2022/23 MexiCali Biennial

The MexiCali Biennial presents Land of Milk & Honey, a traveling multidisciplinary arts and culture program that focuses on concepts of agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico. Drawing inspiration from John Steinbeck’s portrayal of the region as a corrupted Eden, the exhibitions and programs question ethical, cultural, and regional practices related to foodways and the venture from seed to table. The biblical reference of a “land of milk and honey” first became associated with California as a tool for promoting the state as a land of opportunity; a destination for those in search of a better way of life – a terra firma that would provide sustenance and abundance. This boosterism also served as an ethos that fueled “Manifest Destiny” and resulted in land grabs, ecological destruction, and social injustices.

Land of Milk & Honey / La tierra que mana leche y miel at the Cheech Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum
February 25 – May 28, 2023

Cheech Center
3581 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501

This exhibition features artists’ views of multi-layered topics associated with agriculture including cultural relationships to food, associations with identity and place, and historical and political concerns. 

In conjunction with Land of Milk & Honey, an adjacent gallery presents “MexiCali Biennial: Art, Actions, Exchanges,” an exhibition of artworks and ephemera that chronicle the history of the MexiCali Biennial from 2006 to the present.

MexiCali Biennial presents Handle with Care at the San Bernardino County Museum
Feb 4 – May 7, 2023

San Bernardino County Museum
2024 Orange Tree Lane
Redlands, CA 92374

The MexiCali Biennial is honored to introduce Fred Brashear as 2022/2023 Artist in Residence along with partnering institution the San Bernardino County Museum. Brashear’s research-driven project artistically explores topics of climate change, sustainability, and cultural history through the many uses of the Nopal cactus. Titled Handle with Care, the exhibition incorporates themes addressed in the biennial’s Land of Milk & Honey. The solo exhibition showcases the artist’s research through his travels to throughout Mexico, California, and the greater Southwest region of the United States.

UN/belonging in the Land of Milk & Honey at BEST PRACTICE GALLERY
March 11 – April 15, 2023

1955 Julian Ave, San Diego, CA 92113

This two-person show delves into ideas relating to land, place, and identity through representational images of landscapes. Ed Gomez and Luis G. Hernandez exhibit their works in relation to concepts in the MexiCali Biennial’s Land of Milk & Honey. This special exhibition is curated by art historian, scholar and independent curator Emmanuel Ortega.

Land of Milk & Honey / La tierra que mana leche y miel
September 1-December 31, 2022 / 1 de septiembre – 31 de diciembre, 2022 [CLOSED]
Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

705 Front St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

This inaugural exhibition at Santa Cruz MAH explores artists’ views around multi-layered topics associated with agriculture including environmental impacts, cultural culinary traditions, identity and migration, regional histographies, and familial and mythical connections to food.

Stay up to date on upcoming EVENTS for the Land of Milk & Honey. Visit our events page and sign up for newsletter below.

Projects made possible with support from the Mellon Foundation, and the California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support provided by a 2022 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Sustaining Public Engagement Grant,
supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative.


The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum (Riverside, CA)

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (Santa Cruz, CA)

Library of Congress, Hispanic Reading Room (Washington, D.C)

California State University, San Bernardino Department of Arts and Letters (San Bernardino, CA)

Steppling Art Gallery at San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus (Calexico, CA)

NIH-ESTA (National Institutes of Health-Environmental Science through Art) (Monterey, CA)

Best Practice Gallery (San Diego)

Planta Libre Espacio Experimental (Mexicali)