Artist Mel Chin, who has played an important role in the rise and continuation of conceptual art since the 1970s, is known for works that defy easy categorization. Chin has garnered international acclaim for his use of art to spread political awareness and expose social injustice, working with sculpture, video, and land art, among other mediums. His land-based work Operation Paydirt (2008–ongoing), seeks to use soil remediation to neutralize lead from the soil surrounding New Orleans. Chin’s The Fundred Dollar Bill Project seeks support for this ongoing work by encouraging communities around the nation to make their own Fundred Dollar Bills—original, hand-drawn interpretations of the U.S. $100 bill—to be exchanged by the U.S. Congress for real funding. His influential oeuvre has won him an extensive list of awards, from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Art Matters.
Why we love Mel Chin:
• Mel Chin’s influential oeuvre played a key role in the rise of conceptual art in the 1970’s and in exposing environmental concerns through art
• His land-based work Operation Paydirt (2008-ongoing), has mobilized over 400,000 people, inspired by his vision of a New Orleans with lead-free soil
• He knows how to make an entrance –his presentation at the 2009 Summit remains one of our all time favorites. Check it out here!