The partnership aims to foster youth development and strengthen mentor/mentee bonds through interactive no-cost workshops

Riverside, Calif. – April 8, 2024 – Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire (BBBS) today announced a new partnership with the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) aimed at fostering creativity and cultural enrichment for young minds through mentorship. From now through May, RAM will host monthly art workshops exclusively for BBBS mentors and mentees, creating a unique opportunity for bonding and exploration of the arts in the historic art museum.

The monthly art workshops are designed not only to unleash the creative potential of the BBBS mentees, but also to strengthen the bond between mentors and mentees. RAM, known for its commitment to community engagement and artistic expression, will generously open its doors to BBBS matches, offering a series of interactive workshops at no cost to help eliminate any financial barriers to quality time and further solidify mentor/mentee relationships.  

“The arts nurture a sense of craftsmanship, bolster self-confidence, and cultivate the capacity to envision innovative solutions.  Engaging in the arts empowers children, making them more open to embracing new challenges and opportunities as adults.  Our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters exemplifies the transformative impact of art on our community, and we are immensely proud to be part of this journey,” says Caryn Marsella, Director of Art Education and Community Engagement at the Riverside Art Museum.

The partnership between BBBS and RAM seeks to expose children involved in BBBS’ programs to the rich world of arts and culture in an effort to boost development and confidence, promote self-expression and foster a sense of community. According to a meta-analysis done by the Arts Education Partnership, students who study music have increased achievement and proficiency in math. This same study also found that the visual arts have a positive impact on students’ ability to organize their writing and comprehend complex texts, such as those found in science courses.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is thrilled to partner with the Riverside Art Museum to provide our mentors and mentees with an enriching cultural experience,” said Sloane Keane, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire. “We believe that exposure to the arts can be transformative, and through this partnership, we aim to create lasting memories and inspire creativity in the lives of the children and young people we serve.”

The collaboration between BBBS and RAM reflects a shared commitment to empowering the next generation through mentorship and cultural experiences. By combining the impactful mentoring relationships of BBBS with the artistic resources of RAM, this partnership aspires to make a lasting difference in the lives of children in the Riverside community.

For more information about BBBS’s community mentoring program and the Riverside Art Museum, please visit BBBS’s Community Mentoring page and

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Our mentoring model was created on the premise of youth equity and empowerment, designed to meet kids where they are and empower them with the skills to transform their lives and their communities. Since 1958, we have provided local youth facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported mentoring connections that provide a direct and measurable impact on their lives. With a mentor, youth are able to build emotional intelligence and social capital necessary to achieve educational milestones, set postsecondary plans and achieve a living wage job. Through mentoring, our aim is to reduce the number of disconnected youth in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and build a self-sufficient workforce with the potential to change the world. To learn more about the organization, visit their Orange County office’s website or their Inland Empire office’s website.

About Riverside Art Museum

Since 1967, the Riverside Art Museum (3425 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501) has been housed in a 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, registered on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a Historic Landmark by the City of Riverside. Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing regionally focused exhibitions, programming, events, and arts education that instill a lifelong love of the arts.

Sophie Booth
Idea Hall

Riverside Art Museum announces a $100,000 matching gift from the Wingate Foundation that launches its inaugural Acquisitions Fund. The fund will support future purchases for the museum’s permanent collections, which includes the core collection of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture. Until now, additions to the museum’s permanent collections have been largely reliant on donations and gifts of artworks (with occasional donor-supported purchases) recommended by museum curators and administrators for review and acceptance after a rigorous research and selection process.

Since opening The Cheech and its own founding over 50 years ago, Riverside Art Museum has focused on adding artworks to its permanent collections by artists with a range of styles and backgrounds and whose work resonates with the region. In addition to more than 500 works by Chicano artists gifted by Cheech Marin for The Cheech, RAM’s permanent collections include 1,500 other works. Notable are works by abstract painter Karl Benjamin (one of four renowned Southern California Abstract Classicists), Rex Brandt (whose oeuvre consists of paintings inspired by the life and geography of the West Coast), and Millard Sheets (best known for his watercolor landscape paintings and often featuring Surrealist imagery and iconography).

