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Oakland Museum of California Announces, Calli: The Art of Xicanx Peoples, an Exhibition that Navigates the Intergenerational, Feminist, and Queer Stories of Xicanx-Indigenous Communities

(OAKLAND, CA) MARCH 21, 2024 — On June 14, 2024, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) opens Calli: The Art of Xicanx Peoples, a major exhibition navigating the interwoven threads of intergenerational, feminist, queer, and Xicanx-Indigenous stories that offer visitors ancestral forms of liberation, healing, and being. Through photography, sculpture, painting, installation, poetry, and more, Calli layers multiple artistic perspectives in order to imagine new possibilities for the future.

Press images are available here.

The exhibition derives its name from OMCA’s recently-acquired Calli Americas collection of late queer Xicana activist and professor, Margaret “Margie” Terrazas Santos. A selection of Santos’ historic posters from her collection will be on view alongside large scale installations and major contemporary artworks commissioned for this project, offering a comprehensive portrayal of Xicanx experiences.

In naming her collection, Santos highlighted two key concepts that serve as the foundation of this exhibition: “Calli,” derived from Nahuatl, signifies not just “home” or “house,” but the very essence of household, family, and lineage. “Americas” refers to Indigenous land, transcending colonial borders and divisions. As such, the exhibition is a temporary “Xicanx home” where the stories of Xicanx peoples across California are honored, preserved, and shared.

Calli: The Art of Xicanx Peoples showcases a diverse array of historical and contemporary artworks that center the voices and experiences of elder Xicanx-Indigenous artists, Queer Xicanx artists, and Feminist artists,” said Gilda Posada, exhibition curator and Mellon Foundation Fellow at OMCA.  “Through their art, these visionary artists expand the horizons of possibility, inspiring reflection and fostering dialogue about a world in which we can all belong.”

Visitors will begin their journey by entering the “calli,” a Xicana/o/x-Indigenous home in the form of a contemporary Mesoamerican stylized temple installation that leads into the first section of the exhibition, Xicana/o/x Indigenous Revitalization. This section focuses on the Indigenous Revitalization Movement that took place within the early part of the Chicana/o Movement, highlighting the many ways in which Xicana/o/x peoples renewed their Indigenous worldviews, languages, histories, practices and connection to earth. The second section, Self-Naming: Xicana/o/x, explores how the identity of “Chicano” has shifted over the generations in the context of historic moments and movements in time. Visitors will be invited to engage in topics like challenging gender norms, queer kinship, and AIDS activism.

Next, Spirituality/Materiality, focuses on how Xicana/o/x artists have reconnected to their Indigenous spirituality and materialities through artmaking. Artworks invite visitors to witness, feel, and participate in traditional Indigenous forms of healing that reconnect body, mind, and spirit in a holistic way. Creation Stories, the final section of the exhibition, shows how Xicana/o/x artists use Mesoamerican creation stories in their works to speak to their responsibility to place, to fellow humans, and to other beings in this world.

Exhibition highlights and featured artists include: 

Calli: The Art of Xicanx Peoples will be on view at the Oakland Museum of California  from June 14, 2024 to January 26, 2025.

Major support for Calli: The Art of Xicanx Peoples is provided by The Oakland Museum Women’s Board.


Por el Pueblo: The Legacy & Influence of Malaquías Montoya
Great Hall
October 6, 2023–June 30, 2024

Explore the living impact of Chicano artist, Malaquías Montoya, whose legacy as a public-serving artist, activist, and community elder serves as inspiration for younger generations within the Chicano community and beyond. Montoya’s posters, graphic prints, and murals highlighting political and social justice issues have helped define the Chicano identity for nearly five decades.

Malaquías Montoya’s activist roots and community ties can be traced back to his childhood as the son of a migrant farmworker family and the close relationships he held with elder family members, teachers, artists and more.  Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya invites visitors to consider Montoya’s deeply collaborative artistic process, focus on community, and engagement across generations. This exhibition will explore what it means to become an elder through photographs, historical and familial ephemera, early works from the artist as well as contemporary artworks by artists from multiple generations influenced by Montoya.

OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace
Gallery of California Natural Sciences

Little learners can unleash their curiosity and imagination in the newly created OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace. Located inside the Gallery of California Natural Sciences, the playspace is focused on the unique needs of children ages 2 to 5, along with their families and caregivers. Play is critical to every child’s healthy development and the playroom offers something for everyone — from building materials and nature-themed puzzles to hands-on activities that spark creativity, wonder, and joy. Our youngest museum visitors can also discover the animals that make their homes in Oakland’s streams, hills, and backyards. The playspace gives families a fun, safe place to play, and to build community with other families.

You Are Here: California Stories on the Map
Gallery of California Natural Sciences
On View until June 26, 2026

We all use maps in our everyday lives—to navigate public transportation, find places to eat, and visualize big data like weather patterns or political opinions. But have you ever considered the deeper stories maps tell us? In You Are Here: California Stories on the Map, you’ll discover there’s more to maps than meets the eye. Showcasing a diverse range of maps from Oakland, the Bay Area, and California—from environmental surroundings and health conditions to community perspectives and creative artworks—experience how maps can be a powerful tool to share unique points of view and imagine a better future. Explore new perspectives of familiar places through maps made by the community, and mark your own stories on the community map inside the exhibition.

Black Power
Gallery of California History 

Uncover the history of the Black Power movements in California with a compelling addition to the Gallery of California History. In response to the widely-popular 2016 exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, Black Power  illustrates the creative ways Black anti-racist activists in California supported their communities and challenged the U.S. government. Focusing on the example of the Black Panther Party, Black Power brings to light the tensions between a culturally and socially progressive California and examples of economic racism and oppression in the state. This moment in California history is  represented through historic photographs, provocative objects, iconic posters, paintings and interactive prompts that encourage visitors to take action out in the world. Learn more about the Bay Area role in this national story, and the impacts this history continues to have today. 

Question Bridge: Black Males
Gallery of California Art 

Immerse yourself in intimate videos—woven together and arranged to simulate face-to-face conversations between participants—among a diverse group of over 160 Black men across the United States. Hear these men answer each other’s questions with exceptional honesty and vulnerability, and share stories, beliefs, and values in a personal portrayal of their lives. Encompassing themes of family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, and wisdom, Question Bridge: Black Males presents nuanced portraits of past, present, and future of Black men in American society. Listen, watch, learn, and start your own conversations with this profoundly moving installation. Question Bridge is an innovative and widely exhibited video installation from artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. 

Dorothea Lange: Photography As Activism
Gallery of California Art

Experience the iconic life and work of Dorothea Lange, world-renowned documentary photographer, with an expanded installation in the Gallery of California Art dedicated to her works. Through the lens of her camera, Lange documented American life with riveting photographs that captured some of the most powerful moments of the 20th century. Drawn from Lange’s personal archive, which was gifted to OMCA over 50 years ago, and in response to the popular 2017 exhibition Dorothea Lange: The Politics of Seeing,, a number of newly added photographs illustrate the power of photography as social activism. See how Lange’s work continues to resonate with millions and inspire new generations of artists and activists.

Dorothea Lange Digital Archive
Explore prints, field notes, negatives, contact sheets, and more with OMCA’s Dorothea Lange Digital Archive.


The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multidisciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.


The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $19 general; $16 seniors and students with valid ID, $12 youth ages 13 to 17, and free for Members and children 12 and under. There is a $6 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions in the Great Hall. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. An accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.