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 www.riversideartmuseum.org.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT
Sophie Booth
Idea Hall
sophie@ideahall.com
562-230-3051

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 jwillson@riversideartmuseum.org. To contribute financially to RAM’s Acquisitions Fund, contact Valerie Found, Director of Development, at vfound@riversideartmuseum.org

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.
RSVP: ramcheech.ticketapp.org/portal/product/130

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

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (May 23, 2023)—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced Riverside Art Museum of Riverside, California today as one of eight recipients of the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 29 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“IMLS is delighted to announce the eight worthy recipients of the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, including Riverside Art Museum,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community through thought-provoking exhibits and art classes that instill a lifelong love of the arts. The museum values art education as well as exhibitions and collections and aims to uplift untold stories.”

Originally formed in the early 1950s by a loosely knit group of artists, RAM is a nonprofit museum with two locations: the Riverside Art Museum, housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture (The Cheech), which opened June 18, 2022. The 60-plus-year-old cultural arts institution strives to be a distinguished, yet accessible institution that serves as a cultural, collaborative, and educational focal point for its diverse community.

Selected from 30 finalists, the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.       

“This award is a tribute to how inspiring transformation can occur when a group of people come together with the goal to uplift and celebrate the human experience through art,” said Drew Oberjuerge, Executive Director, Riverside Art Museum. “Our Trustees and staff have prioritized community voices and community collaboration, which resulted in the establishment of The Cheech and the ongoing innovation of our organization and programs.”

Congressman Mark Takano, Representative for California’s 39th Congressional District nominated the Riverside Art Museum to receive this award. “I am thrilled to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Riverside Art Museum on receiving the esteemed 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” he said. “This well-deserved recognition is a testament to their groundbreaking work establishing The Cheech and in showcasing Chicano art and culture, bridging gaps in representation, and fostering inclusivity within our community. The Riverside Art Museum has truly set a new standard of excellence, and we celebrate their dedication to preserving and celebrating the vibrant heritage of the Inland Empire. This award is a proud moment for the 39th Congressional District and a shining example of the transformative power of art.”

Central to the unique public-private partnership with Riverside Art Museum and the City of Riverside is Cheech Marin. “Riverside Art Museum’s decades-long work in the community, its educational mission, and the broad support of Chicano art within and beyond the Inland Empire is why I decided to gift my collection and work together with the museum to create a national center. This IMLS award is a wonderful acknowledgment to the RAM trustees, staff and supporters as well as the City of Riverside and the State of California.”

The award will be presented at a ceremony this summer in Washington, DC. For a complete list of 2023 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit the IMLS website.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES (IMLS): IMLS 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 www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter.

ABOUT RIVERSIDE ART MUSEUM (RAM): RAM is one museum with two locations in Riverside, California; a city proclaimed as the “City of Arts & Innovation.” Since 1967, the Riverside Art Museum (3425 Mission Inn Avenue) 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. Open since June 18, 2022, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture aka “The Cheech” (3581 Mission Inn Avenue) resides in a renovated mid-century building that originally opened as the City of Riverside, California’s public library in 1964. At both, RAM integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high-quality exhibits and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. To learn more, visit www.riversideartmuseum.org. Follow The Cheech on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

RAM ADMISSION & PUBLIC HOURS: Admission is valid for The Cheech and Riverside Art Museum (RAM). Purchase tickets at the door or reserve online at https://riversideartmuseum.org/get-tickets. Tickets are $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors, students and educators (ID required); and free admission for museum members, children under 12, and active-duty military personnel with accompanying family members. Free admission is available during October through May on the first Sundays (1-5pm) and throughout the year on the first Thursdays (6-9pm). RAM and The Cheech are open Tuesday–Sunday 10am to 5pm (closed Monday until further notice). For updates, visit www.riversideartmuseum.org or call (951) 684-7111 for more information.

May 18, 2023 Riverside, California offers so much eye-popping architecture — from Mission Revival to Mid-Century Modernism — all within just a couple of blocks. Here are the city’s downtown highlights, ranging from The Mission Inn and a Julia Morgan YMCA to The Cheech art museum. Want to learn more?

