"That's my bus!" 14-year-old Arlie Richardson said with a smile as she stood alongside a 13-metre-long bus covered in a design she sketched.
The Year 8 student from Eden Marine High's representation of marine life and Indigenous patterns was one of three winning designs turned into vinyl wraps for a pair of Sapphire Coast Buslines vehicles.
The newly art-covered buses launched on Monday, November 27, following the 'Colour our Coast' bus wrap competition
Students from Eden Marine High and Eden Public School were selected by competition judges to have their works printed and installed on the transport vehicles by Wilson's Signs.
The winners received a Mont Marte hand lettering and paint kit, and the knowledge their work would remain on the buses for the next three cruise seasons, while the winning schools both received a $500 donation towards their art departments.
On the other side of the bus from Arlie's work, fellow Eden Marine student Matilda Henderson proudly gazed at her Mitchies Jetty impressionist-style, acrylic-painted artwork.
Each brush stroke helped to capture the icon of Merimbula through calculated colours and hues, a reminder of afternoon swims.
"This was my first time actually doing landscapes, I mainly painted armour and stuff before that, so I wasn't really used to painting beaches or anything," Matilda said, adding she usually painted Star Wars characters on canvas, but decided to try something new
"I just kind of looked up a picture of a fish, drew it and painted it blue and yellow because I have no experience with fish."
"I was trying to make it blues and greens mainly, because it would also match the shed and stand out with the pink roof," Matilda said.
"I find it pretty impressive to be honest, I'm kind of proud of myself because it's a big thing."
The youngest winner was 11-year-old Keira Haenig from Eden Public School, inspired by the humpback whales that make Twofold Bay home during migration season, and by the family outings to see these majestic animals.
"My cousins are coming over from England this year for Christmas. They'll say, 'Keira, you made the bus,' no, I didn't make the bus, but I drew the picture," she said.
"I feel really special because not a lot of people get the opportunity to have their drawings on a bus for three years.
"I love how they took my pencils and made this."
The managing director of Sapphire Coast Buslines, Jamie Klemm said she was extremely pleased with the results, and shared how the buses would greet cruise passengers arriving to Eden for the first time.
"I just think that the culmination of the [Bendigo] bank as the sponsor, the schools getting involved, my team at SCB, Tim Wilson doing an amazing job with the design and install, it shows that it's a complete community achievement," Ms Klemm said.
"We keep pushing in our community that the cruise ship industry is to support all of our towns, including Pambula where our major sponsor is based, including Merimbula, and the artworks showcase all of those areas, and what they believe in and what they're about."
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