RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Art can be influenced by emotion, moments in history, landscapes or
even questionable conspiracies; but for Alfonso Perez Acosta, it’s his heritage that helps his
work flourish.

Perez Acosta is originally from Colombia but resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two
daughters. Half of his family is from Cali and the other half is from Bogotá, the capital of
Colombia. Throughout his childhood, Perez Acosta spent time picking up traditions, including
recipes, that have been, and will continue to be carried through generations.

Perez Acosta is currently exhibiting art at three locations in Richmond.

“Healing Circles” is a series of paintings showing at Lewis Ginter Botanical Botanical Garden.
Each painting features a healing practice in a circular form, ranging from a therapeutic hug to
the nostalgia of a culturally traditional soup to honoring the dead in an expression of an altar.

“Lengua Twister” presents Perez Acosta’s work from the past 10 years at Art180, a gallery and
non-profit in Richmond. The exhibit is a conglomeration of paintings, drawings and a multilingual tongue twister which, “talks about having two languages in you.”

A set of picnic tables painted by Perez Acosta sit in the greenery of the Virginia Museum of
History and Culture. These portraits showcase individuals who immigrated to the U.S. and now
call the Commonwealth home. Only two tables remain as the rest were given to their
corresponding muse. Perez Acosta hopes to see this project come to fruition yearly to celebrate
Immigrant Heritage Month.

Perez Acosta wants everyone to “understand that your heritage, your country, your culture lives
in you.”

Whether it be with a paintbrush, a pencil or through written and spoken word, Perez Acosta is
always looking for a way to intersect his cultural experience with a physical medium.

Perez Acosta says Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for important conversations and sharing
culture; but what we take with us throughout the rest of the year is, “beyond all the food, and all
the dances and all the colors.” He hopes his community is left with a “very joyful and warm way
of togetherness.”