Cross-disciplinary talk to explore new Sheldon artworks

· 3 min read

Cross-disciplinary talk to explore new Sheldon artworks

Visitors examine Mel Chin's "Revival Field Plant and Field Study," one of two student-selected works on display in the museum.
Chad Greene | Courtesy
Visitors examine Mel Chin's "Revival Field Plant and Field Study," one of two student-selected works on display in the museum.

Students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln recently selected two works of art by Mel Chin to be added to the collection of Sheldon Museum of Art. On March 24, the artist will join students and faculty in presenting a cross-disciplinary conversation about the works and the green remediation project from which they were made.

The conversation with Chin is offered online as part of Sheldon’s CollectionTalk series and is open to the public. Registration is necessary to attend.

Chin is a conceptual artist whose work was documented in the popular PBS program “Art of the 21st Century.” Twice a National Endowment for the Arts fellow, he has received many awards and grants, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2015 and the MacArthur Foundation in 2019.

During the March 24 CollectionTalk, Chin will provide insight into his creative process of investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility, bridging and sculpting social and natural ecology. Student Molly Beck and faculty members Katie Anania, Xu Li, and Sabrina Russo will share observations from the perspectives of art history, biological sciences, and civil and environmental engineering.

Detail of Mel Chin's "Revival Field Plant and Field Study," which is on display in the Sheldon Museum of Art.

The students who selected Chin’s work for the museum are members of the Sheldon Student Advisory Board, which is open to all university students. Beck, a senior English major, with minors in history and art history, will present on the group’s behalf.

Anania is an assistant professor of art history in the School of Art, Art History and Design and a faculty fellow of the Daughtery Water for Food Institute. She is currently a Tyson Scholar of American Art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Li is a professor and associate chair for graduate programs of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and a faculty fellow of the Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

Russo is a professor of biological sciences in the School of Biological Sciences, director of the Russo Laboratory, and a member of the Center for Plant Science Innovation.

The two works selected by the students are featured in the Sheldon exhibition “The Scene Changes.” They are part of Chin’s collaborative project “Revival Field,” which provided confirmation of the green remediation strategy of using plants to remove heavy, toxic metals from soil.

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