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Duluth has burgeoning arts community | News

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Duluth has burgeoning arts community
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DULUTH, Ga. -- If you're looking for a community where there's an appreciation for the arts, look no further than Duluth.

"Downtown Duluth is amazing because you have the full gamut of arts experiences," said Sally Corbett, Director of Artworks! Gwinnett. "It's a place where you can come and stroll, go into antique shops and art stores."

It's certainly eclectic, with everything from the traditional to the unusual.

"I build monsters and creatures and all kinds of stuff like that for a living," said Matt Silva, the owner of Penny Dreadful Productions.

Silva is moving his company into downtown Duluth with its full service of special effects offerings.

"We have about six heads from one movie that we did, and we have their live casts, which we pour up in plaster," Silva said. "We then make sculptures and then mold that."

He's actually carving out a new home not just for his business, but others.

"There's actually two floors, and this back here will become two studios for different artists -- wardrobe, makeup effects and then some privately rented studios," Silva said. "One photographer wants to come in."

Just down the block, there's Luv for Art, a community art gallery.

"You can get your art supplies here," said owner Bobbie Flowers. "You can take art classes and local artists can submit their work."

Luv for Art sells paintings, drawings and photography by artists throughout the metro area. They also offer live music on some weekend nights.

The same is true down the street at Chocolate Perks, "this wonderful coffee shop that often has singers and songwriters and art on view," Corbett said. "Right now, they have a lot of local photographers' work on view. I've seen everything from collages. There's even a little bit of sculpture on view."

Downtown Duluth also offers classic art with international renown, such as Huthmaker Violins. The shop not only sells violins, but also makes, repairs and restores them for clients worldwide.

Across the street, Llorens Stained Glass creates custom stained glass windows to beautify churches, businesses and homes.

After locations in Atlanta's West End and in Decatur, Llorens is now firmly settled in Duluth. Like other businesses here, it likes the way this city embraces and celebrates the arts.

"Duluth is one of the few cities that sees what we're doing and actually thinks we're actually building something that matters," Silva said.

"I think city officials, especially Mayor Harris, know that making downtown artsy is good for economic growth," Corbett said.

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