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Chelle Barbour blends Afro-surrealism and afro-futurism to elevate the agency of the Black female character in her collages. Her series of collage portraits is on view at the Riverside Art Museum as part of “Colliding Visions: Contemporary California Collage” from May 18 to October 15, 2023. Learn more about Barbour’s process and how she reconstructs the “Black female character.

Want to learn more? Find more SoCal arts and culture at https://bit.ly/3AKKAbV

(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 www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

“[The] Japanese Mexican experience…there is very little documentation, there is very little record, and it’s not part of the national history so it’s hard for us to engage with these kinds of histories.”

The black and white photograph of a community posing in front of a parade float in Tijuana in the early twentieth century tells a story of migration largely forgotten to history, an image that inspired artist Shinpei Takeda’s virtual reality sculptural installation, Float for Reclamation: Limit of Your Safe Space Iteration II, 2023, now showing at the MexiCali Biennial Land of Milk and Honey exhibit at the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. Taken by Kingo Nonaka, the first documentary photographer of Tijuana, it captures the Japanese community in the years prior to World War II (fig. 1). As Takeda shares with me, many of these individuals were migrant workers, “coming from countryside of Japan, initially to Chiapas. The idea was to work in café [coffee] plantations, and send money back, like an immigrant, like braceros.” When opportunities disappeared there – and in Oaxaca’s coffee plantations as well – many of these migrants would eventually move north to Tijuana. With the advent of World War II, this growing community in the U.S-Mexico borderlands would be forcefully uprooted from their homes, like their Japanese American counterparts in the U.S. It is a history that remains largely unknown, a glaring erasure in both U.S, U.S-Mexico borderlands history, and Mexican national history.

Read the entire article at East Wind Ezine by Celia Viramontes

Renown photojournalist and curator Luis C. Garza joins Dan Guerrero on the next Happy Hour of streamed conversations. Garza has a distinguished career dating back to the early days of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles documenting that tumultuous time for “La Raza” magazine. He later captured Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros in an iconic photograph during an historic meeting in Budapest during a World Peace Conference, a meeting that proved transformational for the Bronx-born Chicano. This plática is not to be missed. https://causeconnect.net/portfolio_pa…

Luis C. Garza – Photojournalist and Curator known for his work recording tumultuous social events of the 1960s and 1970s in Los Angeles and NYC.

https://www.hellomynameisdana.com/1967255/12408875

Photographer Luis C. Garza images have rarely been exhibited to the public. His works documented his East Los Angeles community during the early 1970s, his South Bronx neighborhood during the 1960s, and his 1971 travels to Budapest, Hungary for the World Peace Conference where he met Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.

I’ve been planning this visit for a few months now, but one thing or another always came up and forced me to postpone the trip to the following weekend. And then the following one. As they say better late than never. Finally, this past weekend I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours at both the Riverside Art Museum and the nearby The Cheech (more formal name: The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry).

Judging by the foot traffic, I noticed The Cheech gets a lot more love than the RAM, but still, I can’t tell you how lucky I felt to have randomly enjoyed Beliz Iristay’s Tracing Acculturations exhibit (runs through April 30, 2023). The works of art showcased are the result of an ultra-unique combination you wouldn’t think of in a million years: Mexican x Turkish.

Read the entire article at faisaling

Visitors to the recently opened Cheech Marin Center at the Riverside Art Museum are often astonished by the extensive collection of colorful, narrative art there by Carlos Almaraz, Judithe Hernández, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Frank Romero, Patssi Valdez and other pioneering Chicano artists: work that has been gifted by Cheech Marin, actor of the Cheech and Chong movies, and avid collector of Chicano art.

Read the entire article at visual art source

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture is First Stop for Nationally Touring Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective                             

Riverside, CA (June 9, 2022) – The Riverside Art Museum is partnering with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino on a seven-month-long exhibition that explores over 30 years of artistic production by internationally acclaimed artist duo Einar and Jamex de la Torre.

Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective premieres at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, affectionately known as The Cheech, on the center’s grand opening on June 18, 2022, and will run through January 22, 2023. Guest curated by Selene Preciado, the exhibition features more than 70 mixed-media works, including blown-glass sculptures and installation art, plus some of the artists’ latest lenticulars with imagery that changes as the viewer moves from side to side.

This exhibition was made possible by a partnership between the Riverside Art Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino. When Collidoscope wraps up in Riverside early next year, it will embark on a national tour managed by CauseConnect. Confirmed venues to date include the Corning Museum of Glass, Crocker Art Museum, and the Art Museum of South Texas.

María Esther Fernández, who is The Cheech’s artistic director, said the de la Torre brothers are a natural fit for the center: “We are thrilled to showcase the de la Torre brothers’ innovative work and how it has come together under Selene Preciado’s thoughtful curatorial vision.” The de la Torre brothers are no strangers to The Cheech. In fact, they are the artists behind the center’s first commissioned art installation: a 26-foot-tall lenticular that stretches from the ground floor to the second story.

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, and now living both in San Diego and Baja California, the brothers have navigated life on both sides of the border since they were young and have inherited their own unique vision of the Latinx experience and American culture. Their work is visually complex and infused with humorous elements exploring art, history, and material culture. Working with glass, resin, lenticular prints and found objects, the brothers create work inspired by Mexican folk art, popular culture, religious imagery, consumer culture, and mythology. Many elements of the exhibition, including the title and curatorial framework, try to echo the creative process of the artists, serving as an allegory of their intellectual pursuits, their technical use of materials and media, and their use of wordplay and poetic riddles.

“The title of the exhibition mirrors the artists’ use of wordplay, alluding to the kaleidoscope-like quality of their works and the collision of imagery, themes, and references that comprise their artistic language,” said guest curator Selene Preciado. “The artists use critique layered with humor as a tool to unpack the tensions and contradictions of our postcolonial transcultural identity.”

Einar de la Torre said he and his brother don’t exactly consider themselves glass artists but treat glass as one component in their three-dimensional collages. The result, he said, speaks volumes about the Latino experience in America.

“The complexities of the immigrant experience and contradicting bicultural identities, as well as our current life and practice on both sides of the border, really propel our narrative and aesthetics,” he said. “We are truly honored to showcase our work at this historically significant center for Chicano art.”

Historic indeed. The Cheech is one of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture. Visitors to The Cheech will have an opportunity to view paintings, drawings, sculptures and other works by some of the most respected Chicano artists in the world, people like Carlos Almaraz, Margaret Garcia, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Judithe Hernández, Frank Romero, and Patssi Valdez. The work is gifted from Marin, a third-generation Mexican-American comedian, filmmaker, actor, and art advocate who has spent the past four decades collecting Chicano art, including work by the de la Torre brothers.

Although the physical space for the National Museum of the American Latino is still in development, Smithsonian staff are working on virtual exhibitions and programs to assist in planning and fundraising. They are opening a preview exhibition in the museum’s Molina Family Latino Gallery—located in the National Museum of American History. This first exhibition kicks off June 18—the same day as the grand opening of The Cheech—with ¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States, which tells US history from the perspectives of the diverse Latinas and Latinos who lived it.

The openings of The Cheech and the Molina Family Latino Gallery are indicative of a larger movement to commemorate the culture and contributions of Latinos.

Eduardo Díaz, deputy director of the National Museum of the American Latino, said there is plenty to be excited about as two centers dedicated to Latino culture and education open on opposite ends of the nation, helping ensure that the Latino story is presented as an integral and important part of the American story.

“Collaborating with The Cheech allows us to extend the presence of the National Museum of the American Latino beyond the DC Beltway,” Díaz said. “And where better than California’s Inland Empire to emphasize the museum’s true national impact and importance?”

