Employee Spotlights

2023 Christmas card features artwork by Lexington Landing employee

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We share with you the 2023 Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) Christmas card that was sent to the mailboxes of more than 23 thousand residents, employees and volunteers this month. This year’s card features the artwork of PHS employee Sarah Malm. Sarah works at Lexington Landing in St. Paul, Minn., where she has served as the administrative receptionist since July 2022.

Sarah’s artwork depicts the journey of the wise men to Bethlehem. Inside the card, one reads the inspiring words of Isaiah, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.”

Sarah created her mixed media artwork by painting the night sky in watercolors, then adding computer-generated silhouettes of the wise men and camels following the star of Bethlehem. “It was fun to start with a simple idea, then create it in layers with watercolors and my iPad,” she said.

Art and crafts have alwayPHS_Christmas-Card_2023_blog_artist.pngs been a part of Sarah’s life. Several years ago, she joined a stamping class and became proficient at creating greeting cards. She explored and expanded her artistic range to include and combine watercolor, ink and digital techniques, and found her own style.

Sarah aspires to create “artwork to soothe the soul.” She says that her art was born out of her faith and her own need for self-soothing. She explains, “I needed an outlet for expression and creativity I could get lost in and distract me from other things.”

With that in mind, she began to print her creations on greeting cards to share with others. “I just love greeting cards,” she said. “I love sending cards and getting cards; it makes me giddy!”

Lexington Landing resident Nancy Grimes also loves to send greeting cards, especially Sarah’s beautiful cards. “There’s a simplicity in her work that I love. Her designs are evocative and somewhat abstract” she said.

When Nancy received the PHS Christmas card this month, she immediately recognized it as Sarah’s work. “When you look at that card, you see the whole universe, the entire sky!” she said with a note of joy and wonder. About the silhouettes of the wise men on their journey she says, “The whole story is right there.”

Nancy’s appreciation is shared by other Lexington Landing residents. Sarah said that her Christmas season has been enriched by the surprise and delight of residents when they received their cards. “They’ve come from their mailboxes to the reception desk holding the card and saying, ‘That’s you!’” she smiled.

Sarah brings her faith and her theological understanding to her art. She explains that the message of unconditional love and belonging is at the heart of her faith and art.

A graduate of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Sarah is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and served as a parish pastor in Minnesota rural and suburban congregations for 12 years. As her life and faith evolved, she felt called to serve older adults and found her way to Lexington Landing. She says, “I love older adults and this role still feels like ministry to me.”

Sarah hopes that residents, employees and volunteers who received this card are inspired. For her, the story of the wise men reflects the continual seeking of Christ in her own life, and in the world. She says, “The story brings me hope and expectation of Christ coming and his salvation. Whatever meaning others find in my art, I hope that what they see draws them closer to Christ.”

A PHS Christmas tradition
Since 2010, original works of art by PHS residents and employees have appeared on the annual Christmas cards. We are blessed to add Sarah’s beautiful and inspiring work to this tradition.

May you be blessed as well. Merry Christmas.

 

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