Over the past year and a half, Riverside Art Museum has added over 150 works by nearly 90 artists; a majority who are new to the permanent collections. Spanning from 1920 to 2023, all of these works augment the museum’s joint holdings and amplify the commitment to equitably diversify acquisitions and to collect from innovative points of view. Diverse in mediums, the latest additions to RAM’s permanent collections range from sculpture to works on paper and paintings to photographs.

For the Julia Morgan Building, a prominent highlight of the more than 70 works by over 40 artists donated to the RAM is a gift of two dozen mixed-media works on paper by Los Angeles artist Sandra Rowe.

For The Cheech, 80 works by almost 35 artists have been donated since June 2022. New to the core collection of The Cheech are works by established women artists Barbara Carrasco, Yreina D. Cervántez, Ester Hernández, Judithe Hernández, Yolanda López, and Patricia Rodriguez. Also newly represented in the holdings of The Cheech are artists Eduardo Carrillo, Rosy Cortez, Rupert García, Stephanie García, Luis C. Garza, Ed Gómez, Jaime Guerrero, Susan Guevara, Gerardo Monterrubio, Jesse E. Rodriguez, F. John Sierra, Paul Valadez, and Perry Vásquez.

Other recently accepted gifts were artworks by artists already represented in The Cheech’s collection, including Carlos Almaraz, William José Acedo, Pablo Andrés Cristi, Sonya Fe, David Flury, Margaret García, Diane Gamboa, Yolanda González, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Jeannette L. Herrera, Leo Limon, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Jimmy Peña, Sandy Rodriguez, Frank Romero, Sonia Romero, Ricardo Ruiz, Marta Sánchez, Shizu Saldamando, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, George Yepes, and José Luís Zuno.

“These additions to our permanent collections reflect our dedication and responsibility to represent narratives of our region and beyond, and to build on the generous gifts of Cheech and other donors. Our goal is to continue the transformative work that shapes the future of our collections, exhibitions, and programming at The Cheech and RAM’s Julia Morgan Building,” stated Drew Oberjuerge, Executive Director, Riverside Art Museum.

As part of its $500,000 gift to Riverside Art Museum to support The Cheech, the Wingate Foundation designated $100,000 for artwork acquisitions. The foundation’s intent of requiring a 1:1 match is to inspire collectors and donors to help expand the breadth of Marin’s gift of over 500 artworks. “Our goal is to help RAM build on Cheech’s generosity and to further his legacy at The Cheech by adding important representative (and new) works by established artists, continuing to seek out works by emerging artists, and diversifying his collection’s strong focus on paintings and prints with acquisitions of sculpture, photography, and video art,” shared Todd Wingate.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the Wingate Foundation. This donation will allow us to work towards achieving the goals of The Cheech to expand the breadth of artists who are centered in our space, allowing for new and necessary research into the complexity and powerful contributions of Chicanx art,” said María Esther Fernández, Artistic Director of The Cheech.

To submit an artwork for review and consideration, send an email to Jacob Willson, Registrar, at To contribute financially to RAM’s Acquisitions Fund, contact Valerie Found, Director of Development, at

ABOUT RIVERSIDE ART MUSEUM + THE CHEECH: Since 1967, the Riverside Art Museum (3425 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501) has been housed in a 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, registered on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a Historic Landmark by the City of Riverside. Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing regionally focused exhibitions, programming, events, and arts education that instill a lifelong love of the arts.

Open since June 17, 2022, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture aka “The Cheech” (3581 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501) resides in a renovated mid-century building that originally opened as the City of Riverside, California’s public library in 1964. Dedicated to showcasing Chicana/o/x art, honoring and exploring its continued social, cultural, and political impact, it’s the first cultural center of its kind. The Cheech is home to the unparalleled Cheech Marin Collection of Chicano art. It is a space for continued exhibition, scholarship, and dialogue of Chicano art’s deep roots in the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s to its contemporary and evolving response to current social conditions and global artistic movements.

