Payson Care Center resident Meria Birchak, 32, is being recognized nationwide for her artistic talent.
Birchak’s inspiration for the design of Mary and baby Jesus was the memory of her late mother, who collected Madonnas and angels as a hobby. Life Care Centers of America’s Southwest Division chose the card as a winner. Life Care operates 34 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.
“I was just ecstatic that I won — it meant so much to me,” said Birchak. “My inspiration was the memory of my mom, and now that memory is being shared all over the country through my Christmas card. The experience has been humbling. I never imagined that having to live in a nursing facility at my young age would also bring the joy of sharing my artwork with so many.”
Birchak studied fine arts in college and has worked as a muralist, faux painter and graphic artist.
Each year, Life Care Centers of America sponsors a contest for card designs from residents of more than 220 nursing facilities. The top piece from each of Life Care’s seven divisions is featured on a Christmas card. Winners also get cash prizes. For more information, call (928) 474-6896.
Payson Care Center, located at 107 E. Lone Pine Drive, is one of 18 skilled nursing and rehab facilities in Arizona managed or operated by Life Care Centers of America.