Westminster’s budding artists have risen to the challenge of coming up with a stunning design for this year’s official Westminster City Council Christmas card.
The artistic gauntlet was thrown down to members of the art groups run by Westminster Adult Education Services (WAES) to come up with a new look for the official card sent every year by Council leader Nickie Aiken.
And this was the winner – a West End Santa from Marian Thompson, a member of the WAES community water colour group based at Victoria Library.
Marian’s design was then transformed by Westminster City Council’s graphics team into a fantastic animation with a voiceover provided by Cllr Aiken. The e-card version depicts Santa on a flying bike in an aerial dash past Piccadilly and through the West End (pausing only to pick up a gift for Mrs Claus).
Westminster’s leader gathered all the WAES artists for a special reception in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour to thank them for their outstanding work.
Cllr Aiken said: “Normally it’s always the children that get asked to design a Christmas card but, as a City for All, I wanted our older residents to show off their fantastic talent. It was great to see so many creative entries and lovely to meet them over afternoon tea.
“I hope my voiceover on the animated card does this great artwork justice – it’s been a while since I read Christmas stories aloud, I must admit!”
The art classes for older residents are funded by the council’s ward budgets, and form part of the council’s plan to help to tackle loneliness and promote lifelong learning.
Marion, aged 65, a former primary school teacher, said: “I started the art classes provided by Westminster Council at a very difficult time in my life. They are affordable and welcoming to everyone. I found that I enjoy painting and it has tremendous benefits to my health - my blood pressure went down and my spirits lifted. The teaching is excellent and being in a class with others is great fun.
"I am delighted that Councillor Aiken chose my design which is a bit of fun. Santa and Rudolph are being very green riding their bicycle and keeping Westminster exhaust emissions down. Personally I think it is wonderful that we can celebrate that Christ has come to bring blessing to us all. “
Have a look at the online animation here – and see Santa fly through the West End https://www.westminster.gov.uk/festive2018