Local schoolkids are priming their paint brushes for an art contest featuring guide dogs.
Year 7 and 8 students in the region are being encouraged to use any materials they choose to create works based on the theme “Blindness awareness and guide dogs” for the Great Bayleys Art Competition.
Real estate agents Bayleys sponsor guide dogs nationally and Anne Rattray, part-owner of the Queenstown office, initiated the local project.
She says schools have jumped at the idea. “We thought it would be nice to do something with the Wakatipu community that kids could get involved in, rather than sport,” Rattray says.
Waka High teacher Abbey Duncan has already embraced the theme, with pupils in her class drawing blindfolded and having objects described to them, to give them an idea what it might be like having no sight.
Visually-impaired local Jenni McBride backs the idea. “I think it’s fantastic to introduce a different way for the children to consider what it’s like to be blind,” she says.
Four students will be selected from each school and their art will brighten the boardroom of Queenstown’s Post Office Cafe – and possibly win their school a chunk of the $5000 prize money.
Gold coins are required for entry into the competition and also for people to peek at the top creations at the cafe.
Money raised will be given to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind’s guide dog services.
Entries must be in by May 28, with the winning work being announced on June 3.