‘The Cheech’ Features Opening of Actor’s Chicano Art Collection at Riverside

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The Cheech
Representation of an architect of the completed museum in downtown Riverside. Courtesy of the museum

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in downtown Riverside will open its doors to the public next week, featuring nearly 500 works of art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and other creations amassed by the actor Cheech Marin for four decades.

After more than a year of renovations and expansions, the building that once housed the main library at Mission Inn Avenue and Orange Street has been converted into the new center, which is part of the Riverside Art Museum.

An official Grand Opening Ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 at 3581 Mission Inn Ave.

“The Cheech,” which was launched through a public-private partnership in 2017, is intended to serve as a repository for Marin’s collection of Chicano-related works, which the museum will curate and publish for traveling exhibitions. in all the countries.

Earlier this week, officials announced they had teamed up with the Smithsonian to present the “Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective” exhibit, by Einar and Jamex de la Torre. The exhibition features 70 works in mixed media, including blown glass sculptures and lenticulars with moving imagery.

One component is a 26-foot lenticular composition featuring a large-scale depiction of an Aztec earth goddess. The depiction includes low-rider cars and a background map of windmills and solar panels.

After a seven-month stint at “The Cheech,” the January exhibit will tour nationally, officials said.

“The title of the exhibition reflects the artists’ use of puns, alluding to the kaleidoscope quality of their works and the collision of images, themes and references that make up their artistic language,” said guest curator Selene Preciado.

Works by Latino artists will be on display at the center, including renderings by Carlos Almaraz, Margaret Garcia, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Judithe Hernández, Frank Romero and Patssi Valdez.

Under a memorandum of understanding approved in 2020, the city agreed to pay the Riverside Art Museum $800,000 a year in management fees and cover all utility costs, estimated at $120,000 a year. , for the center. The agreement has a term of 25 years, at the end of which the center should be autonomous, officials said.

Although private entities were involved in financing the development, the lion’s share of financial support came from the state, which allocated $10.7 million for the cultural stopover.

Councilman Jim Perry said last year he expected the center to be “an economic engine for Riverside”.

Officials estimate that up to 100,000 people may visit the site each year.

Marin, 75, shot to fame in the 1970s as a member of comedy duo Cheech & Chong. He spent about 40 years amassing his creative treasure, according to the museum.

In addition to art exhibitions, other cultural celebrations are planned at the center.

Before renovations began, the library was moved a few blocks north near the Fox Performing Arts Center, where it has been in operation since June 2021.

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