ABOUT THE WINGATE FOUNDATION: The Wingate Foundation is a private foundation based in Riverside, California. Known for generously supporting causes great and small, John H. Wingate, Jr. founded the Wingate Foundation in 1998. After his passing in 2012, his son Todd Wingate took over operations for the foundation, which now focuses on providing grants that support the arts and the communities of the Inland Empire. Recent grant recipients include The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, UC Riverside, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire, and Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Counties.

The San Bernardino and Riverside counties boast the densest concentration of warehouses globally, largely due to the demand for rapid delivery services. However, this has led to severe pollution levels in the region, adversely affecting the predominantly Latino communities residing nearby and contributing significantly to global warming. This development can be traced back to the region’s commercial history, including the displacement of Indigenous communities for the citrus industry and the military’s role in establishing infrastructure for the logistics sector’s growth. Throughout this history, there have been persistent instances of promises of well-paying jobs at the cost of public health and the environment. Despite this, local community members have consistently rallied to advocate for a more sustainable and equitable approach.

That’s the story that a two-week pop-up art exhibit at the Riverside Art Museum, and online, aims to highlight.

“There isn’t an inevitability of where we got to today — decisions were made at each step along the way,” said Cathy Gudis, professor of history at UC Riverside and a co-curator of the project with her students and two environmental justice groups in L.A. and San Bernardino: East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice and the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice.

Read the entire article at the LAist by Erin Stone

A dialogue with environmental justice organizers from the Inland Empire. Spanish/English translation available. Includes same-day museum admission at Riverside Art Museum.

Thursday, Nov. 2: 6 p.m. at Riverside Art Museum (Julia Morgan Building) Environmental Justice in the IE: Community-based Practices in Art and Activism

(NEW YORK, NY – May 3, 2023) Today, four national funding partners, Alice L. Walton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Pilot House Philanthropy announced the Leadership in Art Museums (LAM) initiative. Over the next five years, the LAM funders will commit over $11M in funding to museums to increase racial equity in leadership roles such as curators, conservators, collections managers, community engagement staff, educators and other senior leaders in a manner designed to advance racial equity. 

As platforms for civic engagement, museums are vital public spaces. Intended to serve the communities around them, they play a critical role in fostering dialogue, creative expression, and community engagement and fortifying democratic principles. Museum leaders—from curators to board members—play a key role in determining the art on display in these cultural institutions. A 2019 study found that only 1.2% of works in all major U.S. museums were created by Black artists, with 9% for Asian artists and only 2.8% for Hispanic and Latinx artists. 

With an expanded group of funding partners, LAM will build on past and existing efforts to create more racial equity in leadership roles across the art museum field. In addition to welcoming new partners—Pilot House Philanthropy and the Mellon Foundation—LAM is bolstered by the learnings from and impact of recent key initiatives; these include the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership (DAMLI) project, the recently created Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums, and related initiatives like the Mellon Foundation’s ongoing Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey to increase diversity in museums. Mellon’s recent research and surveys found significant underrepresentation of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Arab, Asian, Pacific Islander, and other people of color in institutional leadership positions. For example: only 20% of museum leadership and 20% of conservation staff identified as non-white. While hiring trends from 2021 and 2022 show slow and steady progress, leadership museum roles are still overwhelmingly held by white staff. 

“Ultimately, the future of museums depends on their ability to stay relevant and serve their communities,” said Alice Walton, philanthropist and founder of Alice L. Walton Foundation. “The LAM museums represent a variety of regions across the U.S., and help ensure that we’re increasing access to museum roles in a way that’s inclusive of communities of color, no matter where the art institution is based. With this dedicated group of funding partners, we’re united in our commitment to achieve long-lasting impact.”

“If we want the arts in this country to stay vibrant, moving, and transformational, it’s imperative that these institutions bring in more diverse perspectives and lived experiences,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “Leadership in Arts Museum’s vision is to grow and invest in diverse leadership at U.S. art museums to ensure their excellence and relevance in the future.”

