By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 16, 2020 at 12:58 PM

Artists, ready your palettes. The City of Wauwatosa is teaming with NEWaukee on a unique four-day, bracket-style live painting tournament, June 3-6.

Sixty-four artists from around the country will go head-to-head (based on randomized pairings) in a two-hour session painting a work based on a predetermined theme on a 2x3-foot canvas. The public is invited to watch and to vote.

The top vote-getters advance to the next round.

"Live art making is an incredible performance and takes great skill. We look forward to celebrating artists and welcoming visitors to local Wauwatosa businesses for this special experience," said Tosa Director of Administrative Services Melissa Weiss.

Applications to participate can be found at and are due by midnight CST on Monday, March 9. There is no application fee. Artists will be selected by NEWaukee and the Art64 Advisory Council, comprising representatives from City of Wauwatosa, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network and Cuatro Uno Cuatro, and will be notified of acceptance on April 1.

Each participating artist in Round 1 (Wednesday, June 3, noon) will get a $50 stipend, a 2’x3’ canvas for each round, an easel and drop cloth.

The 32 second-round (Thursday, June 4) artists will each receive $100, the sweet 16 (Friday, June 5) artists will each get $150 and the final eight each earn $500.

In the final round (Saturday, June 6), those eight artists will compete for $20,000 and a residency at Serendipity Labs in Wauwatosa, where they can show their work.

"We are excited to produce this signature art experience in Wauwatosa," says Jeremy Fojut, chief idea officer and co-founder of NEWaukee.

"As part of NEWaukee’s mission, we’re proud to provide a platform for artists and small businesses to build and connect to new audiences."

The event is the latest in a series held by Wauwatosa, including sculpture competitions and exhibitions in Hart Park and last summer’s initiative that resulted in six murals being painted on buildings along North Avenue in East Tosa.

For more information and to apply, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.