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

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About RAM and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture: RAM is one museum with two locations: the Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, slated to open June 18, 2022, in downtown Riverside, the “City of Arts & Innovation”. RAM integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high quality exhibitions and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. RAM’s desire to further engage and serve the community was the impetus to create The Cheech, a public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin—one of the world’s foremost collectors of Chicano art. Marin’s gift of approximately 500 works by Chicana/o/x artists— including the likes of Carlos Almaraz, Judithe Hernández, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Sandy Rodriguez, Frank Romero, and Patssi Valdez—to RAM’s permanent collection makes the collection a repository for one of the largest holdings of Chicana/o/x art by a non-ethnic specific contemporary art museum. The Cheech is dedicated to showcasing Chicana/o/x art and honoring and exploring its continued social, cultural, and political impact through a comprehensive exhibitions program of the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions organized at the center, as well as nationally touring exhibitions that align with the center’s vision. The Cheech will work collaboratively with community partners to present thought-provoking educational programming that explores the complexity of Chicana/o/x culture not only through the visual arts, but in both music and film as well, recognizing that this art is evolving and expanding its definitions and parameters in response to current social conditions and in conversation with global artistic movements. For information about The Cheech, visit www.thecheechcenter.org. Find The Cheech on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecheechcenter), Twitter (@thecheechcenter), and Instagram (@thecheechcenter).

About Cheech Marin: Cheech Marin is recognized today as a preeminent Chicano art advocate. In the mid-1980s, he began developing what is now arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art. In addition to artwork loans to numerous institutions, this notable collection has been featured in over a dozen exhibitions produced and shown at more than 50 museums in the U.S. and Europe to date, including the Smithsonian, LACMA, and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Comprised of mostly paintings, followed by drawings, prints, and mixed-media artworks, sculptures and photography, his collection is the foundation of The Cheech. His goal for The Cheech for it to be THE premier center of Chicano art … locally connected, regionally based, nationally relevant, and internationally renowned. 

About the National Museum of the American Latino: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino advances the representation, understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States. The museum provides financial resources and collaborates with other museums to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more. The museum’s Molina Family Latino Gallery will be the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience. The legislation creating the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian passed Dec. 27, 2020. Connect with the museum at latino.si.edu, and follow @USLatinoMuseum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About the de la Torre Brothers: Collaborating artists and brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre were born in Guadalajara, México (1963 and 1960, respectively) where they grew up until their family moved to California in 1972. They both studied at California State University at Long Beach and taught at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Currently, the brothers live and work on both sides of the border (Ensenada, Baja California, México and San Diego, California). Since the mid-1990s, the brothers have collaborated in earnest and worked together to develop their signature style of mixed-media work with blown-glass sculpture and lenticular printing. Their pieces represent a multifaceted view of life that reflects a complex and humorous aesthetic that could be seen as baroque. Influences range from religious iconography to German expressionism while also paying homage to Mexican vernacular arts and pre-Columbian art. To date they have had 18 solo museum exhibitions in six different countries, completed eight major public art projects and have participated in four biennales. Their work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Cheech Marin Collection and they are recipients of the USA Fellowship Award, the San Diego Art Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, among other honors. The de la Torre brothers are represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, visit www.delatorrebrothers.art.

About Selene Preciado: A Los Angeles-based independent curator, Selene Preciado has worked at the Getty Foundation since 2015. Preciado’s research interests include contemporary art and post-1960s conceptualist vanguards such as feminist art and performance art, with a special focus on Latin American art and its diaspora in the United States. Past curatorial projects include “Ser todo es ser parte/To be Whole is to be Part,” Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2020); “Customizing Language,” the inaugural exhibition of the Emerging Curators Program at LACE, co-curated with Idurre Alonso (2016); “José Montoya’s Abundant Harvest: Works on Paper/Works on Life,” Fowler Museum at UCLA, co-curated with Richard Montoya (2016); “In Search of an Exit (or Eight Characters in a Parlor),” Heritage Square Museum, co-curated with the USC MA Class of 2015 (2015); “MIXTAPE” (2013); and “Anywhere Better than this Place” (2012) at MOLAA. Prior to her current post, she worked as a curatorial research assistant at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), in 2013–2015. She worked at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) from 2009 to 2013 as an assistant curator. From 2005 to 2008, she worked as an exhibitions assistant at Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), as a curatorial assistant at the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA), and an exhibition coordinator for inSite_05. Preciado obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego, and holds a Master of Arts in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere from the University of Southern California. Her master’s thesis examined the first years of production of feminist Mexican artist Mónica Mayer.