A competitive and thorough selection process identified 19 museums across the country for LAM grants to create and sustain new leadership positions. The museums have pledged to make these permanent. In hiring for these positions, the museums also pledge to develop a diverse pool of applicants in a manner that is inclusive of communities of color, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.

“Some of our proudest work recognizes and elevates the role of arts and culture within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities to heal, protect, and restore mental and physical health—not only at the individual level, but also at the community and systems level,” said Joël Barraquiel Tan, executive director at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum. “With this additional support, we can bring in more staff, develop programming in a vibrant, holistic model, and provide training for emerging staff and interns that advances our internal culture of health and wellbeing.”

“Our new Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole curator position, named in honor of the Jacksonville native and internationally regarded educator, scholar, and cultural leader, will help us realize Ninah Cummer’s vision that the museum be a center of beauty for all,” said Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., director and CEO at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Florida. “With the LAM support, we are on course to expand our audiences and invite more visitors to explore and engage with our collections, gardens, and programs.”

The LAM recipients are diverse institutions with local and national impact spanning geography, size, and cultural focus. As a shared goal, they are fully committed to developing and nurturing museums’ leadership roles that will demonstrate and create a more inclusive art world. 

The 2023 LAM museums receiving these awards are:

Arizona State University Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan

MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts

McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi

Museum of the City of New York, New York, New York

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Illinois

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

The Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Perez Art Museum Miami, Florida

Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, California

Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, Washington

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that the Riverside Art Museum is among 30 finalists for the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Riverside Art Museum is one of six institutions in California—and the only one from the Inland Empire—to be selected as a finalist for this award.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. For more than 25 years, the award has honored institutions that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities.

“This nomination recognizes the collective work of our entire organization—staff, trustees—with community partners, Cheech Marin, and the City of Riverside to innovate our programs to better serve our community, resulting in program innovations and the establishment of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum which opened in June 2022 to unprecedented number of visitors,” said Riverside Art Museum Executive Director Drew Oberjuerge.

“So many museums and libraries across the country are committed to providing programs that are vital to the health and growth of engaged communities. We are very proud to announce the 30 finalists for this year’s IMLS National Medal,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “These institutions represent the best of what museums and libraries do for their communities.”

To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging Riverside Art Museum’s community members to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media using the hashtags #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals, and engage with IMLS on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For more information, please visit the IMLS website.

National Medal winners will be announced in late May. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions during an in-person National Medals Ceremony this summer.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cheech Collects installation is in full swing for opening day on June 18

Riverside, CA (June 1, 2022) – One of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture is coming together quickly with the June 18 grand opening within sight. And when the doors open, visitors to The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum in Southern California will be treated to the center’s first exhibition, Cheech Collects, which weaves a story of Cheech Marin’s 40-year journey as an art collector.

Cheech Collects features works by some of the most respected Chicana/o/x artists in the world co-curated by the center’s Artistic Director, María Esther Fernández, and Todd Wingate, the Riverside Art Museum’s Director of Exhibitions and Collections. More than 40 artists are included, many of whom are pioneers, trailblazers, and rule-breakers like Carlos Almaraz, Margaret Garcia, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Judithe Hernández, Frank Romero, and Patssi Valdez.

For Marin, the exhibition is a dream come true.

“These artists channeled their creativity into bold and innovative, aesthetically complex statements,” Marin said. “Not only are these works beautiful and complex, but they also raise visibility for social justice issues, and shape our popular, political, and cultural consciousness.”

The inaugural exhibition, which runs through December 2022, features nearly 100 works from Marin’s generous gift to the Riverside Art Museum as well as from his personal collection. It includes iconic works that have toured in Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, among other notable exhibitions, as well as some that will be on view for the first time. A second iteration of the inaugural exhibition will open in January 2023.

