Cheech Marin, center, smiles and poses for a photograph with members of UW’s chapter of MEChA — which in English stands for the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan — a student organization dedicated to promoting Chicano culture and values. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)

On Sep. 21, entertainer and art collector Cheech Marin spoke of painting techniques, his world travels, and his love of Chicano culture to a crowd in an auditorium at the UW College of Education.

Over the years, Marin has amassed a vast collection of Chicano art, a selection of which is now on display at the UW Art Museum.

Perhaps best known for his role in the Cheech & Chong series of stoner comedy movies from the 1970s and ’80s, Marin exhibited a deep knowledge of the styles and techniques of Mexican-American, also known as Chicano, artists whose works he has promoted worldwide.

A contingent of students from the UW chapter of MEChA — a group dedicated to promoting Chicano values on university campuses — sat right up front. The UW chapter has recently been calling for stronger action on campus in support of DACA recipients. After Marin’s speech, a MEChA member called out in Spanish for the entertainer to take a photo with the group. He did so gladly.

“Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Cheech Marin Collection,” will be on display at the UW Art Museum until Dec. 16.

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Andrew Graham is reporting for WyoFile from Laramie. He covers state government, energy and the economy. Reach him at 443-848-8756 or at, follow him @AndrewGraham88

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  1. Chech Marin’s Chicano Art collection is thought to be the worlds largest private collection. To be so knowledgeable and able to share this with the world makes Cheech Marin a giant in my eyes.