Rowan University Art Gallery

Upcoming Exhibitions

Mel Chin: Disparate Acts

September 2 – November 1, 2014

An artist’s lecture will be held September 17 at 5:00 p.m.

Westby Hall Room 111, followed by a reception in the gallery until 7:30 p.m.

Award-winning, internationally-acclaimed American artist Mel Chin opens the 2014-2015 season at Rowan University Art Gallery with “Disparate Acts,” an exhibition that showcases the artist’s diverse work through many forms and directions.

Curated by gallery director Mary Salvante, the exhibition focuses on works that question the objectivity, reliability, and integrity of information, facts, and events when compromised and corrupted by a political, social, or cultural agenda. Chin is an activist artist and through his work he raises awareness of political and social injustices, inconsistencies, and the disparate acts of governments, regimes, and fanatical groups. Mel utilizes many methods in which to present his perspective on issues creating imagery inspired by philosophy, mythology, and poetry infused with humor and irony in order to promote deeper understanding. The exhibition will traverse his process from conception to fabrication through the presentation of studies, drawings, and photographs.

Chin’s art, which is both a n alytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.

The artist also insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, as a means of investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. His “Revival Field” (started in 1989) is an ongoing project, which has been a pioneer in the field of “green remediation” (the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil). From 1995-1998 he formed the GALA Committee, a collective that produced “In the Name of the Place,” a conceptual public art project conducted on American prime-time television. In “KNOWMAD,” Chin worked with software engineers to create a video game based on rug patterns of nomadic people facing cultural disappearance. His film, 9-11/9-11 - a hand-drawn, 24-minute joint Chilean/USA production - won the prestigious Pedro Sienna Award for Best Animation from Chile’s National Council for the Arts and Cultures in 2007.

Additionally, Chin promotes “works of art” that have the ultimate effect of benefiting science, as in “Revival Field,” and also in the recent Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project, an attempt to make New Orleans a lead-safe city (see These projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy, which emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging the natural and social ecology.

Born in Houston, Texas, in 1951, the artist’s work was documented in the popular PBS program, Art of the 21st Century, and he has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, and Creative Capital, as well as the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller and Louis Comfort Tiffany foundations, among others. A retrospective of his work is currently traveling from the New Orleans Museum of Art to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Blaffer Art Museum and Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX, and to Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and many others.

Admission to the gallery, lecture and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10 am to 5 pm (with extended hours on Wednesdays to 7 pm); and Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit

Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.



Rowan University Art Gallery serves as a premier cultural destination for South Jersey, the Rowan community, and surrounding region. As a center for contemporary art by emerging and established professional artists from the region, nation, and global community, the gallery is committed to showcasing all forms of visual expression and new media.

The gallery program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Rowan University Art Gallery is the recipient of a Citation of Excellence award from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Gallery Hours, academic year:

  • Monday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 - 5:00 PM

Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.

The gallery is closed during Thanksgiving Weekend, University Winter and Spring Break, and in the summer months of June, July, and August. The Gallery is also closed on NJ state holidays.

Location and Accessibility
Rowan University is located off exit 50A of Rt. 55. Follow Rt. 322 E to the campus. To enter campus via 322 Eastbound, make a Left at the intersection of Joesph L. Bowe Rd. and then a Right turn after the railroad tracks to enter the campus onto North Campus Drive then the first Right onto Chestnut. This will take you to parking lot A. Rowan University Art Gallery is located in Westby Hall. The hall is the building at the far end of this parking lot next to the Science building along Route 322, across the street from the student townhouses. If entering the building from the south side, go down one flight of stairs, through the doors then right at the first corridor. The gallery is wheelchair accessible along the North entrance to the building.

Parking is available in the lot A next to Westby Hall (near the railroad tracks) or in the lot along Joseph L. Bowe Rd. near Rowan Hall (across the street from Glassboro High School).


Contact Information

Mary Salvante, Gallery and Exhibitions Program Director

Tel. 856-256-4521
Fax 856-245-4814


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