Manuel Pereira, 75, a Peruvian-born artist who helped start a Washington arts center that focuses on Latino and Caribbean art, died Dec. 24 at his home in Washington. He had heart disease.
Mr. Pereira worked in a variety of media, including paint, clay, wood, stone, bronze, plaster and cement sculpture.
He settled in the Washington area in the late 1960s and exhibited his work at local galleries as well as nationally and abroad.
In 1973, he helped found Washington’s Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center.
Art critic Ferdinand Protzman, reviewing Mr. Pereira’s 2000 show at Fondo del Sol, wrote in The Washington Post: “If Pereira were a writer he would be classified as a magic realist, like Colombia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
“Both have away of effortlessly turning ordinary images into things extraordinary, unbelievable, yet universally appealing. Doing that with words is difficult. Doing it with wood and terra cotta, as Pereira does, is remarkable.”
Manuel Jesus Pereira was born in Cajamarca, Peru, and he began crafting art as a teenager. Five of his nine siblings became artists.
His marriage to Ellen Henderson ended in divorce.
Survivors include two children, William Pereira of Charlottesville and Alexes Pereira of Vienna; two sisters; four brothers; and a granddaughter.