Confessions and expressions

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I’ve long been a fan of Redding artist Armando. He paints with bold, rich colors. He doesn’t shy away from difficult and challenging subjects.

His current project, “In the House of Sin,” continues that brave expression.

On Sept. 13, Armando held a one-night public exhibition of this show at his home as a fundraiser for the Shasta County Arts Council. Now he’s placed the exhibit on his website, and it’s a fascinating selection of images and stories.

The project has been a year in the works. Armando created an online confessional where people from around the world wrote about their darkest, often very troubling, secrets. He painted his interpretation of those stories.

I would venture that everyone has something they’ve done or experienced in life that continues to cause them pain. We are imperfect beings who make mistakes. Some of the confessions offered in the show may seem a bit shocking (the exhibit is intended for mature audiences), but I think these kinds of stories are more commonplace than they are oddities.

Personally, I found that reading the confessions and viewing Armando’s work was cathartic. Sometimes it’s a powerful concept to be reminded that we’re all flawed humans struggling through this life as best we can. I often look around at the masses of people around me and think, “We’re all broken, aren’t we?” We all need compassion.

This is also the great thing about art. Whether it be painting, writing, songs, dance or whatever, there’s an avenue to express the the pain and actually create some beauty.

Armando himself shares some of the darkness of his past. A key concept of his confession is the acknowledgment that he’s thankful he’s still here to create. When we travel through very painful chapters of our lives, it’s important to remember that clouds will eventually clear.

There’s a line from a Bob Marley song that goes, “Every man thinks that his burden is the heaviest. He feels it knows it, Lord.”

We all have burdens. It’s how we walk through them that’s the more important thing.

is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at
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3 Responses

  1. Avatar ambercita says:

    indeed. well said jim!

  2. Avatar Linda Masterson says:

    I went with a group of friends to Armando's exhibit and it was profoundly moving. To read the confessions of those he chose to interpret onto a painting was at times painful and completely off the norm of anything I had seen before. Armando has done a tremendous amount of research and the work he has created provides much food for thought. While the topic was not necessarily upbeat and cheery, it was real, jarring and in your face. There were moments of humor, though. I'm amazed that people would reveal so much about themselves in an e-mail. The big deal for me was to read the confession and then see Armando's interpretation of it. Make sure you see his next exhibit – no matter what the theme.

  3. Avatar Lorie Harris says:

    It is with great pleasure that I have grown to know and love Armando not only as a friend but as a talented artist.

    As his friend, I have had the opportunity to volunteer my time to support his annual fundraisers/exhibitions and I commend him for his desire to raise money to support local non-profit agencies. The last exhibition “In the House of Sin” on September 13th which benefited the Shasta County Arts Council had me spellbound. I had the pleasure of greeting the guests as they arrived. It was exciting to see their expressions as they viewed the pictures for the first time. I watch as the guests laughed, sighed, frowned, and just stood overwhelmed with wonder. Armando has a unique way of interpreting and manifesting people’s stories and confessions onto the canvas. Each picture tells a captivating story. Although some of the confessions are somewhat disturbing….they are truth. I believe that everyone has something in their past or present that may cause distress, guilt, or disgrace. Disclosure is part of the healing process and it is very therapeutic- not only for the people writing them but also for the survivors reading them. I praise the people who shared their stories and I am proud of Armando for being brave enough to expose this sensitive but real subject. I will continue to support Armando in all his future ventures. PS…I can’t forget to mention the fundraiser was so elegantly decorated, the food was amazing, wine was superb and the overall ambiance was over the top! Kudos to all involved. I encourage everyone to attend his next Exhibition, you'll be glad you did!