Cheech Collects

(Photo: Margaret Garcia, Down Figueroa St., Part of the Cheech Marin Collection)

(Photo: Margaret Garcia, Down Figueroa St., Part of the Cheech Marin Collection)

One of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture opens this June, with visitors treated to the centre’s first exhibition which weaves a story of Cheech Marin’s 40-year journey as an art collector. The exhibition features works by some of the most respected Chicana/o artists in the world, many of whom are considered pioneers, trailblazers, and even rule-breakers. It includes beautiful and complex works – some on view for the first time – designed to raise visibility for social justice issues, and help shape our popular, political, and cultural consciousness.

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside / 18 June 2022 – 18 June 2023

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 riversideartmuseum.org/get-tickets.

In the News

June 7, 2022: https://www.travelmag.com/articles/exhibitions-california-summer-2022/

June 6, 2022: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/knx-in-depth-la-hosts-summit-of-the-americas/id1423814166?i=1000565434550

March 20, 2022: https://robbreport.com/shelter/art-collectibles/two-museums-expand-in-california-to-celebrate-latin-american-art-1234668627/

March 4, 2022: https://www.pe.com/2022/03/04/los-lobos-to-play-benefit-concert-for-the-cheech-museum-in-riverside/

January 30, 2022: https://www.pe.com/2022/01/30/how-riversides-ywca-hired-julia-morgan-and-defied-mission-inn/

November 9, 2021: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/cheech-marin-center-riverside-preview-1234609366/

October 11, 2021: https://www.pe.com/2021/10/11/riverside-art-museum-to-show-work-from-artist-sonya-fe/

September 3, 2021: https://www.pe.com/2021/09/03/riverside-art-museum-wins-50000-grant-for-artist-in-residence-work/

August 6, 2021: https://www.kpbs.org/news/2021/aug/06/cheech/

July 13, 2021: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-07-13/cheech-marin-center-chicano-art-director-maria-esther-fernandez

July 2, 2021: https://www.pe.com/2021/07/02/typewriters-are-stars-of-new-riverside-art-museum-exhibit/

The Riverside Art Museum and San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art are both expanding to feature more Chicano and Latin American works.

Cheech Marin can’t help but crack wise about his decades-old habit of acquiring art. “Unfortunately, it’s a mania,” he says. “It’s an addiction: My name is Cheech, and I’m an art collector.”

Improbable as it may sound, Marin, half of the iconic duo Cheech & Chong, who spun stoner shtick into comedy gold in the 1970s and ’80s, is widely considered the world’s preeminent collector of Chicano art. Thanks to his gift of roughly 500 pieces from this trove, the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture—or “the Cheech”—will open its doors in Riverside, Calif., in June.

Recently, museums have pledged to diversify their holdings and programming. The Riverside Art Museum’s offer to devote an entire new branch to Marin’s cache arrived at just the right time. “I had come to the point where I started to say, ‘What am I going to do with this collection?’ ” he recalls. “There’s no more room under the bed, and the garage is full. Then this thing dropped out of the sky.”

Read the full article on Robb Report’s website.

Los Lobos
Los Lobos performs at the Pacific Amphitheatre on Sunday, Aug 1, 2021. The group will perform May 7 in Riverside at a benefit concert for the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. (File photo by Kelly A. Swift, Contributing Photographer)

Renowned Chicano rock group Los Lobos will headline a May 7 benefit concert for the new Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, known as “The Cheech.”

Delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicano art museum’s grand opening in downtown Riverside is now set for June 18, officials said. It was originally to open May 8 in the renovated former library build.

