Cheech Marin to Open Chicano Art Center in California

Richard Sandoval, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Richard Sandoval, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0 / Richard Sandoval, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Cheech Marin, of Cheech and Chong fame, also happens to be an avid collector of Chicano art. After decades of amassing his own personal collection, the Mexican-American comedian from South Los Angeles is working with the Riverside Art Museum and the city of Riverside (which was almost 48 percent Latino in 2015) to share his collection with the wider world, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Pending city approval, the proposed Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry will take over a building that currently houses the Riverside Public Library, which is already set to move to a new location. Previously, the city had hoped a children’s science museum would move into that building, but the deal fell through earlier in 2017.

The museum would house Marin’s 700-plus works of painting, sculpture, and photography from Chicano artists and would be overseen by the Riverside Art Museum. The plan came together after the Riverside Art Museum borrowed a small slice of Marin’s collection for an exhibition earlier this year called Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper From the Collection of Cheech Marin.

The Riverside Public Library is scheduled to move locations within the next three years, according to the L.A. Times, after which the Cheech Marin Center could move in to renovate and install the collection. However, the plans are still only tentative. Since the library building is owned by the city, the deal must be approved by the city council before the center can move forward, and that process alone will take at least nine months.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]