)

  • OPTION A: Surface 1 + 2 + 3 combined = $5,000 fee plus $1,250 materials stipend
  • OPTION B: Surface 1 + 2 combined = $3,000 fee plus $750 materials stipend 
  • OPTION C: Surface 3 only = $2,000 fee plus $500 materials stipend

Additional stipends will be provided to commissioned artists traveling from outside Wauwatosa to complete the mural:

  • OPTION A: $1,000 travel + $700 lodging + $396 meals and incidentals
  • OPTION B: $1,000 travel + $420 lodging + $264 meals and incidentals
  • OPTION C:  $500 travel + $280 lodging + $198 meals and incidentals

Final stipend amounts will be negotiated by the selected artist(s) and the City of Wauwatosa and will be determined based on travel distance and actual cost of IRS mileage reimbursement, flight, etc. not to exceed the amounts listed above.


  • Application Opens: February 10, 2020
  • Applications Due: April 1, 2020
  • Selected Artist(s) Notified: April 17, 2020
  • Artist Agreement Signed: April 24, 2020
  • Installation Begins: July 2020
  • Required Installation at Tosa Tonight: July 22, 2020
  • Installation Complete: July 26, 2020

Selection Process
A jurying committee will be assembled by the City of Wauwatosa for this project. Members of the committee will include staff from the City of Wauwatosa, representatives from the Tourism Commission, a representative from Tosa Tonight, and local art professionals. The jurying committee will review all completed proposals and will select an artist or multiple artists to complete the project. For example, the jurying committee may select an artist’s proposal for Option B and a different artist’s proposal for Option C. Alternatively, the jurying committee may select an artist’s proposal for Option A and no other proposals. Multiple artists will not be awarded the same surface.

Selection Criteria

  • Artistic Merit – Does the artist display quality and consistency in their proposed design and in past work?
  • Tourism – Would outside visitors travel to see the artwork?
  • Appropriateness – Can the artwork be executed in a timely manner and at the Tosa Tonight concert on July 22?
  • Audience – Is the artwork suitable to display to a diverse audience?

What to Submit

Please review the project details and design a specific mural proposal for your selected submittal option(s). Your proposal must be in color, and must be done in proportion to the surfaces in the proposal. (If you are able to provide a Photoshop mockup, that would be ideal, but it is not required.) Please make your mural a finished-looking rendition of the actual mural you would like to paint—this will increase your chances of being selected. Do not submit a pencil sketch.

How to Submit

Submit using the online form. Do not submit via email or other method. Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2020.

QUESTIONS? Contact Kim Land, Tourism Specialist for the City of Wauwatosa, at or 414-479-3548.


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