LA Fridays with Bob and Tom: Jeffrey Deitch Gallery: Wonder Women

LA Fridays with Bob & Tom

Week 144:  Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture

“The Cheech”

Joining Bob and I this week were our wives, Phyllis and Peggy, as we visited the new Cheech Center for Chicano art museum in Riverside.  The collection of Cheech Marin, one of the foremost collectors of Chicano art.  The museum is a well-designed building, spacious and well-lighted.

Entering the front door, you are immediately blown away by a giant depiction of the Inland Empire, rendered in a 26-foot-tall lenticular that shifts depending on what angle its viewed from.

The exhibit begins with a room of paintings that demonstrate a sense of community, like the painting of the Peloteros by Frank Romero, one of the many original Chicano painters and part of an LA-based collective called Los Four, which helped bring the Chicano art movement to national attention.  The other three members of the group-Carlos Almaraz, Beto de la Rocha and Gilbert Lujan-are also represented in the inaugural exhibition of The Cheech, which features 96 works from 34 artists in Marin’s collection.  While the basis of Cheech’s collection is Chicano art from the 70’s, during the Mexican-American civil rights movement, Marin’s collection also includes younger painters working today.

You will not want to miss this spectacular exhibition of under-appreciated and largely unknown Latino artists.  You might consider having lunch across the street at the lovely historic Mission Inn to complete your visit.

This museum and its collection are not to be missed.



Thomas (Tom) is an attorney who practiced trial and constitutional law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born in 1938 in Bamberg Germany, he was one of the youngest passengers on the ill-fated voyage of the Damned, the SS St. Louis, turned away from Cuba in 1939.

Tom represented local civil rights activists and Dick Gregory and twice argued cases successfully in the United States Supreme Court. In 1970 he was the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General.

Retiring in 2008, he and wife, Peggy, moved to California to join their two sons and four grandchildren, and enjoy the warm weather.

Tom has kept busy as a member of Senior Scholars and Plato for the last six years keeping his brain stimulated and active. Yoga and swimming have kept his body in shape.