Armando Mejorado, a self-taught artist, photographer and acclaimed culinary chef, is the featured artist for the Main Event Gallery's exhibit, "The Art of Authenticity," June 4-26. Working in many different forms and styles of art, Mejorado says his greatest passion has been to be creative.
Gallery members will also exhibit their interpretation of art during this month's exhibit, art that portrays them or someone's authentic self or authenticity, in general.
Mejorado's creative expression is evident in his abstract, cubism and surrealism art, being greatly influenced by the works of Pablo Picasso and of Freda Kahlo. His paintings are rivaled only by the artistic presentation of foods he has prepared in Armando's Gallery House and Restaurant in Redding
Raised in a very strict and poor lower middle-class family, Mejorado's youth was a world where everything was a struggle, including food, school and clothing. His family moved to Redding when he was 8-years-old. He grew up surrounded by family with 11 siblings, who he called his best friends.
Mejorado remembers he had the desire to express his creative side at the age of five. He struggled as a young teen wanting to be an artist, but his father always strongly disapproved and said he should forget about it. The result was that for many years he destroyed his art and promised not to be an artist.
It wasn't until his brother told Mejorado he liked his art and he should keep doing it, that the young artist realized it would truly be his life work and passion. When that brother was killed in a car accident years later, Mejorado started an annual fundraiser in his brother's memory.
After losing his life-partner to cancer, Mejorado said he struggled to find himself again.
"It was because of my love and passion for art, family, friends, and my community that helped me learn to live again,” he said.
In an interview before its opening, Mejorado described the Gallery House and Restaurant as, "A mini-multi-culture hub; a restaurant, art gallery, serving wine, beer, food, and entertainment. I want it to be a safe place for everyone to come and want all my guests to feel like they are having a dinner party at my house. The idea is that you come in and we meet. Then the next time you come in, you become a part of the family."
His elaborate collection of art displayed European salon style, hangs ceiling to floor, with crystal chandeliers and elegant table settings.
"Regardless of the subject matter, I think of what I paint as art. I hope when people see it, they think of it as emotion and they can relate to it and potentially feel what I feel, or have their own feeling that I don't," said Mejorado. "I hope people will walk away thinking a little bit differently than they used to about art."
His culinary talents are well known.
"I really enjoy turning my food into artwork," he added
Mejorado's creativity paid off as he was third finalist in his category in a recent contest held by Bon Appetite Magazine.
Unfortunately, the business is currently closed due the Carr fire, the downtown construction project around them and the pandemic. Mejorado's plans are to eventually reopen in a new location.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Tehama County Arts Council. Gallery hours are Thurs.-Sat, 11 am -5 pm. For information email email@example.com.