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Tom Acosta


To say McDowell County, WV native Tom Acosta is an award-winning painter of pictures & murals would be inadequate. The relationships he forms with folks who hire him & the perfection he demands of himself & his finished pieces make it evident his artistic endeavors are much more than a way to make a living. Acosta paints with purpose, depicting contemporary social realities & everyday activities of ordinary people. His work is divided into two categories: reality & fantasy allegorical.

Aside from a painting in the permanent collection at the Butler Institute, Tom has exhibited at the Clay Center, Tamarack & the Gertrude Smith House. Acosta’s work evokes the regionalistic style of Andrew & Jamie Wyeth & he is represented at the Chadds Ford Gallery, PA. “Your paintings are dark like Andrew’s,” curator Barbara Moore told him, “but your palette is light like Jamie’s." Currently he is represented at the Chadd's Ford Gallery, PA; The Art Store Charleston, WV & at The Greenbrier Resort.

Acosta is no stranger to those in southern West Virginia. In addition to oil & water color paintings, Acosta has provided the region with a number of murals, including the largest one in the state, located in Welch. Other public art projects were completed in Princeton & Hinton. He is featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary "Hollow," and WV Public Broadcasting featured Acosta in a public service announcement about creativity called "Telling Our Story." Magazines including Art Galleries & Artists of the South, Railfan, The State Journal, Wonderful West Virginia have all featured Acosta, along with the books "Moving To A Small Town," & "Legends of McDowell County."
Although he is living in and restoring a seventeen-room coal baron’s mansion built in Kimball in 1909, he has a bed in his studio in the basement. Often he starts painting at dark and works through the night. “When I get tired, I stop and sleep for a while,” he said. “Then, I’ll get up and go right back to work.”