Like Marin himself, many of the artists featured in Cheech Collects have strong roots in the Los Angeles area, while others come from places like San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas. Regardless of their hometowns, many are considered game-changers in the world of Chicano art. Indeed, when the moniker “Chicano” was born some four decades ago amid the turmoil and social unrest of America’s 1960s civil rights movements, some of these artists were already emerging as advocates for change.  

Patssi Valdez grew up in East Los Angeles as a multimedia artist and cofounder of the seminal Chicano artist collective called Asco (active from 1972 to 1987), which responded specifically to socioeconomic and political problems surrounding the Chicano community in the U.S, as well as the Vietnam War. Some of her work, including her stunning 1993 acrylic painting “Room on the Verge” will be featured in Cheech Collects.

The show will also feature the work of Frank Romero, one of L.A.’s most iconic artists, who was born in East Los Angeles in 1941. He is a founding member of the Los Four art collective whose work in the 1974 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was acclaimed as one of the first ever Chicano art shows at a mainstream museum. Guests to The Cheech will see several works including his 1996 painting “The Arrest of the Paleteros,” which illustrates “paleteros” or ice-cream vendors, being arrested in Echo Park for not having permits.

The work of another member of the Los Four art collective will also be on display. That work belongs to Judithe Hernández, who was among the first Chicana artists to break through the mainstream museum barrier. The Los Angeles-based artist first gained recognition as a muralist and is now widely known for her works in pastel of archetypal, mythical female figures. The Cheech will feature her 2017 masterpiece “Juarez Quinceañera,” which depicts the atrocities of the Ciudad Juarez femicides.

Also joining the show is Wayne Alaniz Healy, a founding member of the East Los Streetscapers, one of the first groups of artists to begin the muralist movement in the 1970s. His 1991 acrylic painting “Una Tarde en Meoqui (An Afternoon in Meoqui)” will be featured in Cheech Collects. There’s also Margaret Garcia who began her career as a muralist and was involved in the murals that swept through the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The exhibition will highlight her 2000 oil painting “Janine at 39, Mother of Twins.” Two of many Marin favorites, both paintings never left his home after they returned from the nationally touring Chicano Visions exhibition.

The Cheech, as it’s affectionately called, is the result of a public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum, the City of Riverside, and Marin, who pulled together what is arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art.

“This collection of work not only weaves a narrative of Marin’s 40-year career as a collector but also explores its art historical significance,” said Artistic Director of The Cheech, María Esther Fernández. “This inaugural exhibition, coupled with our entire collection, represents a massive step forward in our pursuit of shaping the art world’s perceptions and understanding of Chicanx art.”

Other artists featured in this inaugural exhibition include the late Carlos Almaraz who was a leading member of the Chicano arts movement in Los Angeles in the 1970s and ’80s, producing banners for rallies in support of Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers labor union. Look for works by: Gilbert “Magú” Luján, a painter, muralist, and sculptor who was among the first U.S. artists of Mexican descent to establish an international career; Glugio “Gronk” Nicandro, a painter, printmaker, and performance artist who was also a founding member of the LA-based arts collective Asco; and Sandy Rodriguez, whose work investigates the methods and materials of painting across cultures and histories.

The doors to The Cheech haven’t opened yet, but some of the new work is already turning heads.

Brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre, who hail from Guadalajara, Mexico, but now live and work on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, just finished installation of a 26-foot lenticular artwork that will greet visitors as they enter the front door of the center. Seventy artworks by the de la Torre brothers are also featured in The Cheech’s inaugural temporary exhibition.  Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective premieres at The Cheech on opening day and after closing on January 22, 2023, it will embark on a national tour supported by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino.

Tickets for opening day on June 18 are sold out, but admission for other dates to the Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech can be purchased at

The two-story lenticular work will be front and center for visitors entering the center.

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA (April 26, 2022) — When visitors enter the doors to the new Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in downtown Riverside, they will come face to face with a towering Aztec earth goddess with a special message about how to save the planet.

