artist finds a lot to paint in Marion | Marion County File
When Mary Jean Rogers came to Marion with a friend in 2008, she was in awe of some of the stately homes on the hill.
I want to paint them, she thought.
She was ready to leave Wichita and find a smaller community to live in.
After spending a year looking for a house in Marion, she found one and moved in April 2010.
Since then, she has painted at least a dozen buildings in the city. They are framed and displayed in a garage that she has transformed into a meeting room. They include the Marion Presbyterian Church, the Marion County Courthouse, and the Marion Grain Elevator.
Mary’s talent as an artist was already evident in elementary school. She received several scholarships to art schools during her years of study in Wichita and studied under William Dickerson.
She tried her hand at pencil, watercolor, pastel and acrylic. She has some encaustic paints, which are made with hot beeswax with added pigment. Hot wax is used to create intricate paintings full of dimension and color.
Besides buildings, she does portraits and paints landscapes.
“Everything I do is special,” said Mary. “I put each one in a frame.”
His paintings decorate every room of his house. His art has been exhibited at the Marion Senior Center and at Gallery 101 in Marion.
Mary is happy to live in a small community.
After raising four sons in the Dallas area, she moved to Wichita in 1988 to be closer to her parents.
She returned to school and obtained an Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences and Horticulture in 2001.
For eight years she worked at The Wichita Eagle, where she prepared materials for the printing press. The staff she worked with has been reduced from 60 to five and no longer exists, she said, as all printing is done in Kansas City.
Marie enjoys being active in the community.
She is a member of the Bluestem Art Guild and the Patriots for Liberty and sits on the Board of Directors of Senior Citizens of Marion County. She delivered meals on wheels for two years.
The 84-year-old woman’s mission is to improve her health. She follows a plan that limits her eating to a six-hour period between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day. She eats two full meals, with a few snacks in between. She also limits her sugar intake.
“It works,” she said. “It gives my body 18 hours to heal.”
She swims at the Marion Aquatic Center twice a week and takes iron tablets to correct her anemia.
Mary loves the changes she made in her life moving in with Marion.
“I’m much happier here,” she said. “I have everything I need. I am happy.”