weather icon Clear

Epic’s Leins gives vintage items new purpose

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an occasional series showcasing new businesses in town.

If you took a blender and added equal parts of Mr. Peabody’s WABAC time machine, “MacGyver” and Pablo Picasso, you might end up with Epic Artware’s Eric Leins.

For as long as he can remember, Leins enjoyed creating items that would “roll, float or fly.”

“As I matured, it developed into a passion for the fine arts and I found myself working with a variety of mediums.”

His unique creations, often a blend of everyday items put together in usual ways, fill his small gallery-store at 501 Nevada Way, Suite 2, which opened recently. It is home to upcycled décor, fine art, jewelry, furniture, collectibles and vintage clothing.

Among his more popular pieces are lamps featuring items such as old cameras, suitcases and typewriters.

Leins said he always starts with a lamp in good working order and then modifies it. He is particularly conscious about the artistic value of each lamp’s shade.

He also transforms items such as a car ramp or bicycle into planters and has transformed an old headboard into a decorative shelf. A recent creation is a wine rack made of a shutter and horseshoes.

“With my love for the old and new, I’m now able to upcycle not only keeping the vintage look but making it functional and giving it a new-world look,” he said.

He said he believes his wares, many with a vintage look, will complement Boulder City’s myriad antique stores.

The stores, in turn, fuel his passion and creativity, he said.

“I’m not a pack rat, but I can’t stop,” Leins said about gathering up items from the various thrift stores, antique shops, yard and estate sales and galleries he frequents. “If you put out there what you are looking for, things find you.”

A self-taught artist, Leins said he prefers three-dimensional work and sculpting, which translates well into his upcycled home décor items.

He also borrows skills he learned during the more than 17 years he has worked designing and building décor for special events.

“I have also had my own business, Artworxs, creating decor and window designs for a variety of corporations.

Jay Hughes of the Hottest Dam Boutique in the same plaza said Epic Artware is a great addition to the area.

“As soon as they opened, I started sending our clients over there,” she said.

Hughes said she has seen many businesses come and go since she opened her boutique in 2008 but hopes the gallery-store “remains a part of our plaza” for a long time.

Francisco Santoyo of Oro Jewelers also hopes Epic Artware will bring new visitors to the plaza. He said the summer months didn’t bring too many people to his store, but cooler temperatures and a variety of events in town should help.

Most of the pieces in the store were made by Leins, but he also showcases the work of a few local artists, including longtime friend Tommy Calabrese, who often provides inspiration or items for Leins to transform, and Debbie Planells, who contributed much of the vintage jewelry.

He said he decided to open the store in Boulder City because of the challenges and politics involved with other galleries.

“My whole life I’ve been involved with design and fine art and always imagined owning my own store,” Leins said. “Although as I ventured around town and other states, nothing felt right until a friend said there was a space for rent in Boulder City and that set everything in motion. There was no thought other than that’s what I wanted my whole life.”

Leins said everything about owning and operating Epic Artware is “rewarding.” He said he enjoys showing his art, as well as selling it, and inspiring others with his work is a bonus.

For additional information, call the store at 702-675-3808.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Man’s delusions lead to rampage with an ax

The little, quiet, small town of Austin we know today was once a bustling midstate contemporary of Virginia City. About 165 miles east of Virginia City, it spawned many more mineral strikes than in the Comstock area.

Homeowners warned of increasing contractor, service scams

The Nevada State Contractors Board is warning homeowners, especially the more vulnerable, like senior citizens and non-English speaking residents, to be on the lookout for unsolicited “too good too be true” offers from door-to-door salesmen or inexpensive home services from sites like Craigslist.

Sorority recognizes women’s achievements

Members from three chapters of Beta Sigma Phi sorority in Boulder City gathered Monday, April 25, night to celebrate Founder’s Day. The celebration also included honoring Cokie Booth as the Community Lady of the Year, Julie Boyster as the Sorority Lady of the Year and Krishun Stanton, who was recognized for 25 years of membership through the silver circle ritual.

Spring celebrated at annual Jamboree

Boulder City’s annual Spring Jamboree is back next weekend, bringing with it many activities for residents and visitors.

Pepper trees drop leaves year-round

Q. I have a California pepper tree near my pool that’s constantly dropping leaves into it. I am wondering if I can lower its height so it will drop fewer leaves and stems. Anything else I should think about?

Veterans museum would be good addition to city

Several weeks ago a headline in this newspaper read, “City seeks help for ways to spend funds.” For some folks, this would be a humorous headline. After all, a government agency seeking advice on how to spend taxpayer money? The funds have been allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act and their actual purpose is to help the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The city seeks to gain input from residents and has even placed a small item in its utility mailer seeking spending ideas.