Welcome to the Dashboard, !

Close dashboard icon
LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

No Joke: The New Cheech Marin Chicano Art Museum

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum just opened this past June in California. This is a big deal! The well-respected and beloved Marin, half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, has been a long-time collector of Chicano art. Now he’s parlayed his fame and fortune into a gift to his community.

The new center’s vibrant, sassy, and innovative online intro video — so unlike anything from the cool intellectual traditional big power art institutions — says it all. This museum preserves treasures and makes them accessible. Among the many iconic artists with works on display: Patssi ValdezSandy RodriguezCarlos AmarazFrank RomeroJudithe Hernández, and Gilbert “Magú” Liján.

I feel a personal connection to the works of Patssi Valdez. This fine artist from East L.A. uses identifiable images and abstraction to make dazzling portraits of the evidence of lives being lived.


Patssi Kitchen (2000)

The technically brilliant painting of Sandy Rodriguez comes across as gorgeous, intense — and very political. Wake up, everybody!


Tear Gas No. 1 Ferguson (2014)



Magú Lujan, all-the-way modern in his comic book-influenced storytelling, makes me think of José Guadalupe Posada, a 19th-century Mexican lithographer. Go figure!


La Ella Cruising (2004)

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture — definitely not your parents’ art museum — represents a new people and a community-based idea of who art should be for. You go, Cheech! Light one up for me!

Activist Vicky Hamlin is a retired tradeswoman,
shop steward, and painter. In her painting and
in this column, she shines the light on the lives
of working people and the world they live in.