Dan Mills

Director of the Bates College Museum of Art and Lecturer in the Humanities


Museum of Art

Olin Arts Center, Room 202



Artist, curator, and museum director Dan Mills has broad intellectual and aesthetic interests and expertise in contemporary art. He has shaped and led the curatorially adventuresome international programs at several institutions. Mills is known for investigating a wide variety of themes in expansive group exhibitions, and exploring the oeuvre of artists in in-depth solo exhibitions. He is also known for partnering with scholars and artists on large projects in order to investigate a wider range of topics.

Exhibitions he has curated or co-curated have been presented at over forty institutions, including Bell Gallery, Brown University; Chelsea Art Museum, New York; China Art Archives and Warehouse, Beijing; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles; The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts Museum; Art, Architecture + Design Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; Vanderbilt University Fine Art Gallery; Hanes Art Gallery, Wake Forest University; and Williams College Museum of Art.

As an artist, Mills makes paintings and works on paper that visualize observations about historic and current events. He uses the conceptual space of maps, combined with paint, collage, drawing, and printmaking to explore data in highly abstracted representations that vary in size from the diminutive dimensions of an atlas page to paintings over twelve feet wide.

Mills has had solo exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and at academic museums throughout the US. Institutions that have presented recent solo shows include Center for Maine Contemporary Art (2019), Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire (2020), and Herron Galleries, Herron School of Art + Design (2020). Group exhibitions include Unsustainable: Planet in Crisis, Ewing Gallery of Art + Architecture, University of Tennessee (2020); Ideologue, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (2016); and Dissident Futures, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2013-14). He has been speaker, panelist, or interviewee at institutions including the Chicago Cultural Center, David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, University of Maryland, and Public Radio International. His work has been featured in publications including Art New England, Hyperallergic, and Los Angeles Times, and is in collections including JPMorgan Chase, Library of Congress, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.