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Marin's Chicano art exhibit at WFMA through Dec. 1
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Filed under Public Information on Thursday, August 30, 2018 by Author: Public Information.

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. 

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 movies.

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 2020.

“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. Contact the museum at 940-397-8900 for more information.

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