Melissa Chimera is a Honolulu native of Lebanese and Filipino ancestry. She studied Natural Resources Management and painting at the University of Hawai`i, the world's epicenter for plant and animal extinction.
Chimera is fascinated by survival and the beauty of people living in hostile and violent situations, both past and present. She finds inspiration in visiting and making art in militarized places like Lhasa, Tibet and Beirut, Lebanon.
Chimera's works are subtle contemplations on the beauty and tragedy of endangerment, where heaven and hell sometimes co-exist. Chimera collects and transforms fragments of paper, broken glass, incense, and cracked clay into sensual mixed media layers representing native peoples and places she encounters. The intricate geometric and textual patterning of her paintings are reconstructions of what is lost and transformations of what might be.
Chimera keeps a studio in Maui. Her work is in international and national private and public collections. She exhibits in Hawai`i, the U.S. mainland and internationally.