Read the full article at PressEnterprise.com

Pioneering female architect Julia Morgan, best known for Hearst Castle, was born 150 years ago this month. She designed more than 700 buildings in California but just one in the Inland Empire: Riverside’s grand YWCA.

Thankfully, the 1929 building is still around, home to the Riverside Art Museum. In fact, it’s been in the hands of RAM and its predecessor, the Riverside Art Center, far longer than i …

Read the full article on PressEnterprise.

The Riverside Art Museum will present an exhibit of 27 paintings and 18 drawings to help lead to the 2022 opening of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Arts & Culture of Riverside Art Museum.

The exhibition, called “Are You with Me?” by artist Sonya Fe, will be in the Art Alliance Gallery and is part of The Cheech@RAM series of shows leading to the new museum’s May opening.

Read the full article on Press Enterprise

The Riverside Art Museum has received a $50,000 grant for its Artist-in-Residence Program, a community-revitalization initiative led by artist and Riverside native Juan Navarro.

The museum is among 20 nonprofit groups in the nation to benefit from this year’s U.S. Bank Foundation Market Impact Fund award. The foundation’s contributions totaling $1 million aim to support those creating community.

Read the full article at Press Enterprise

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is committed to confronting anti-Blackness and systemic racism. As we prepare to reopen the museum, we are taking a deep look at how our mission-driven work can contribute to creating a more just and equitable world; building community through the arts is a pledge we make in our mission statement. 

We have heard from community members, artists, trustees, volunteers, and staff about ways we can further this work. We are steadfast to accomplish the following:


  • Reconvene our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Task Force comprised of museum trustees, staff, and community members to hear from Black, Latino, People of Color, and other underrepresented artists, community leaders, and organizations we have worked with in the past to ask for and listen to their insights and expertise to help create actionable next steps; in recent years, this task force outlined initiatives such as our Visual Voice exhibition as part of the Association of African American Museums Conference in Riverside;
  • Explore with the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California a year-long partnership to elevate the conversation about structural racism through collaborative exhibitions and programs, including working with curator Lisa Henry to bring Sheila Pree Bright’s #1960 Now exhibition to RAM in Fall 2020;
  • Dive deep during our board-staff Strategic Planning and Values workshops to discuss changes that need to be made across the organization from staff and board diversity to how exhibitions are conceptualized and scheduled, to how we further equitable art education initiatives, to who we listen to regarding programming so more people in our community have a place to share their stories and experiences; and to
  • Expedite the timeline for recruiting a subject-matter expert curator for The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture to help guide us in these initiatives.

On Saturday, July 4, 2020, we fully open to the public with free admission thanks to a donation from a local private foundation. This foundation in particular wants the community to see our two current exhibitions, which opened February 1, 2020, but were cut short by our mandated closure:

  • Sandra Rowe | Mother Wit: For nearly fifty years, Sandra Rowe’s work has been impossible to categorize. With her unflinching views of relationships, race, and gender, she pokes and prods, asking questions that are difficult to answer and which often go unspoken aloud. Figures are often stripped of gender and race yet, somehow, more deeply embody the core of the human experience. Rowe’s long overdue retrospective, Mother Wit, explores the full range and depth of Rowe’s artistic expression.
  • Brenna Youngblood | Lavender Rainbow: Riverside native Brenna Youngblood’s work explores issues of African American identity and representation and often references historically significant moments and organizations in African American history. Youngblood has been the recipient of the 2015 Seattle Art Museum Gwendolyn Knight/Jacob Lawrence Prize, the 2014 The Hermitage Artist Retreat, Englewood, FL, and the 2012 Los Angeles County Museum of Art Young Talent Award/AHAN Award.    

The Riverside Art Museum staff and board have an obligation and duty as stewards of a public-serving organization, as well as deep-seated personal reasons, to not only want to tackle anti-Blackness, structural racism, and issues around diversity, inclusion, access, and equity, but are firmly committed to doing the necessary hard, uncomfortable work to see it through.

Michelle Ouellette

RAM Board President

Drew Oberjuerge

RAM Executive Director