Artist coming back from losing home in fire

       For 15 years, local weaver and jewelry artist Maryse Levenson had lived in the Mountain Shadows subdivision.

Inside the Telise Rodelv Studio during the Aug. 3 ArtWalk, weaver/jeweler Maryse Levenson poses with scarves she's made.
Westside Pioneer photo

       That came to a sudden end June 26, when the Waldo Canyon Fire raged out of the nearby hills. Like many who lived there, she had little time to evacuate. She made sure to pack her cat Onslo, but the flames later took - among many things - her weaving loom, jewelry and tools and a number of the scarves she makes and sells.
       "I didn't think it was going to burn until Tuesday [the 26th], when I heard that Queen's Canyon was on fire," Levenson said in a recent interview. "Then I said good-bye to my house."
       Ready to help a fellow artist, Telise Rodelv featured Levenson in her gal-lery during the Old Colo-rado City ArtWalk Aug. 3. Rodelv also pledged to give Levenson all of the proceeds from the shop's scarf sales.
       If there's been any upside to the misfortune, it's been receiving such generosity, Levenson said. A friend of hers, Ann Harris, who lives near Centennial Boulevard, took her in after the 26th, but then that area became part of the ordered evacuation. So Levenson (and Onslo) relocated once more, this time with Ann, winding up with a friend from church at the north end of town.
       "I know I've had a very big loss, but I'm surrounded by so many friends that I cannot feel sorry for myself," Levenson said.
       Recently, she found a house in Rockrimmon, not far from where she used to live. She's managed to find a small loom she can use for weaving now and has ordererd a large loom that's due to arrive in October. But she's been too busy catching up on everyday things to miss working on her art. "I'm still buying pots and pans," she said with a smile.
       The French-born artist, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1958, believes her attitude toward possessions has changed since the fire. "I'm not as attached to my stuff as I used to be," she said. "I will miss some things - my watch and my wedding band - but the house, no."
       Memories are harder to part with. After keeping her composure during and after the fire, Levenson said the thing that finally made her cry was seeing the fire-destroyed remnants of a home that a friend had made for bluebirds. "There was just a little piece of it left," she said. But then, in that same area, she saw a bluebird. "It made me feel good," she said. "Life goes on."

Westside Pioneer article