Meet Your Neighbor: Linda Kurtz of Fruita
Special to the Free Press
Editor’s note: We want to meet your neighbor. Send nominations to email@example.com.
Denise: What do you do in Fruita?
Linda: I am the owner of Valley Gate Ministries and of the Rose Hue Galleries. Both of these businesses are located on East Aspen Avenue.
Denise: Can you tell me a bit about these two businesses?
Linda: Valley Gate Ministries is a Christian-based meeting place where members of different denominations to get together and meet with other Christians. It is a bit different from other Christian-based meeting places, as it is not associated with any one church and you don’t have to belong to a particular church to participate.
The Rose Hue Gallery is an art gallery. I rent vendor space to a number of artists and photographers in the valley. Each artist is required to work one day per month in the gallery.
Denise: Why did you locate in Fruita?
Linda: I used money from an inheritance to purchase the Historian building downtown. I had wanted to establish a Christian meeting room, and it seemed like it would make a great location. I also liked the idea of saving an existing building that was in disrepair. After obtaining some estimates from contractors, my husband, Doug, and I decided to proceed. We saw great potential in downtown Fruita and in bringing the old building back to life.
Denise: Are you an artist?
Linda: I am neither an artist nor a businessperson, but I just kept thinking that an art gallery would be great for Fruita. The idea wouldn’t go away, and although I was going to rent out the retail space in the building to a young couple, when that didn’t pan out, I went back to my idea of an art gallery. I think Fruita is going to be a great center for the arts.
Denise: What other interests do you have?
Linda: I enjoy hiking and playing the keyboard, but my husband and I are legal guardians to our four grandchildren, and looking after them and taking them to school activities in Fruita takes up much of my time. We live in the west end of the Redlands, closer to Fruita than downtown Grand Junction; and it was my grandson, several years ago when he was seven, who said to me one day, as we were looking out of our house towards Fruita, “You know, Fruita is really going to grow.” And he was right.
Denise: What are your plans for the future?
Linda: I want to build up the gallery and represent more artists. As the reputation of the gallery grows, so will the number of customers. I want to get involved in more events in Fruita, such as Fruita Fourth Friday, where I can promote the gallery and the meeting room. There is a great momentum in Fruita right now, and it is a great time to be here.
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Monday’s arrival of the Garfield Re-2 School District’s mask mandate was met by an organized protest and march in Rifle.