With only a few weeks left before Christmas, make sure you get into the festive spirit in true Sunshine Coast style by taking the family to downtown Caloundra to enjoy the local Christmas shop window displays.
Caloundra artist Grace McClymont, with some eager young students’ support, is helping Sunshine Coast residents get into the holiday feeling through local designs bringing the beach to Santa’s Workshop.
Caloundra’s shopfronts have been adorned with Ms McClymont’s signature seagull featured in a festive design, while other windows feature sticker designs of McClymont’s art coloured-in by Prep students from Unity College in Caloundra.
Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said the Christmas in Caloundra program designs depict a more Sunshine Coast holiday season, than residents might be used to seeing at Christmas time.
“It is wonderful to be able to showcase our local talent as well as create designs that reflect our local surroundings,” Cr Dwyer said.
“So often the designs at this time of year are of pine trees, snow and reindeer, but for some local children those images are easy to relate to, so it is really great to be able to reflect their local environment.
“Caloundra is emerging as a dynamic creative hub and a place that celebrates, supports and nurtures creative and cultural activities and this is just another one of the great projects we’ve been able to achieve around Caloundra as we help to make it a creative hub with artisan shops, cafes, an impressive public art trail, Caloundra Regional Gallery, the new Sub Tropic Studio and so much more.
“I encourage locals and visitors to make sure that you also stop into these other great initiatives after you’ve made a visit to Santa and his workshop over the next few weeks.
“We’re working hard to activate Downtown Caloundra with creative, temporary community-driven activations that have a local relevance.”
Ms McClymont, from Caloundra gallery, studio and shop Red Ink Rodeo, said she drew the Christmas artwork incorporating her signature seagull to be colouring-in sheets for preparation classes at Unity College Caloundra.
Unity College Caloundra Heads of College personal assistant Colleen Zwolsman said the students loved being involved.
“We were sent four large designs for the Prep classes to colour in. Unity has over 70 Prep students from 4 to 6 years old, and every one enjoyed teaming together to colour in each of the images over a few days,” she said.
“It was a great start to their Christmas activities and the students absolutely loved it! They did an amazing job and we can’t wait to see the final install.”
The sheets were then returned, scanned and printed as a window wrap and put up in Santa’s Arcade by local businesses. The reaction to the artwork was so positive, that Ms McClymont was asked to design the full window artwork for Santa’s Workshop, using her original designs and the childrens’ colouring in as inspiration.
“I had fun with this artwork, and including the seagull was a fun way to make sure that we celebrate all that’s good about an Aussie beach Christmas,” Ms McClymont said.
“Santa’s little helpers this time are friendly, quietly cheeky seagulls to recognise the unique fun of celebrating this special time in Caloundra, a wonderful summer holiday destination.
“It has been great to be involved in this project that is actively bringing the excitement and joy of Christmas into Caloundra and supporting local businesses in the process.”
Local business The Stickerman kindly donated the sticker wrap to the business community to decorate their windows and showcase the festive Caloundra Christmas seagull.
“You gotta help the locals, so of course we jumped at the chance to help. Plus it is for the kids, and it is Christmas. So it is great to be able to get involved and make the coloured-in art a bit more special,” a spokesperson said.