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Manuel Garcia, a farm worker from Esteli, Nicaragua, shows the the juice from trimming tobacco plants on his hands and arms.

Manuel García, un trabajador agrícola de Estelí, Nicaragua, muestra sus manos y brazos manchadas de jugo por recortar las plantas de tabaco.


Photograph by David Bacon

In the Fields of the North
March 31 - May 23, 2021

Traveling with migrant workers as the fruit and harvest season moves from the Mexican border north to Washington state, In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte reveals the stories of contemporary migrant farm workers on the West Coast. The exhibition attempts to shed light on some basic questions: How much do we know about the lives of the people who feed us? Where do they live? How does it feel to do some of the hardest repetitive labor imaginable? And, what answers do farm workers themselves have to end their poverty and endless migration?

In a series of evocative photographs accompanied by moving oral narratives – fully translated into both English and Spanish – viewers are immersed into the world of migrant farm workers. Photographer and journalist David Bacon has spent over three decades documenting the lives of migrant workers and organizing with United Farm Workers. His book of the same name was released by UC Press in 2017.


In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte features the works of David Bacon; is produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, and History San José; and is touring the U.S. through Exhibit Envoy.

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Outside the labor camp, the children of strikers at Sakuma Farms set up their own picket line on a fence at the gate.

Los hijos de los huelguistas de Sakuma Farms realizan su propia protesta sobre una cerca en la entrada del campamento de trabajo.

Photograph by David Bacon

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A Oaxacen dance group.

Uno grupo de danza oaxaqueño.

Photograph by David Bacon

Plush or firm. Sleek or weathered. Silky or prickly. Certain art media have inherently tactile surface textures. We see them and immediately want to run our fingers over the work to make a physical sensory connection. Other media can be used to create implied surface textures that engage our senses through suggestion, memory or metaphor.  The four artists in this exhibition use surfaces and textures that invite us to examine their work closely. They also use layers of surfaces to suggest layers of feeling. We are asked to dig below the surface – the visual surface – to explore depths of meaning and emotion.

Virtual Arts Lecture with David Bacon