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San Diego artists first to exhibit in new Riverside Art Museum branch 'The Cheech'

The Riverside Art Museum is partnering with legendary comedian Cheech Marin, showcasing Marin's personal Chicano-focused art collection.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Chicano art, culture, and history will soon have a new home in Riverside county, inside the Riverside Art Museum's new The Cheech building.

Artists Einer and Jamex De La Torre grew up between Guadalajara and Orange County. They now call San Diego and Ensenada home, all of which have a say in the way they create their art.

"We really love being on both sides very much," the brothers said via Zoom. "When you think about crossing the border constantly, and how you think differently on both sides of the border, hugely informs our artwork."

Their artwork will soon be the first on display inside The Cheech Marin Center For Chicano Art and Culture. And as the name suggests, they'll be in pretty famous company. Actor and comedian Cheech Marin is in on the project.

"I never dreamed this dream," Marin said. He explain the museum approached him to join. "They said 'we want to give you the museum. You give us the collection and we'll give you the museum to house it.'' 

His reaction: "Okay! Let's see how that goes!"

The building, once the old library in town, will house Marin's personal collection of more than 500 Chicano-centered art pieces and feature a list of revolving Latino artists, like the De La Torres.

"This is a pretty large honor for us," said Jamex De La Torre. "As Cheech has said numerous times, the Chicano experience is an American experience."

"I think they're going to see the length and breadth and depth of Chicano culture that I've been exhibiting in pictures in paintings for you know 40 years," Marin added.

He expects it will take about five years for "The Cheech" to cycle through his collection, so this is for the long haul.

The museum will open June 18th. For more information, visit the The Cheech.

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