On Saturday, Jan. 20, after nearly 30 years as a downtown Monument staple, the Pankratz Gallery will close its doors for the last time. If you're hoping for some dramatic reason behind the gallery's closing a harrowing tale that involves the Monument mafia and swinging helicopter ladders you're out of luck. The true reason is a little more simple.
"I've been doing this for 30 years, and it's time to stop for a little bit," says Linda Pankratz (left) who owns the Second Street gallery.
The gallery started in 1977 as a way for Richard Pankratz, Linda's husband, to display his colorful pottery and porcelain creations. In its first year, the gallery was nothing but a small, dedicated part of the couple's home.
The couple later moved into a friend's retail space out on Highway 105. Linda recalls a touch of naivet in those first few years.
"We just thought that if we put a few pots out, people would flock in from miles away."
After more than a decade near the highway, the gallery moved downtown in 1991. The new location served as a work studio as well as a gallery.
"Richard is not giving up his wonderful creations," Linda assures. Instead, her husband is starting his own private studio to make pieces that will be displayed throughout the country.
"It's totally just me," Linda says. "I needed to retire."
366 Second St., Monument
Hours through January 20: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Per Linda, they'll be "offering some wonderful discounts."