Cowichan artist brings art to B.C.’s sick children

Valley artist Bernadette McCormack is excitedly clearing the decks for a special project: painting murals to make sick kids feel better.

Valley artist Bernadette McCormack is excitedly clearing the decks for a special project: painting murals to make sick kids feel better.

She’s been chosen as one of the artists for the Healing Art program going into the new wing of BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“The room will be wrapped completely in my art: all four walls and the ceiling,” she said.

“The process is very cool, too. I’m not going to be painting on the walls. I’m going to be creating paintings at one-quarter-scale. Then those get scanned and blown up to full-size-scale and transferred onto some sort of vinyl material that will then be installed in the room. So it all meets the codes of sanitation and so the walls can be cleaned.”

Her designs feature an underwater theme, in calm, cool colours.

“I believe it’s in an emergency room for everything from ‘I need stitches’ to ‘We’re prepping this person for surgery’.”

The whole idea of being involved with BC Children’s Hospital is wonderful for McCormack.

“I used to be an early childhood educator. I spent a lot of time with children and children have inspired my work. So I feel that everything’s gone full circle now that I get to contribute to the healing process,” she said.

“I am honoured to have been chosen as one of the artists. This project is very close to my heart.”

For McCormack, who is a painter, not a graphic artist, getting the commission has involved a learning curve.

“Somebody had forwarded me the link to the application process and encouraged me to apply because they thought my art would be a good fit. Shortly thereafter, somebody else forwarded to me, and then I had two or three more people suggesting I apply. So I did.

“I have to say the application process took me 10 hours. I had to get help with the technical end of things, but I managed to get the application off and then I waited. Then I got a phone call one day saying I had been chosen and my work had been chosen for a mural and they sent me a contract,” she said.

The painter then began the process of sending in sketches and getting them revised and approved.

Next, she had to get the final measurements of the spaces confirmed so she’d know what size paintings to create before heading to Victoria to secure the big canvases she needed.

“It’s very exciting,” she said.

Mural painting of this type is often the realm of the graphic artist, but McCormack comes from a different world.

“I paint as I see it. So, this is a little bit of a learning curve; I understand the process but measurements and elevations, the technical end of it, has been different. I’ve had to engage the help of a professional graphic designer to help me develop mockups and stuff. I think some of the artists involved might be graphic designers, but mine is all organic.”

Just Posted

Old-growth logging protesters block a road on Monday, June 14. This is not the blockade at Honeymoon Bay referred to in the story. (Facebook photo)
Old-growth logging protesters block RCMP access on road near Honeymoon Bay

Police were on their way to enforcement in Fairy Creek area when they were stopped

Cowichan Citizen and Lake Cowichan Gazette announce new publisher

David van Deventer has been with Black Press Media since 2014

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Accident closes Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino

Watch DriveBC for updates on road closures

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read