Although the center won’t open for another two months, installation is underway on the lenticular artwork by brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre that stretches 26 feet from the ground floor to the second-level balcony. The yet-untitled large-scale installation based on Aztec earth goddess Coatlicue is a commissioned artwork for The Cheech and will greet visitors as they enter the center.

“This piece is going to turn some heads,” said Einar. “There is a myriad of ‘Easter eggs’ to find as you move and take a closer look from the perspective of both floors.” 

The image shows the goddess rising from the earth, made of flora and fauna textures, which can be interpreted as a defense of mother nature. As viewers move laterally in front of the large LED backlit lenticular, the image of the goddess changes to a Transformer-like robot made of lowrider cars. A closer look at the work reveals more details. There are solar panels and windmills dotting the background map, going from East Los Angeles to Riverside. 

Jamex said the message is clear: “We see her beckoning us back to a simpler life, using less resources and eventually living in harmony with nature,” he said. “We see technology as the only way out of the global warming debacle. So, this ‘Transformer’ is the empowering image of the future scientists coming up with creative ways to deal with the rising global temperatures.”

The vivid, ever-changing installation pays homage to its new home and points to the complexities of the often overlooked and misunderstood Inland Empire, which is now the fourth largest Latino metro region in the area. As the viewer moves around the piece, many Inland Empire-centric images and themes begin to emerge, including the area’s long history with the rail industry, its car culture, its network of freeways that are integral to the nation’s logistics industry, and its bounty of native plants and flowers that speak to growing environmental justice efforts. A map of Riverside is also visible upon closer inspection. 

The de la Torre brothers are a natural fit for The Cheech. Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, and now living in San Diego, California, the brothers have navigated life on both sides of the border since they were very young and have inherited their own unique vision of the Latino experience and American culture. Their work draws from traditional Mexican folk art, pop culture, and religious imagery and mythology.

The Cheech, which is inside a mid-century building next to the historic Mission Inn Hotel, is the result of a public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum, Cheech Marin, and the City of Riverside, the “City of Arts & Innovation.”

Opening June 18, 2022, the center is expected to welcome more than 100,000 guests annually to explore exhibitions and engage in educational opportunities. The center will initially house nearly 500 paintings, drawings, and sculptures gifted from Marin, the third-generation Mexican American and film and TV actor who has been collecting Chicano art for four decades, including the work of the de la Torre brothers.

“When I saw the initial renderings created by the brothers, I couldn’t wait to see the real thing as I knew it would be much more than I ever expected, and it is,” Marin said.

The de la Torre brothers will also be featured as part of the center’s first temporary exhibit, Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective, which is being organized by the Riverside Art Museum in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino. Curated by Selene Preciado, the exhibition encompasses almost three decades of work by the de la Torre brothers and features more than 70 mixed-media works, including blown-glass sculptures and installation art, plus some of the artist duo’s latest lenticular artwork.

Tickets for June 19 through August 31, 2022 can be purchased here.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Advanced tickets are now on sale to visit the highly anticipated Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, known as “The Cheech”, opening June 18, 2022, a public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum (RAM), Cheech Marin, and the City of Riverside, the “City of Arts & Innovation.” The Cheech boasts an impressive collection of Chicano art gifted to RAM by renowned comedian and Chicano art collector Cheech Marin.

While opening day is sold out, tickets to visit The Cheech between June 19, 2022, and August 31, 2022, can be purchased now on the RAM website. Admission is $15.95 for adults and $10.95 for seniors, educators, college students, and children ages 13-17. Ticket prices include access to both The Cheech and the Riverside Art Museum. RAM offers free admission to children under 12, RAM members, and military personnel. Discounted admission of $1 is available to those who present an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and accompanying identification as part of the Museums for All program. RAM also partners with Bank of America, Voices for Children, and Big Brother Big Sisters of the Inland Empire to offer free or discounted admission to qualified participants.

The 61,420-square-foot center will house hundreds of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by artists including Carlos Almaraz, Judithe Hernández, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Sandy Rodriguez, Frank Romero, Patssi Valdez, and the de la Torre brothers, Einar and Jamex. 

