By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 29, 2021 at 9:29 AM

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged in April 2020, the Wisconsin Historical Society announced – on World Art Day, appropriately – that it had commissioned artists to create a series of coronavirus posters drawing inspiration from historical public information posters created during the two World Wars.

Now, a year and a half later, we’re still fighting the virus, and WHS has launched a second series of posters by 10 artists, but this time with four posters from Wisconsin high school students, too.

The artists taking part are Grant Yun, T.L. Luke, Tonia Klein, Clara Nash, Sonia Vasquez, Jay Ramirez, Liz Drayna, Stephanie Carpenter, Bao Xiong and Helene Ramsdall, along with high school students Martha Liang, Kerrianna Rought, Jette Thorson, and Sabrina Schmidt.

You can see all the posters at this link, along with artist bios and ordering information so that you can have copies of the posters, too.

 “The COVID-19 Poster Project invited artists to draw from their own experiences dealing with the pandemic to create unique, eye-catching public information posters,” said Dave Desimone, who coordinated the project for the Wisconsin Historical Society.

“The second phase of this project was a tremendous success, yielding artwork from ten new adult artists as well as four students that will inspire Wisconsin communities to continue in the fight against the virus.”
Public information posters have a long history of spreading important information far and wide and the Wisconsin Historical Society has a collection of almost 5,000 such posters in its collection, some dating back to the 18th century.

As cool as these posters are, let’s hope there’s no need for a round three.

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.