In the city of Riverside, California, the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture stands adorned with Targetti’s exquisite lighting design, casting a luminous glow on the celebrated works within. Targetti, renowned for its expertise in illuminating artworks worldwide, proudly took the lead in lighting the Chicano Art collection at The Cheech. This landmark project, a collaboration between architects Page & Turnbull, museum architects WHY, and lighting designers HLB Lighting, combines modern technology with historic charm.
As the Cheech celebrates its first anniversary, the transformative journey from a 1964 mid-century library to a modern museum and cultural center shows the delicate balance achieved by the design team. Preserving the historic facets, such as exposed brick walls, stainless-steel framework, and meticulously restored decorative polyester panels, the architects and designers successfully breathed new life into the space. Senior Principal Designer Tina Aghassian of HLB Lighting encapsulates the essence of the project, stating, “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.”
The Cheech, a public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin, spans 61,420 square feet, curated with an extensive collection of Chicano art from the world-renowned collector himself. Comedian Cheech Marin, among the globe’s foremost collectors of Chicano art, envisioned this space as a haven for Chicano painting, sculpture, and photography. The museum’s commitment to preserving the historic fabric of the building while infusing contemporary elements sets it apart as a cultural gem.
To accomplish the delicate task of illuminating the diverse array of artworks within The Cheech, the design team turned to Targetti’s cutting-edge LEDO track lighting with Dynamic Beam Shaping (DBS) technology. Over 500 pieces of these versatile luminaires, featuring Eurostandard Surface Track, were strategically placed in galleries and common areas. Specifically designed for museum lighting, LEDO track light projectors offer precise beam control, high color quality, and excellent color rendering.
Tina Aghassian, acknowledging the success of Targetti’s fixtures in Italian museums, explained the rationale behind choosing LEDO with DBS and Casambi technology: “We chose the Targetti fixtures because we experienced first-hand the great job they did in the museums in Italy. 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.“
The collaboration between Targetti and LensVector birthed fixtures equipped with an optical system dynamically varying the beam opening angle. Howard Earhart, LensVector CEO, highlighted the advantages of their electronic approach, ensuring a simpler, more reliable luminaire for The Cheech. The technology seamlessly integrates with smart lighting control systems, providing an unparalleled level of control and adaptability.
Managing the lighting system is Casambi, with various wall panel controllers enabling wireless control through the Casambi® app interface. Peter Augusta, General Manager, NA, Casambi Technologies, praised the project as another “Best of Industry” solution, showcasing their collaborative effort with Casambi Eco-System Partners. The open “Eco-System” approach empowers lighting and control device manufacturers, providing a marketplace of luminaries, sensors, switches, and other devices for specifiers to choose from.
The interplay of light and art within this historic building captivates visitors, offering a dynamic and immersive experience. Targetti’s lighting design ensures that The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture remains a space of cultural significance, where history and modernity coexist harmoniously.
Photography:© Henri Khodaverdi