Artists add flair to Piatt County town

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CERRO GORDO, Ill. (WCIA) — This town might be small, but it’s got plenty of color.

That’s largely thanks to two businesses that give the downtown district an artistic flair.

You can’t spell “art” without “heart.”

You can tell right away how Debbie Hull and Shannon Luthy feel.

“I love it. Absolutely love it,” said Hull. “I’ve got weird hours…I get up I guess 11pm the night before, when most people are going to bed, and I get up and I start painting and crafting…then I get ready and come to work. Then I go back home and do some more.”

Hull owns Expressions Gifts. All kinds of colorful creations are packed into the space.

“Mouths kind of drop open because it is unusual, and there’s stuff that you really just don’t see in a lot of places in small towns,” said Hull.

You’ll notice a common theme here: glass…lots and lots of glass…even the kind you normally wouldn’t want to touch.

“It’s better if it’s broken glass,” explained Hull. “I just like the way it sparkles, shines light goes through it.”

Just two doors down is Shannon Luthy’s shop, Beyoutiful Beads.

You might be thinking…two art shops, run by two women…about two doors apart…that’s got to create some competition.

To that, Luthy says, nope…not competition, but collaboration.

“That’s part of what’s so great about arts and creativity, because you can give two people the exact same things, and their end product is always going to end up looking different,” said Luthy.

In a similar way, there are a lot of small towns in central Illinois like Cerro Gordo. Luthy says there’s a flair to each one.

“It’s actually a lot of fun to go visit other small towns and see what kind of talent you can find in other places, and I think that’s a big draw where people are coming to Cerro Gordo to see what we’ve got going on,” said Luthy.

Even if you don’t think you need anything…you might change your mind when you walk into these shops in our town Cerro Gordo.

If you want to learn how to make some of the art, there are classes at both shops each month.

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