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Shipping Container Mural Project

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Call to Artists

 shipping container call for artists


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.


  • Jurying is open to any artist(s) over 18 years old.
  • 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. 

Project Details

The City of Wauwatosa and Tosa Tonight have agreed to install a temporary shipping container as a means of dedicated storage for Tosa Tonight during their season. One of the project requirements is that installation of the mural must coincide with Tosa Tonight on July 22, 2020.                                                                                                 

Location Shipping Container with Surface Labels

Figure 1 – Approximate placement of the proposed shipping container. Surfaces are labeled accordingly.

Shipping Container

The total available surface area of the project is 408 square feet (includes Surface 1, 2, and 3; does not include top or bottom of the shipping container). There will likely be two additional custom doors installed on Surface 1 after the shipping container arrives and the sizes of those are not yet determined. The shipping container will be installed in Spring 2020 on a gravel base. 

Size Length Height Surface area
Surface 1  20'  8'6"  170 sq ft
Surface 2  8'  8'6"  68 sq ft
Surface 3  20'  8'6" 170 sq ft


Shipping Container

Figure 2 - Example image of proposed shipping container

Selection Process/Criteria

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 of artist(s) will be based upon, but not limited to, the following 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?
Size Length Height Surface area
Surface 1  20'  8'6"  170 sq ft
Surface 2  8'  8'6"  68 sq ft
Surface 3  20'  8'6" 170 sq ft

Submittal Options

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. 

Submittal options surface(s) Total Surface Area
Option A  All three Surfaces (1, 2, & 3)  408 sq ft
Option B  Surface 1 & 2  238 sq ft
Option C  Surface 3  170 sq ft


Please note, installation will take place in July and one day of installation must coincide with Tosa Tonight on July 22, 2020. The City of Wauwatosa will work with the selected artist(s) to determine the exact start date of the project. 

Anticipated Timeline
Applications 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 


The selected artist(s) will receive the following artist fee and materials stipend:  

Submittal Options Surface(s) Artist Fee Materials Stipend
Option A  All three Surfaces (1, 2, & 3)  $5,000  $1,250
Option B  Surface 1 & 2  $3,000  $750
Option C  Surface 3  $2,000 $500

Additionally, the City of Wauwatosa may provide the following stipends to the selected artist(s) if traveling from out of the area: 

Submittal Options Surface(s) Travel Lodging Meals & Incidentals 
Option A All three Surfaces (1, 2, & 3)  $1,000  $700  $396
Option B  Surface 1 & 2 $1,000  $420  $264
Option C  Surface 3  $500 $280  $198

Lodging and Meals & Incidentals are based on IRS Per Diem rates. 

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.

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. This will be discussed at length with the selected artist(s). Artists will be asked to sign a liability waiver.

Submission Process

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.

To Apply

Please fill out the form below by April 1 or open the link in a new window to apply. Questions can be directed to Kim Land, Tourism Specialist for the City of Wauwatosa, at or 414-479-3548.