The season of autumn will be soon presenting itself along with a vista of colors and scenery that surely will be captured by area artists. September, for some, is a winding down time, but for Park County Creative Alliance (PCCA), it is a time to recognize another dedicated and talented artist of PCCA.
September’s artist of the month is Linda Lewin, who owns and has operated Geneva Creek Creations for a little over four years in Grant.
Lewin, a native of Colorado was raised in Aurora, graduating William Smith Alternative High School in 1981. She then attended Pickens Technical College for two years, earning her certificate in photography. Her primary career field, however, was in the IT (Information Technology) industry for 30 years as a network engineer. She started working for Wright & McGill Co., makers of Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle in 1998 as senior network engineer until 2016.
In 2017, they brought her back as a contractor to assist with network projects, training and support and she continues to work with them outside of the hours she spends at her store.
In 2006, Lewin and her two daughters from a previous marriage moved in with her longtime partner Curt and his sons in Littleton. There they raised their blended family until the kids moved out on their own. In 2018, they decided to sell their home in Littleton and move full time to their cabin near Geneva Creek in Grant. “This year, we made our partnership ‘legal’ by getting married on our property in July ... We plan to have a full-blown celebration once we are able to gather our family and friends together safely,” explained Lewin.
Art is something Lewin was always interested in and she worked off and on as a professional photographer doing a variety of jobs including weddings, media, sports, portraits and landscapes. She craved creative outlets over the business world and enrolled in the Denver School of Metal Arts in 2014.
She was given the opportunity to work with several types of media including silversmithing, Dicroic Glass, wire wrapping and precious metal clay. She began creating her own jewelry and art using those techniques, including repurposed beaded horseshoe wall hangings, coin related jewelry, fishing swivel jewelry and glass pendants, keychains, magnets and greeting cards using her photography and art created by her oldest daughter.
Lewin participated in local craft shows and received positive feedback and interest in the items she had created. “That’s when I realized I wanted to pursue something more fulfilling in my life,” she said.
After experiencing some intense personal and professional challenges, she, along with the love and support of her husband, decided to make a major shift in their lives. They bought a prefab building in Grant and opened Geneva Creek Creations on the corner of Highway 285 and Guanella Pass Road.
It started with a few tables and items she had created ,such as various handcrafted jewelry, photography, greeting cards, magnets and keychains.
She expanded the inventory to increase the offerings of interest to her customers. Her uncle was a knife dealer, who unfortunately passed away from cancer. Lewin took his overstock to help her aunt and began to sell them in the store. They were and still are very popular, so she now considers herself a knife dealer and offers a variety of amazing knives, which she views as another expression of art.
In 2013, Lewin’s oldest daughter, Rachel, ended up in prison after some poor decisions and circumstances related to addiction and an abusive relationship. During incarceration, she tapped in to her artistic talents creating her own business, named “Free 2 Imagine.” Rachel’s creations included sacred geometry related art and unique handmade crochet items such as hats, hooded scarfs and gloves. Proceeds from the sale of those items went to help other inmates obtain art supplies and was also put into an account to help Rachel get on her feet when released from prison. “This is just part of my story, but is more the beginning of hers,” explained Lewin.
Rachel’s situation was a key factor in allowing Lewin to find an outlet that allowed her to tap back into her creative side and as a way of putting that helpless energy into something positive. “Rachel was a big part of the creation of Geneva Creek Creations and Free2Imagine, an offshoot of my business. My younger daughter has now joined us as an artist and creates unique styles of blacklight paintings on canvas,” Lewin explained.
After four years in business, Lewin feels blessed to be able to offer a variety of gifts, knives, tapestry, bandanas, essential oils, oil diffusers, backflow incense burners, incense, crystals and fossils, crystal lamps, wind chimes, dream catchers and many other unique items.
In 2019, she joined Park County Creative Alliance and is excited to be a part and grateful to be listed in the Art Adventuring Map circulating in the county. She is thrilled to be able to pass the maps out to her customers.
Some of Lewin’s art creations can also be found in the Fun and Funky Art Galleries in Bailey and in A Borgata in Conifer.
“I love supporting other local artists and have some items from others in the store, but have very limited space to take on any more,” she said.
To help promote other artists, Lewin has created the “Artists Exposure Project” on Facebook. Local artists are provided a 2’ x 4’ wood panel. There they can then create something that represents their artistic expression.
The boards are mounted on the outside of Geneva Creek Creations with the artist’s contact information along with their business cards to share with interested customers. She then highlights them on her Facebook page to promote their art.
Lewin became interested in healing practices and is in the process of becoming a Certified Crystal Healer and Reiki practitioner. Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Crystals can be used as part of the practice to bring balance and restore the flow of energy through the body’s natural energy centers.
Geneva Creek Creations is located at 49387 U.S. Highway 285, Grant, and can be found at www.genevacreekcreations.com, on Facebook, Instagram, or 303-912-4672. The store is open Thursdays and Fridays noon - 5 p.m. and on Sundays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please check the website for further details and seasonal changes.
“Geneva Creek Creations was born from a desire and intent to create beautiful and unique items to share with the world. This is just my way of trying to add more love and light to an uncertain world,” said Lewin.
Park County Creative Alliance is an organization uniting Park County through the arts while helping to support and promote local artists from all genres such as writers, musicians, painters, photographers and so much more. Learn more about PCCA by visiting the website parkcreates.org. Be sure and pick up an Art in Adventuring Map found in various locations throughout Park County and a little beyond. PCCA can also be found on Facebook.