The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture located in Riverside, California is a public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin.

The Cheech Center is intended to be a locus of Chicano painting, sculpture and photography. Its 61,420 square feet of space is curated with a variety of paintings from comedian Cheech Marin’s personal collection culminated as one of the world’s foremost collections of Chicano art.


Lighting Design: HLB Lighting

Architects: Page & Turnbull | WHY

Photography: © Henri Khodaverdi


2024 Preservation Design Award

Los Angeles-based architects Page & Turnbull worked with museum architects WHY to convert a 1964 mid-century library into a modern museum and cultural center. While preserving the historic and vintage aspects of the original building, such as the exposed brick walls, the stainless-steel framework, and aluminum stair railings with restored decorative polyester panels, the design team was able to transform the historic building to represent something entirely new both inside and out. The lighting design for this historical renovation project was placed in the expert hands of the Los Angeles office of HLB Lighting.
“Our goal for the exhibition was to weave a narrative of Cheech as a collector and begin to tell a story of the art historical importance of the collection and some of the works,” said Maria Esther Fernandez, The Cheech’s artistic director.
Maria Esther Fernandez The Cheech’s artistic director
It is a historic building, so careful integration of modern products into a historic building is really important. We wanted to make sure the products are very simple looking and don’t call attention to them.
Tina Aghassian, IESNA, MIES, CLD, Assoc. AIA Senior Principal Designer, HLB Lighting
The design team used over 500 pieces of Targetti's versatile LEDO with Dynamic Beam Shaping (DBS) technology to provide the main source of illumination throughout the museum. The LEDO DBS luminaires with the EUROSTANDARD SURFACE TRACK were featured in the museum gallery's and common areas. Specially designed for museum lighting, LEDO track light projectors provide precise beam control, the high color quality of the light and excellent color rendering.

“We chose the TARGETTI fixtures because we experienced first hand the great job they did in the museums in Italy“, noted Tina. “We wanted to look at future technology – that’s why we chose LEDO with DBS and Casambi to give us the flexibility to change the beam spread with the touch of a button. We felt that this would be helpful to the museum staff.
Tina Aghassian, IESNA, MIES, CLD, Assoc. AIA Senior Principal Designer, HLB Lighting
LEDO DBS combines the most advanced optical system technology with wireless control, all in one fixture. The Dynamic Beam Shaping (DBS) features maximum optical flexibility without the use of any mechanical parts. It is controlled via wireless bluetooth through the Casambi® app interface allowing for individual fixture, beam and dimming control. Targetti and the exclusive technology from the American company LensVector, brought about the development of fixtures fitted with an optical system that can dynamically vary the beam opening angle passing in a gradual manner from a more concentrated SPOT (around 10°) emission to a wider WIDE FLOOD (around 50°), flowing fluidly through all the all points in between. The LensVector technology uses flat lenses equipped with liquid crystal molecules whose orientation is controlled by an electric field capable of activating a process of light diffusion up to a maximum of 50°. This technology is based on the use of liquid crystal lenses makes it possible to vary the beam without using any mechanical or mobile parts but by using any smart lighting control system.

“Beam shaping can be done mechanically or electronically,” said Howard Earhart, LensVector CEO. “Our electronic approach means fewer parts, a simpler system and a more reliable luminaire. Now matched with a fantastic collimating optic and holder, it’s easier and faster than ever to deliver beam shaping capability.”

It is controlled using an IoT system using a Casambi® application available for IOS and Android.  With the App it is possible to dim the source, set the desired beam opening, create dynamic scenes and soon also changing the color temperature in Tunable light versions.
Being able to change the settings as the artwork changes and the ability to have accessory lenses is another reason we chose the LEDO DBS.
Tina Aghassian, Senior Principal Designer, HLB Lighting Lead Lighting Designer

One of the most striking features of the space is the visual connection between the galleries, which are centered around a permanent installation of a 26-foot-tall lenticular piece by brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre. The dynamic installation, which changes as the viewer moves from side to side, is designed to generate a central source of energy for The Cheech, encouraging visitors to explore the different galleries both above and below. Accessed by a restored mid-century stairway, the second-floor features exhibition art galleries, a multi-purpose space, a film screening room, staff offices, and an artist-in-residency studio/education center where visitors can witness the next generation of Chicano art as it emerges.
Source: The Cheech Center
The DBS technology is available in both the LEDO Track as well as the LEDO Canopy and a number of other Targetti track light projectors in their portfolio.

LEDO Canopy