Comedy and culture lovers have a chance to indulge doubly when entertainer Cheech Marin comes to Bellingham to open an exhibition, "Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection," at Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher, 250 Flora St.
The exhibit, which features 65 works by 26 painters from Marin's renowned collection by Mexican-American artists, will be on view through March 24.
Marin is the featured guest at the show's museum member preview from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, and he will present a public lecture at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Rotunda Room at the museum's Old City Hall building, 121 Prospect St. At 6:30 the same evening he'll be at Pickford Film Center for a 25th anniversary showing of the film he directed, "Born in East L.A."
Showcasing 65 paintings by 26 painters, the exhibit highlights Marin's most recent passion: small paintings averaging 16 inches square and smaller. In contrast to other works in his collection representing and promoting the Chicano art movement of the mid-'60s and '70s, the content of many of the small paintings leans toward the artist's internal or personal statement rather than a response to political, social or cultural situations.
In his collector's statement Marin notes "There is something about the intimacy of a small painting that draws you in and implants itself is the warmth of your memory. For the collector, the small paintings are the ones that remain with them throughout their lives. They are the paintings that are always in their bedrooms or their kitchens or whatever room in which they spend the most time. The owners know every square inch of these paintings and can almost see them in the dark."
The paintings, which include photorealism, abstracts, portraits and landscapes, offer a window into the lives of the artists, each drawing on his or her upbringing, cultural heritage, education and life experiences for inspiration.
Check whatcommuseum.org for upcoming events related to the exhibit.
Note: The Lightcatcher has new hours: Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m., Thursdays open until 8 p.m. and Saturdays open at 10 a.m. Family Interactive Gallery is open Wednesday -Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Details: 360-778-8930, whatcommuseum.org.