“After five years of incredible community effort, RAM is pleased to announce that it’s finally time in the words of Cheech Marin to ‘meet at The Cheech!’” said Riverside Art Museum Executive Director Drew Oberjuerge.

“Chicano art is a distinct, evolving art form from artists with a unique perspective of life in the US that will speak to the souls who see it, be they Chicanos or Latinos, art aficionados, or the culturally curious.”  

Beginning June 19, the Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech will be open Monday through Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays through 8 p.m. The Cheech is located at 3581 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA, 92501, on the corner of Mission Inn Avenue and Orange Street. The Riverside Art Museum is located at 3425 Mission Inn Avenue, on the corner of Mission Inn Avenue and Lime Street. Metered street and lot parking is available along Mission Inn Avenue. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

In the News

June 7, 2022:

June 6, 2022:

March 20, 2022:

March 4, 2022:

January 30, 2022:

November 9, 2021:

October 11, 2021:

September 3, 2021:

August 6, 2021:

July 13, 2021:

July 2, 2021:

RIVERSIDE, CA (April 1, 2022)—Chicano roots-rockers Los Lobos will headline a benefit concert on May 7 for the new Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, known as “The Cheech,” in downtown Riverside, the City of Arts & Innovation. The show, presented by Hot 103.9 and Katy 101.3, celebrates the approaching grand opening of The Cheech on June 18, 2022.

The benefit concert begins at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, 3485 Mission Inn Avenue, a few doors down from The Cheech. East LA rock band Quetzal will be the opening act, and Marin himself will be making a special appearance. Tickets start at $32 and are now on sale through Live Nation with all proceeds going to The Cheech.

The Cheech is the result of a public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum, Cheech Marin, and the City of Riverside.

When it opens on Saturday, June 18, The Cheech is expected to be the nation’s premier center for Chicano art and culture, welcoming more than 100,000 guests annually to explore exhibitions and engage in educational opportunities. The center will house nearly 500 paintings, drawings, and sculptures gifted from renowned comedian, philanthropist, and Chicano art collector Cheech Marin.

“We are going to make Riverside the center of Chicano art in the world,” Marin said. “And we’re going to bring the world to Riverside. Who better to celebrate this with than the best Chicano band in the world, Los Lobos?”

Over the last five decades, the East L.A.-bred band Los Lobos has made an indelible mark on music history by exploring an enormous diversity of genres—rock-and-roll and R&B, surf music and soul, mariachi and música norteña, punk rock and country—and building a boldly unpredictable sound all their own. The band released their most recent album, Native Sons, in July 2021.

Chicano art has roots in the Chicano Movement of the 1960s, visually representing the social justice efforts of that time, and incorporating imagery from colonial folk art, religious iconography, indigenous traditions, graffiti art, and the melding of cultures along the US/Mexico border.

The 61,420-square-foot center, which used to be a midcentury public library, will house the work of artists such as Carlos Almaraz, Judithe Hernández, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Sandy Rodriguez, Frank Romero, and Patssi Valdez. A portion of this collection will be exhibited and toured at venues across the nation and throughout the world.

Riverside, CA (February 8, 2022)—The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum originally scheduled to open May 8 is now scheduled to open on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Supply chain issues, contractor-related staffing shortages due to COVID-19, and unforeseen construction setbacks that come with renovating a historical building combined to necessitate this change. While unfortunate, a path forward has been established on how outstanding items will be resolved in a timely and safe manner.

“The opening has been delayed, but don’t despair!” says actor, comedian, and preeminent Chicano art collector and art advocate Cheech Marin. “We want everything to be just right so we can welcome the world in celebrating Chicano art and culture at The Cheech. Join us in June!”

The opening day of The Cheech, presented by US Bank, has been moved to June 18, 2022. A civic dedication will take place at The Cheech on Thursday, June 16, and a Gala, presented by UNIDOS, which was previously scheduled for Friday, May 6, is now set for Friday, June 17, at the Riverside Convention Center.