LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A new exhibit is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with all kinds of art displays, including clothing.

  1. Amy Alvarado is a fashion designer who says her family in Puerto Rico is her biggest influence. “I do want to be like my grandfather,” she said, showing Spectrum News some of her art on display at the Brick City Center for the Arts in Ocala.

  2. Amy moved to Ocala a few years ago, where she discovered the Marion Cultural Alliance. The nonprofit noticed her work in fashion design and wanted to showcase it at the Brick City Center for the Arts. She creates sustainable clothing as an homage to her grandfather. “He was a jibaro. A jibaro is like a farmer. (He was) hard-working, kind-hearted. So basically, (my clothing displays are) my modern way to be a jibara.”

  3. Getting to display her creations among a handful of other Hispanic artists is a big deal. Ocala doesn't have a heavy Hispanic population like Miami does, where she excelled in her craft. “I'm proud to have an accent. It's never going away. So in Hispanic month, we just show it up and it's a big way to tell everybody, 'Yes, I'm here to stay.'”

  4. “Sometimes it's not that easy to fit in,” she added. “And (in Ocala), it was so easy. It was natural.”

  5. The Hispanic Heritage exhibit is on display at Ocala's Brick City Center for the Arts through Oct. 1. Admission is free.