KCRW – ‘You can’t love or hate Chicano art unless you see it’: Cheech Marin on his new museum in Riverside

January 28, 2021 in Announcements

Originally posted on the KCRW.com by Amy Ta


The Cheech Facade

A rendering of the exterior of the The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum.

Cheech Marin is best known as one half of the famous comedy duo “Cheech and Chong.” But he’s also one of the foremost collectors of Chicano art in the world. Marin has more than 700 pieces in his collection. Now they’ll get a permanent home in Riverside. The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry, or The Cheech for short, will be the first space in the country exclusively dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture. It’s expected to open this fall. 

Marin tells KCRW that he’s been collecting Chicano art since the mid 1980s. “As I started collecting, I kept seeing this pattern emerge and this picture emerge. And what I realized [was] that these artists were telling a story of a culture over a long period of time, and continue to do so as we speak.”

A rendering of The Cheech, Cheech Marin’s art museum and cultural center that is slated to open this fall in Riverside, Calif.Credit...via Riverside Art Museum

A rendering of The Cheech, Cheech Marin’s art museum and cultural center that is slated to open this fall in Riverside, Calif.Credit…via Riverside Art Museum

Some of his friends urged him to share the art. “Because they don’t do any good in storage or under my bed. And so I set out to make that happen. A long road, that one.”

He says he’s been showing the collection for some 30 years — in more than 50 museums across the U.S. and Europe, and which is highly unusual for a private collection. However, the museum just got finalized. 


“My mantra has always been you can’t love or hate Chicano art unless you see it. And that’s been my goal — to get everybody to be able to see Chicano art.” 

Please click here to read the entire article on KCRW’s website.

  • About The Author: Riverside Art Museum

    The Riverside Art Museum strives to integrate art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by presenting thought-provoking exhibits and providing quality art classes that instill a lifelong love of the arts.

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