Mining the Museum for a Small Solutions to Big Problems

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

San Bernardino County, Calif., CA

Image of AchAwards_text.png

About the Program

Category: Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation

Year: 2023

In 2022, the San Bernardino County Museum (SBCM) installed Handle with Care exhibition in collaboration with Fred Brashear Jr, a local teacher and working artist. Mr. Brashear became the featured artist in this multi-location art program called Land of Milk & Honey, produced by the MexiCali Biennial. The team approached the project by “mining the museum,” a popular and modern method to curate an exhibition in which an outside artist/curator receives access to a museum’s collection to find consistent themes or objects to highlight in new ways. Often the outside artist/curator brings a unique perspective informed by their lived experience.

“Handle With Care” explores the history and uses of the Opuntia (Nopal) cactus. Brashear’s research-driven project artistically explores topics of climate change, sustainability, and cultural history through the various uses of the Nopal cactus. This exhibition has led to innovative public programming facilitated through the museum and partner sites which focus on cultural, food, and green sustainability education.

Tagged In: