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Millheim's Green Drake Gallery will close after this weekend

Storefront of Green Drake gallery with "Closing sale" sign in the window.
Kurt Grotz
Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center in Millheim will be closing after this weekend.

Millheim’s Main Street will soon lack one of its hallmarks. The Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center, after 12 years in business, is set to close on Sunday, according to owner Kurt Grotz.

In an announcement on Facebook, Grotz said he wanted to focus on his “house and health issues.” He said he’s run the Green Drake since 2020 after local oil painter Karl Lietzel announced he would step down at the beginning of the pandemic.

In the three years since, Grotz said it’s been “a challenge,” but he’s appreciated the opportunity to serve as a local guide to the Penns Valley, even dedicating a portion of the gallery as a sort of visitor’s center, and help keep fine art alive in the area.

“It was kind of like having the Louvre in the middle of the cornfields,” he said.

Grotz said a group of locals will be taking over the space the Green Drake occupies. He said the two-floor gallery will be turned into an “art antique mall” with jewelry, crafts, and different vendors.

He said the new owners are “moving in as [he] moves out,” but art will remain in the space that held the Green Drake.

Community members, Grotz said, “are sad to see it go.” Since the announcement, customers have flocked to the gallery to visit or shop, though Grotz said he expects most people to come on Saturday.

An artist himself, Grotz said he plans to spend his retirement woodworking and taking photographs, especially landscapes. He said he’d also like the opportunity to travel some.

“I love landscapes. I’ve been doing this area quite extensively for the last several years; I want to expand to other parts of central Pennsylvania,” he said. “We live in a really beautiful part of the world.”

The gallery’s final hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Grotz said he’ll sell the remaining stock at the upcoming Aaronsburg Dutch Fall Festival on Oct. 7-8.

James Engel is a WPSU news intern and senior at Penn State.