A child takes the last step off the current Words on Wheels bus. But local non-profit Oceanside Building Learning Together is hoping a local artist can add their touch to the organization’s new bus. — J.R. Rardon Photo

Call to Parksville Qualicum Beach-area artists for bus wrap design

Early childhood learning program looking for Mother Goose art

A program that brings early childhood learning opportunities to the rural areas around Parksville Qualicum Beach will feature the work of a local artist on its new Words on Wheels bus.

The Oceanside Building Learning Together non-profit has put a call out to artists in the local area, asking for their interpretation of a “modern West Coast Oceanside Mother Goose.”

The call for art is for the organization’s new Words on Wheels bus — a used bus donated by SD69 that the organization raised funds to re-outfit to deliver their Mother Goose program, said BLT’s manager, Judi Malcolm.

The program has a staff member and driver go out to areas in Nanoose Bay, Bowser, Errington and elsewhere to deliver drop-in early childhood programming, including story time, singalongs and reading, as well as provide resources for parents and other care providers.

With BLT’s current bus nearing the end of its lifecycle, the organization thought it could do something different to spruce up its new ride, said Malcolm.

“We thought, why not have a local artist’s painting on it instead of something off the internet,” she said. “So we are pretty excited about that.”

The call out asks artists of all skill levels for something “whimsical and playful while not a large departure from a realistic image.

“A few wee goslings surrounding (Mother Goose) would add to the message we are trying to convey,” adding that the backdrop is a sky blue.

There is no restriction on media. The minimum size is 40 by 40 inches, with the final image to be photographed and converted to create a decal for the bus that could be as big as 2.5 metres by 2.5 metres.

The winning artist receives $500 and would be recognized in promotions surrounding the contest.

The Oceanside Community Arts Council will also exhibit all entries at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre in September, reads the call out notice.

The deadline for entries is August 4 at 4 p.m.

For more information, go to www.oblt.ca/open-call-artists-mother-goose-image/.