Cheech Marin and Other Legends Toast Rothko Chapel and the Power of Art at Lively 'Inspirit' Fundraiser

Cheech Marin and Other Legends Toast Rothko Chapel and the Power of Art at Lively 'Inspirit' Fundraiser

David Ansell, Bennie Flores Ansell, Thuy Tran and James Tiebout

THE ROTHKO CHAPEL held its Inspirit fundraiser — a celebration of the power of art and activism — at the industrial-chic Astorian. The evening featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and an onstage conversation with actor Cheech Marin, one of the world’s foremost collectors of Chicano art; 2023 Art League of Houston Texas Artist of the Year Vincent Valdez; and legendary civil rights advocate Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers of America with César Chávez. (She’s 93, by the way!)


About 210 art lovers — including big names like Christopher Rothko and representatives from important organizations and galleries — turned out to support the Rothko Chapel’s innovative programming and community leadership. The evening raised more than $400,000, largely thanks to an exciting auction, chaired by gallerist Robert McClain. It included amazing works by Houston artists, including Mark Francis, Patrick McGrath Muñiz, and Karen Navarro, to name just a few, as well as artists on view in The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, such as Joe Peña and Alex Rubio.

Rothko Chapel board chair Troy Porter provided an opening invocation, citing the chapel’s now 52 years of social change and spiritual transformation. As guests enjoyed a sumptuous main course of buttery Verlasso salmon with fennel heirloom tomato salpicon scented with basil, Beaumont-born artist John Alexander gave a moving speech that vividly recalled his time in Houston in the 1970s (when the Rothko Chapel first opened) and affirmed his belief in the power of art to transform lives and demand a better future. Sí, se puede!

Cheech Marin and Dolores Huerta (photo by Scott Julian)

Whitney and Matt Gordon with Helene Schlumberger and Sharon Graham of McClain Gallery (photo by Scott Julian)

Delita and Cedric Martin

Troy Porter, Sandy Dow, Christopher Rothko (photo by Hung Truong)

Cheech Marin, Dolores Huerta and Vincent Valdez (photo by Hung Truong)

Rafael Longoria, Gayle DeGeurin, Tim and Suzette Walker, Geraldina and Scott Wise (photo by Scott Julian)

Diana Magaloni Kerpel of LACMA and Nacho Rodriguez Bach

Ellen Susman and Mike Loya (photo by Scott Julian)

Patrick McGrath Muniz, John Alexander and Joe Pena (photo by Scott Julian)

Michael Keegan, Cyvia Wolff and Dolores Huerta (photo by Scott Julian)

Lori Cohen and Steven Dow (photo by Hung Truong)

Maire Baldwin, Karen Wolfe, Mari Carmen Ramirez (photo by Scott Julian)

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