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Mel Chin

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Mel Chin

Both analytical and poetic, Mel Chin’s art evades easy classification. Known for the broad range of approaches in his practice, his work is largely motivated by political, cultural, and social circumstances. Investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility, Chin utilizes uncommon space for his work, and insinuates art into unlikely places including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television. 

Launched in 2007, his project Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill is an attempt to raise awareness of the issues of lead contamination and to create a model for making cities lead-safe across the United States. Ultimately Operation Paydirt’s purpose is to support generational human and environmental health. The Fundreds are designed to raise awareness of this environmental threat and offer the voices of democratic expression for the solution. All across the country people are drawing Fundred Dollar Bills – original, hand drawn interpretations of $100 bills. The Fundred Dollar Bill “artworks” are being collected by armored truck and will be delivered to Washington D.C., where the value of the art currency will promote support to implement solutions in New Orleans and cities across the country. Scheduled for completion in 2014, Chin will continue work on this project during his residency at McColl Center for Art + Innovation and will name the Center as an official Fundred site for the Southeastern United States. 

Mel Chin’s work has been documented in the popular PBS program, Art in the 21st Century, and has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, Pollock/Krasner Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation. 

*The Center’s partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is providing opportunities for the Center to investigate the role of senior-level professional artists in furthering its mission of advancing artists, community, and the creation of contemporary art.

Artist Information

Residency Type Knight Alumni Artist-in-Residence

Currently Based Brunsville, NC

Medium Conceptual

Residency Dates Sep 17 2012 — Mar 26 2013