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Mel Chin

Spelled out in the bio posted on his official website, the wide-ranging work of Houston-born art star Mel Chin “evades easy classification.” During a thought-provoking career that started taking shape in the 1970s, Chin has explored pervasive themes (including violence, politics and ecology) through projects such as Revival Field (an ongoing experiment that’s employed plants as “toxic sponges” to sop industrial contamination from affected soil at sites in the U.S. and Germany); Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project (a creative campaign inviting “communities to imagine, express and actualize a future free of childhood lead-poisoning); and The Funk & Wag from A to Z (an expansive series repurposing pages from all 25 volumes of the 1950s-era Funk & Wagnall Encyclopedia in 524 collages designed to unleash the “potentiality of images trapped by historical context”). Fresh off a string of artist talks held in conjunction with the Houston leg of his traveling retrospective “Rematch” (organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art), Chin visits the Southwest School of Art to deliver a lecture titled “It’s New to Me & You Never Know.”

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