Land of Milk & Honey


Janet Diaz, Sangre Sudor y Amor: Hunger for the American Dream, 2018.
Janet Diaz, Sangre Sudor y Amor: Hunger for the American Dream, 2018.

Opening Reception: Friday, October 13, 4-6pm

Exhibition runs through December 3

Special Talks and workshops to be announced.

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. Land of Milk and Honey will have an opening art exhibition reception on October 13, 2023, and multiple programs that will continue through December 3, 2023. 

Drawing inspiration from John Steinbeck’s portrayal of the region as a corrupted Eden, this 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.

Land of Milk and Honey invites contemporary artists from California and Mexico, including creatives from Imperial Valley and Mexicali, to engage with the multi-layered topics associated with agriculture including its environmental impacts, cultural culinary traditions, identity and migration, regional histographies, and familial and mythical connections to land and food. This exhibition comes to SDSU-IV after being presented at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and the Cheech Center for Chicano Arts and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. 

In addition to a traditional art exhibition inside the campus gallery, Land of Milk and Honey will present four art projects in various locations around the SDSU-IV campus - three outdoors and one inside the library. These works will activate these sites with cutting-edge art experiences for students and the campus community in the form of temporary public art pieces that are interactive, and that engage with the themes addressed in the exhibition inside the art gallery as well as in parallel programs such as artist talks and activation of their works, performances, cooking sessions and workshops on topics related to the intersections of the ag industry and our farmworkers, water/air quality, and lithium development/economic justice. 

The goal of the Steppling Gallery programming is to expose the SDSU-IV campus community to cutting-edge artistic practices and exhibitions by contemporary artists and cultural producers working professionally in the field. The activities held at the art gallery are carefully selected and organized so that they are integrally connected to the community they serve.  We strive to expose the work of local and underrepresented artists and to present projects that deal with border issues, pedagogy, and other subject matter pertinent to the SDSU-IV academic course offerings