Red Mountain Resort's Stone Goddesses
By Betina Lindsey, Shaman Spirit Guide
“When Deborab Grebenar creates, it is a sacred act; her sculptures bless.”
After knowing Deb for many years, I feel these words speak true of Deborah’s sculptures which grace the Red Mountain property on the South, West, North and East of the Canyon Breeze Restaurant. When I first came to work at Red Mountain I was very thrilled to see some of Deb’s sculptures resting on the land. The goddess Spirit Keepers, as I have come to know them, are a tribute to the four directions, four elements (earth, wind, water and fire) and the four seasons. Of most of her work, she described its essence as "maybe Self and Spirit Self, Self and God, Self and Other Self, or the unity of masculine and feminine. I don’t care what anyone sees, as long as they see something that is of service to them — whatever needs to be held up, reformed and spiritually transformed."
She said in an interview, “For a time I created only goddesses because I needed to see them.“
I’m glad she did for we all need to see goddesses in these times. She loved being a role model of feminine power for girls, especially when they could see her working. At Breckenridge’s annual wood-carving event, she is out there with a chain saw — and the only woman among men. "I like being that evidence for little girls to know they can weld, mix concrete, wield a chain saw and buy power tools," Grebenar said.
Writer Trina Hoefling, in an article in Denver Woman Magazine about Deb, tells us that “Dance was a metaphor for movement with Grebenar, who was also a watsu water massage therapist. Whether the dance of body and water and the watsu therapist guiding and gliding through water, or the dance of artist and medium dancing into creation, all is movement. Sculptural art encourages people to move around the piece. Deb believed the water massage made her a better sculptor, and the sculpting made her a better body worker. Whether as artist or body worker, she focused on the interaction of separate beings moving together to shift consciousness into something new. Whether art lover or watsu client, we are moved by her work.”
Grebenar’s career as an artist moved forward powerfully through the years. When Hoefling asked her how she came to believe so strongly in herself, her talent and her work, she replied, "Incrementally!" Little Deb Grebenar began sculpting at age 5 when she found Ivory soap and a paring knife. When she discovered alabaster, stone felt so familiar. It looked like Ivory soap! She’s been an art teacher, postal worker, retail sales clerk, printmaker, illustrator, fabric artist — but when she went from flat art to stone, she knew she had found her medium. She discovered her full artistic self incrementally, and came to name herself "sculptor" even more incrementally.
Grebenar began her definition of self as "sculptor" years ago in Frisco, Colorado. She knew she wanted to sculpt, but did not believe she could afford a studio. Immediately she found an ad for the "perfect gallery and studio" for $250. It took her 18 months to say yes to herself. Her next step was to place one 18-inch sculpture, Moonchild, in her friend’s Breckenridge bookstore. She had the courage to do so because it was a bookstore, not a gallery. The piece sold for $600.
Her works can show up any where. I have "Eve’s Dream" in my home. Other commissioned public and semi-public permanent sculptures of Grebenar’s can be found in California, Nevada, Utah, Pennsylvania and many cities in Colorado — Gunnison, Glenwood Springs, Breckenridge and, of course, Denver.
In Zion Canyon at the center of Springdale Town Park sits Deb’s Earth Mother herself! On my morning walks, I always pause beside the nurturing massive sculptor. She is an enduring presence cradling the earth child in her arms. I am that child…we are all that child.
Often, we don’t know what we have lost until it is gone…but in this case her art remains a lasting gift to us.
Thank You Deb, for your inspired life and your work of stone blessings.