A comic legend and accomplished art collector cheered on fellow creative Chicanos in Corpus Christi on Jan. 12.
Actor, writer comedian and art collector, Cheech Marin released his latest exhibit at the Art Museum of South Texas, entitled “Los Tejanos: Chicano Art.” Marin hosted a sold out luncheon and lecture at the Art Museum of South Texas to discuss his collection with the art community.
Marin said he found real beauty in the rural art of Texan Chicano artists. Wishing to embrace its differences from the Los Angeles Chicano art he grew up with, Marin said he found exactly what he was looking for in Texas.
“I love it, because it [Chicano art] either intrigues people or it scares them,” Marin said. “Chicanos always reflect their community in an abstract way through their art.”
Best known for founding the comedy duo “Cheech and Chong,” Marin has since turned his attention to artistic expression and creation. Marin holds the largest Chicano art collection in the United States, having collected over 700 works of Chicano art in total. “I want to push artists to keep going,” Marin said. “All artists should have a venue where they feel they belong and can be encouraged.”
The exhibit runs from Jan. 12 to April 29, featuring his collection of 39 works of art by Texas artists. Including work by Joe Peña, Gaspar Enríquez, Jari “Werc” Alvarez, Marta Sánchez, César A. Martínez, Alex Rubio and many more.
“The art museum allows artists to discover other artists and other works,” Marin said. “It gives them encouragement to continue. I want them to never stop painting.”
Karol Stewart, the museum’s coordinator of community services, said many people can relate to the collection on different levels.
“You don’t have to know about art to relate to this collection,” Stewart said. “It shows what people are going through in their lives and their communities now.”
Marta Delgado, luncheon and lecture attendee, said she enjoyed hearing Marin’s thoughts and reflections on art included in his exhibit.
“These artists bring me back to my roots,” Delgado said. “Marin is doing a great thing for the community of artists in South Texas. I know they feel supported.”
Marin spoke to lecture attendees about the Chicano movement’s contributions to the art world, as well as how Picasso, Van Gogh and other impressionist painters helped to shape the movement.
“A hallmark of Chicano art is being able to create abstractions of reality that are completely unique and intricate,” Marin said. “The Chicano school is sophisticated and naive at the same time- that’s what I love about it.”
The exhibit will be on display during regular business hours at the Art Museum of South Texas until April 29. Islander students get in free with a valid SandDollar$ card. For more information regarding this exhibit and others on display, visit their website: artmuseumofsouthtexas.org.