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On Epiphany: the shining spiritual art of a gifted resident

Photo of Marge Lyons with ArtworkToday marks the first Sunday of the Christian Season of Epiphany. This holy day celebrates the narrative recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, telling of the Wise Men who follow a star to find the baby Jesus and offer him three gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh. Epiphany is a reminder of the light shining in the darkness and the celebration of God’s self-revelation to the world in Jesus Christ. Epiphany is also a call to action — to go, as the wise men did, giving witness to the light.

Reflecting this season, we share with you the art of Marge Lyons, who lives at Waverly Gardens in North Oaks, MN. Her watercolor painting, depicting the journey of the Wise Men, was featured as the 2018 PHS Christmas Card. In the beautiful card (pictured right), her art is accompanied by lyrics from the well-known hymn, “We Three Kings” and familiar words from the Gospel of John, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:5, 16)

Marge painted this image for her own Christmas card to friends and family in 2017, including Dan Erickson, Campus Administrator at Waverly Gardens. Dan submitted her work for the 2018 Christmas card and Marge was so pleased to learn that her art was chosen and received by over 19,000 people. 

2018 PHS Christmas CardAn accomplished artist, Marge didn't start painting until she was retired and her children had left home in the early 1990s. “I didn’t know what to do with myself.” Her sister Millie, who is also an artist, encouraged her to take a painting class and the two of them joined a group of traveling artists who have together taken 19 trips all over the world.  “It was a great way to travel. I’d sit in a town painting and the locals would visit with me and invite me to tea because I was interested in their town. I wasn’t treated like a tourist,” she said.  Much of her artwork was inspired by the flowers, animals, buildings and landscapes she experienced in her travels. Her apartment serves as a gallery of her work with every wall displaying one or more of her pieces. 

Marge and her husband Tom made their home on the shoreline of Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Township for 45 years where they raised their three children. “Tom had memory loss and I was his caregiver for 15 years at our home” she said. Looking for more support, they moved to Waverly Gardens’ in the summer of 2015. They lived in the Caring Companion Care suites where Marge was able to stay with Tom who received memory care until he died in January 2016. She considered moving back to her home on the lake but, “The staff took such good care of us, I decided I’d best just stay here,” she said. A few months later, Marge moved to her current apartment in The Terrace senior apartments.  “Waverly Gardens is a wonderful place and everyone is so nice,” she said. 

Since 2010, an original painting by a PHS resident or employee has appeared on the annual Christmas card. The 2019 Christmas card featured the artwork of Sister Ansgar Holman, CSJ, who lives at Carondelet Village. 

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