Mardie Rees, NSS

On November 30, 2023, NSS Elected Member Mardie Rees will have her monument Saint Anne unveiled at Saint Anne Hospital in Burien, WA. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH) commissioned Rees to create the likeness of patroness Saint Anne for the Hospital. Saint Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary and considered to have the eternal presence of a grandmother full of love and wisdom. She is patroness of unmarried women, housewives, grandmothers, mothers and educators.

Rees’ introduction to the project began in 2021 with a visit to the grounds of Saint Anne Hospital. “I began with many small studies and sketches trying to discover what most embodied this grandmother figure. I am very close to my own grandmother (now 94 years-old) and I came to the realization that my favorite moments with her are sitting and listening to her colorful stories,” says Rees. “Saint Anne must be a storyteller!” She describes this as the breakthrough moment, and she began to sculpt the Saint poised comfortably on a stone outcropping; her expression an invitation to all to gather and hear her story. Her right hand, wrought with wrinkles and the indelible mark of age clasps an unfurling scroll with an inscription from The Saint John’s Bible (Numbers 6:24-26) “The Lord Bless You and Keep You; The Lord Make His Face to Shine Upon You…”