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Artist Mel Chin brings project, workshop to ASU

September 15, 2009
Lecture: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 24, Neeb Hall
Reception with Mel Chin in the lobby of Neeb Hall immediately following lecture.

Mel Chin’s lecture was organized in conjunction with the "Defining Sustainability" season of exhibitions and projects at the ASU Art Museum. For more information, visit or call (480) 965-2787.

Chin's current project, "Fundred Dollar Bill/Operation Paydirt," is an attempt to make post-Katrina New Orleans a lead-free city. To be part of this work, go to or join the workshop on the project, 9 a.m., Sept. 25, at the ASU Art Museum. Call (480) 965-2787 for more information.

Chin’s art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for a broad range of approaches in his art including works that require multidisciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. He developed "Revival Field" (1989-ongoing), a project that has been a pioneer in the field of "green remediation," using plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. Chin is also well known for inserting art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes and toxic landfills, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. These projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy which emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging natural and social ecologies. 

Chin was born in Houston in 1951 and his work has been documented in the popular PBS program, "Art:21, Art in the 21st Century." His projects and public commissions have been installed at diverse sites, such as New York City’s Central Park and Pig’s Eye Landfill in St. Paul, Minn., and his work has been exhibited in museums around the world including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

The Elaine Horwitch Memorial Lecture on Contemporary Art and Visual Culture is sponsored by the Horwitch family and the Elaine Horwitch Cultural Fund in memory of the distinguished Scottsdale art gallery owner and collector. For more than 15 years, the Horwitch Lectures have brought international figures in contemporary art to ASU for public lectures and workshops with students.