Press Release

Art & Activism Drives Conversation with Dolores Huerta,  Cheech Marin, and Vincent Valdez

January 24, 2024

Benefiting the internationally renowned nonprofit’s transformative programming and community leadership, supporters of the Rothko Chapel will gather on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 for an inspirational evening featuring celebrated actor, art collector, and advocate Cheech Marin, legendary civil rights advocate and labor organizer Dolores Huerta, and 2023 Art League Houston’s Texas artist of the year Vincent Valdez. 

Presented at The Astorian in Houston, Texas, the conversation between the three will focus on the important relationship between Chicano art and activism, including their respective commitments in addressing today’s most pressing social justice issues. Award-winning journalist and Rothko Chapel Board Director Melanie Lawson will moderate the conversation. 

Following the program, guests are invited to continue the discussion during dinner. Proceeds from the evening will support the Rothko Chapel’s mission to create opportunities for spiritual growth and dialogue that illuminate our shared humanity and inspire action leading to a world in which all are treated with dignity and respect. 

In addition to being an evening of inspiration, INSPIRIT is also designed to raise funds and awareness in support of the Rothko Chapel’s mission. Organized by Robert McClain of McClain Gallery, a benefit art auction will be hosted online on Artsy, launching on February 21 and concluding after the event on March 7. The online-only auction includes exceptional works donated by preeminent galleries and prominent artists. For details on how to bid and for updates, visit 

INSPIRIT: Rothko Chapel’s Evening of Inspiration 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 • The Astorian in Houston, Texas 

The Presenting Sponsors for INSPIRIT include Maire and David Baldwin, The Muriel Pollia Foundation, and Matt Mullenweg. Their generous support has played a pivotal role in making this event possible, and the Rothko Chapel extends its heartfelt gratitude for their commitment to the arts and community.

THE ROTHKO CHAPEL is a contemplative space that successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of public programs and community initiatives. It is open to the public every day of the year at no charge. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an interfaith, nonsectarian sanctuary, and invites visitors from around the world to experience the power and sanctity of Mark Rothko’s monumental paintings. The mission of this independent nonprofit organization is to create opportunities for spiritual growth and dialogue that illuminate our shared humanity and inspire action leading to a world in which all are treated with dignity and respect. 

DOLORES HUERTA is the originator of the rallying cry “Sí se Puede!” and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with César Chávez in the 1960s. One of the nation’s most noted organizers and civil rights leaders, she first rose to national fame with the nationwide grape boycotts. Her work continues today through the Dolores Huerta Foundation as a tireless advocate for equal rights for all Americans and for our Democracy. Schools have been named after her in California, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. Her birthday is an official State Day in California, and she is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama, our nation’s highest civilian honor. 

CHEECH MARIN is an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector, and humanitarian. A cultural icon, he is perhaps best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent, satirical, counterculture comedy duo Cheech & Chong, and is recognized for his successful solo career in film and television. Today, Marin is also recognized as a preeminent advocate for Chicano art. Since the mid-1980s, he has developed what is arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art, which now serves as the core collection of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum founded in 2022. 

VINCENT VALDEZ blends large, representational paintings and drawings with contemporary subject matter – their scale recalls Western traditions of history painting, mural painting, and cinema. He focuses on subjects that explore his observations and experience of life in the 21st century. The results are powerful images of American identity that confront injustice and inequity while imbuing his subjects with empathy and humanity. “My aim is to incite public remembrance and to impede distorted realities that I witness, like the social amnesia that surrounds us all.” His 25-year survey exhibition premieres at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in Fall 2024. 

ROTHKO CHAPEL’S INSPIRIT 2024 BENEFIT ART AUCTION includes works by 27 artists: John Alexander, Richard “Ricky” Armendariz, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Carlos Donjuan, Carroll Dunham, Emilie Duval, Sonya Fe, Mark Francis, Margaret García, Luis C. Garza, Robert Hodge, Dorothy Hood, Jim Love, Delita Martin, Patrick McGrath Muñíz, Karen Navarro, Louise Nevelson, Joe Peña, Alex Rubio, Fanny Sanín, Beth Secor, Kiki Smith, Ted Stamm, Donald Sultan, Frank X. Tolbert 2, and Vincent Valdez. In addition to the Art Museum of South Texas, contributing galleries are 291 Agency, Acosta Strong Fine Art, Andrew Durham Gallery, Heidi Vaughan Fine Art, Inman Gallery, Koplin Del Rio, Koslov Larsen, Lococo Fine Art Publisher, McClain Gallery, Moody Gallery, Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Pace Gallery, Ruiz-Healy Art, and Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino. Chaired by Robert McClain, the auction committee includes Sharon Graham, Hélène Schlumberger, and Melissa Richardson Banks.

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