ART – MAN – DO | noun
1: The art one man can do
From the top of his retro red fedora to the toes of his black Converse, Armando Silva is covered in vibrant paint splatter. And, after watching his performance, it is clear he earned every fleck of color.
Art-man-do. It’s more than just a clever play on Armando’s name. To him, it’s a motto. The ART one MAN can DO; “We all have our own way of creating. Of making an impact or contributing to the bigger picture.”
Armando, an action painter who uses movement and color to tell stories, came from humble roots. After moving to Colorado from Mexico when he was just 5, Armando struggled not only with a language barrier, but a cultural one. Armando recalls watching cartoons and being inspired to draw and trace the figures. Creating became not only his outlet, but how he related to those around him. He was the friend that was always drawing, or as he recalls fondly, “the one the girls would ask to write their name in bubble letters.”
But, he soon graduated from tracing Ninja Turtles and attended The University of Northern Colorado, earning his BA in Fine Arts in 2010. It was in college that his interest in action painting was roused. Professors were doubtful a successful career could be launched using this platform, but Armando did not waver. And though it seemed only incredibly accomplished artists were doing the same thing, as Armando puts it, just because Lebron James is the king of basketball doesn’t mean kids don’t aspire to play.
And he is right. Far too often, fear of failure can dictate our choices. Armando insists this is why he likes action painting. Mistakes can be made, sometimes while on stage in front of thousands, but he simply picks up a new brush and turns the mistake into part of the bigger picture.
It is this philosophy that led him to apply for the Children’s Museum Artist-in-Residence Program. And the most important thing he wants to take from his residency and time collaborating with Museum guests?
“How do we make it better? How do we use each other for the best and make something really cool?”
During his most recent open studio hours, that meant tiny hands were dipped into lime green and hot pink paint cans with kiddos slapping, flinging and flicking paints to put the finishing touches on Armando’s piece.
Armando has open studio hours through July, but don’t be surprised if they are all a little different.
“I’m feeling it out. I don’t want to come in here and think, this is what has to happen. I want to feel the vibe of the Museum and build off of that.”
We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.