Melissa Chimera's paintings focus on Hawaii's natural environment, often depicting endangered plants and animals, an urgent concern in Hawaii where conservationists struggle to prevent the extinction of native species. Her interests, however, go beyond Hawaii. Chimera weaves her Lebanese ancestry into the work to explore the fate of Middle Eastern peoples in parallel with the Hawaiian environment. Both are endangered yet both are resilient in the face of change.

Chimera lectures on the value of art to conservation efforts on behalf of groups including the Native Hawaiian Plant Society and the Garden Isle Arts Council. She has exhibited extensively throughout the state including the Hawaii Conservation Alliance's annual show and most recently at Capital One Gallery, Richmond, Virginia (2010). She was also part of Moving Cultures at the GC Art Yard, Lhasa, Tibet (2009). Her work is held in the public collections of the White House, Washington D.C., The Nature Conservancy and the US National Parks Service.

Born in 1972, Melissa Chimera studied Natural Resources Management at the University of Hawaii, while being mentored by Hawaii painters Peggy Chun and later George Allan and Tony Walholm. The artist continues to live and work in Hawaii.

October 2010

This person was part of Sharjah Biennial 9