Year founded: 1984
Organiser: Orange County Museum


The California-Pacific Triennial is a cornerstone of the Orange County Museum's mission to explore the art of the time for a diverse and changing community.

It is the only exhibition in California that regularly takes the pulse of new art created in the state and presents work that is at the forefront of a constantly evolving art scene recognized around the world as a defining force in the field of contemporary art. The California Biennial was launched in 1984 by the Orange County Museum, and has grown to become the premier exhibition for emerging artists in the state.

In 2013 the biennial was relaunched as California-Pacific Triennial with participating artists representing a cross-section of countries from throughout the Pacific rim.

Despite the phenomenal economic and cultural growth of Asian and Latin American countries that border the Pacific, and California’s proximity to these developments, there is no ongoing exhibition on the West Coast that regularly explores this activity. With national boundaries becoming more porous and artistic connections happening between artists and viewers from a broad range of cultural backgrounds, the flow of ideas and images crisscrossing the planet becomes a crucial component of any contemporary art survey.

The California-Pacific Triennial’s aim is to place artists working in California within this broader global network, one that is particularly relevant to our region, and that will offer visitors their only opportunity to engage in a more cosmopolitan conversation about contemporary art.