2022/23 MexiCali Biennial

Land of Milk & Honey/ La tierra queue mana leche y miel
Cheech Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum

Land of Milk & Honey / La tierra que mana leche y miel
February 25 – May 28, 2023

3581 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501

The MexiCali Biennial presents Land of Milk & Honey at the Cheech Center for Chicano Arts and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, 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.

This exhibition, being the second in the series, 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, the Institute of Culture and Esthetics/Instituto de Cultura y Estéticas (I.C.E.) is presenting archival objects and ephemera that chronicle the histories of the MexiCali Biennial from 2006 to the present.

The MexiCali Biennial is a non-profit contemporary visual arts organization that focuses on the area encompassing California and Mexico as a region of aesthetic production. The organization is migratory in nature and showcases exhibitions on both sides of the California/Mexico border. The MexiCali Biennial was originally started as a project critiquing the proliferation of international and regional art biennials and, as a result, may be shown at any time and at any location. First conceived in 2006 by artists Ed Gomez and Luis G. Hernandez, the inaugural round of programming took place at La Casa de la Tia Tina, an artist-run space on the border town of Mexicali, and has since partnered with dozens of arts and culture organizations and collaborated with an ever expanding community of artists.

Land of Milk & Honey is organized by Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez, Rosalía Romero, and April Lillard-Gomez with assistance from Enid Baxter-Ryce.

Participating Artists:

Alejandra Aragón, Carlos Castro Arias, Mely Barragan,
Juan Bastardo, Emily C-D, William Camargo,
Pablo Castañeda & Eduardo Kintero, Carolyn Castaño,
Chris Christion & Jessica Wimbley , Gerald Clarke,
Fernando Corona, Xavier Cázares Cortéz,
Juan Delgado & Thomas McGovern, Marylucille Nunez Delira, Janet Diaz, Guillermo Estrada a.k.a. Rancho Shampoo,
Edgar Fabián Frías, Liliana Conlisk Gallegos (Mystic Machete),
Isidro Pérez García, Melora Garcia, Albert Lopez Jr., Juan Luna-Avin
Narsiso Martinez, Lorena Gomez Mostajo, Dominic Paul Miller, Ruben Ochoa, Camilo Ontiveros & Javier Tapia, Cat Chiu Phillips,
Planta Libre Espacio Experimental, Alex Rivera, Cielo Saucedo,
Shinpei Takeda, Domingo Ulloa, Jazmín Urrea, Marcus Zúñiga


Land of Milk & Honey/ La tierra queue mana leche y miel
San Bernardino County Museum

Handle with Care
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, collaborative project, artistically explores topics of climate change, sustainability, and cultural history through the many uses of the Nopal cactus. Titled Handle with Care, the resulting exhibition incorporates themes addressed in the biennial’s Land of Milk & Honey and will encompass a solo exhibition, showcasing the artist’s extensive research at the museum as well as his travels to Mexico and throughout Southern California.


Previous exhibition at Santa Cruz MAH (CLOSED)

Land of Milk & Honey / La tierra que mana leche y miel
September 1-December 31, 2022 / 1 de septiembre – 31 de diciembre, 2022

705 Front St.
Downtown
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Land of Milk & Honey is a traveling multidisciplinary arts and culture program that focuses on concepts around agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico and is presented by the MexiCali Biennial. Drawing inspiration from John Steinbeck’s portrayal of the region as a corrupted Eden, the program questions 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.

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.

Participating Artists:
Boo Alejo Sorondo, Janeth Aparicio, David Bacon,
Pablo Castañeda & Eduardo Kintero, Carlos Castro Arias,
Emily C-D, Cat Chiu Phillips, Janet Diaz, Melora Garcia, Katie Herzog,
Cynthia Hooper, Albert Lopez Jr, Juan Luna-Avin,
Narsiso Martinez, Hillary Mushkin, Isidro Pérez García,
Sol2Soul Arts Collective (Fernando Armenghol, Yari Montes, Tarisse Iriarte Medina, Andrea YaYA Porras, Viviana Rubi Cruz Lopez)
Devon Tsuno, Annabel Turrado, Jessica Wimbley and Chris Christion

Land of Milk & Honey is organized by Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez, Rosalía Romero and Enid Baxter Ryce, and April Lillard-Gomez.

Please visit the EVENTS page for associated programs.

This project was 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.

PARTNERS/COLABORADORES:

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)