LARAMIE — Well-known entertainer Cheech Marin, who has gained additional acclaim as a collector of Chicano art, returns to the University of Wyoming with a new exhibition, “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Cheech Marin Collection,” opening Saturday, Sept. 23, at the UW Art Museum.
Marin, who visited UW in 2013, also will present two free public programs in conjunction with his latest exhibition:
— Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. — Art talk with Cheech Marin, “CHICANO ART: Perspectives of an Art Advocate,” followed by a book signing in the UW College of Education Building auditorium.
— Friday, Sept. 22, 10:30 a.m. — Gallery walk-through in the UW Art Museum.
“Papel Chicano Dos” will be on display through Saturday, Dec. 16.
Marin, who is best known for his work in movies, television, and improvisational comedy, has been acquiring art for more than 25 years and has amassed arguably the most renowned collection of Chicano art in private hands. He has actively promoted Chicano art as an American art genre, elevating its recognition by major museums nationwide.
“Cheech’s contributions to recognizing Chicano art as an American art form are exemplary,” says Susan Moldenhauer, director and chief curator at the UW Art Museum. “We are honored and excited to bring this second exhibition from Cheech’s collection to the University of Wyoming and to have him discuss this important work in several public forums.”
“Papel Chicano Dos” includes 65 artworks by 24 established and early-career Chicano/Chicana artists whose work explores the Chicano experience through a myriad of techniques, from watercolor and aquatint to pastel and mixed media.
Featured artists are Carlos Almaraz, Charles “Chaz” Bojórquez, Pablo Andres Cristi, Carlos Donjuán, Gaspar Enríquez, Sonya Fe, Emmanuel Galvez, Margaret García, Roberto Gil de Montes, CiCi Segura González, Raúl Guerrero, Roberto Gutiérrez, Adán Hernández, Benito Huerta, Leo Limón, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Cesar A. Martínez, Glugio “Gronk” Nicondra, Wenceslao Quiroz, Frank Romero, Sonia Romero, Ricardo Ruiz, John Valadez and Vincent Valdez.
painting of a glowing figure in a blue robe surrounded by people
Pablo Andrés Cristi’s “If La Virgen Returned” is among works from “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Cheech Marin Collection” that will open Saturday, Sept. 23, at the UW Art Museum. (Cheech Marin Collection and the artist)
Dating from the late 1980s to the present, works in “Papel Chicano Dos” offer iconic imagery with influences ranging from pre-Hispanic symbols and postrevolutionary nationalistic Mexican motifs to the Chicano movement of the 1960s and contemporary urban culture.
The visual arts were integral to the Chicano movement and continue to be a powerful tool for Mexican-American and Chicano communities to voice the issues that affect them today.
Works in the exhibition include a focus on activism, highlighting how Chicano artists provide access to the arts by creating posters, fliers, printed statements and newsletters with elaborate aesthetic compositions and designs. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Chicano artists were creating iconic images that transcended their activist function and defined the iconography of a movement.
The exhibition and Marin’s visit are sponsored by TRONOX; Union Wireless; Edelweiss Funds; an anonymous donor; the National Advisory Board for the UW Art Museum Endowment; Art Museum Gala funds; Wyoming Public Media; the Wyoming Arts Council, through the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Wyoming State Legislature.
Through its “Museum as Classroom” approach, the UW Art Museum places art at the center of learning for all ages. Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday hours are extended to 7 p.m. February through April and September through November. Admission is free.
For more information about Marin’s art collection, go to www.cheechmarin.com/chicano-art/.