In the late 1980s, actor/comedian
Cheech Marin began collecting pieces of Chicano art. Thirty years later, he has
accumulated one of the most extensive private collections of Chicano art
worldwide, and he is recognized as one of its foremost advocates.
A portion of his collection,
“Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper,” will be on display at the Wichita Falls
Museum of Art at MSU Texas. Marin will visit the WFMA September 19 to speak about
his collection. His talk, “Chicano Art: Perspectives of an Art Advocate,” will
be at 6 p.m. in the Fain Fine Arts Center Theatre. After a question and answer
session, a book signing and gallery reception will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the
According to Danny Bills,
Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the WFMA, Marin’s collection is
special in that it not only brings a valuable educational art and cultural
experience to the MSU campus, it will also touch the lives of a diverse
cross-section of the community. “Combine Marin’s renown both as an actor and
art collector with his talk and I think this will be a truly wonderful
experience for our community,” Bills said.
The exhibit is sponsored by Betsy
and Bryant Medders, and coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, which
is Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
The collection contains 65
pieces of art by 24 established and emerging artists using techniques from
watercolor and aquatint to pastel and mixed media. These artists use imagery
influenced by pre-Hispanic symbols and post-revolutionary nationalistic Mexican
motives to the Chicano movement of the 1960s and contemporary urban culture.
Carlos Almaraz, Cici Segura González, and Gronk are among the artists included
in the exhibit. Several Texas artists are included, such as Adán Hernández,
César Martinez, and Vincent Valdez of San Antonio; Ricardo Ruiz of Corpus
Christi; and Benito Huerta of Arlington.
Marin says that although the
works represent a wide range of expression and techniques, they are common in
that they are executed on all kinds of paper. “One of the attributes that I
most appreciate about paper is its ability to absorb …,” Marin states in press
material about his collection. “There is a bond formed that is both unique and
unpredictable.” Marin’s hope for those who view the collection is that they
will “absorb these wonderful artworks and be changed in the process.”
Marin may be best known as
half of the duo Cheech and Chong, with comedy partner Tommy Chong. Marin has
also appeared on many television series including Nash Bridges and Jane the
Virgin, and has provided voices for animated films, including that of
Ramone in the Disney/Pixar Cars
A proposed museum project
between Marin, the city of Riverside, California, and the Riverside Art Museum
will receive a $9.7 million grant from the state of California to provide a permanent
home for more than 700 works from Marin’s collection, which includes paintings,
prints, sculptures, and mixed media works. The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano
Art, Culture and Industry, nicknamed “The Cheech,” is scheduled to open in
“Papel Chicano Dos” will be on
display Sept. 8-Dec. 1. WFMA hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Museum admission is free. Admission for Marin’s talk in Fain Fine Arts Center
Theatre is also free; however, tickets will be required. They will be available
after Sept. 4 by contacting the museum at 940-397-8900.