PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey town is spotlighting local Latino artists with an exhibit inside city hall.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports, they are the pride of Paterson.

Elkin Gutierrez, a welder, born in Columbia, came to Paterson as a young man. His art utilizes thousands of bolts and other small pieces of metal.

He also uses favorite things from his childhood.

“Salsa, merengue, bachata. I was dancing since I was a kid,” Gutierrez said.

He’s also a painter. He created a work of art reflecting his passion, too.

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Joe “Poncho” Hernandez, born and raised in Paterson, injects his work with vibrant carnival imagery.

Most of his work is created on traditional canvases, but you’ll also find it around the community and in Newark.

“It’s Hispanic culture, but, at the same time, we’re all in one, big umbrella,” Hernandez said.

He says art is vital, especially now.

“You can’t go outside. You can’t celebrate when you want to… If I can bring a little bit of joy to someone’s day, I’ve done my job as an artist,” Hernandez said.

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Eight-year-old Liliana Carrison’s work puts a friendly fox front and center.

“His name is Andrew,” said Liliana.

Liliana’s mother entered her daughter’s work when she found out about the exhibit.

“Once I started doing art, I loved it,” Liliana said.

The exhibit runs through mid-October.

Click here for more Hispanic Heritage Month coverage.

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