Melissa Chimera (b. 1972) is a conservationist and Honolulu native of Lebanese and Filipino ancestry. She received a B.A. in Natural Resources Management while studying painting at the University of Hawai`i, a world epicenter for plant and animal extinction.
Chimera's works contemplate our human role in globalization and its effects on our cultures and the environment. She juxtaposes the catastrophic implications of cultural and biological extinction with a method grounded in formal elements of painting and treatment of canvas as textile.
Chimera keeps a studio in Maui. She is the recipient of local honors, awards, international grants and commissions. In 2016, Chimera's solo exhibit Agents of Change at the Hui No`eau on Maui featured hundreds of dear antlers as well as paintings of sugar cane haulers, the Maui airport and other "invasive species" as a testiment to the living and mechanical forces that have transformed the Hawaiian Islands. In 2009, Chimera was commissioned with her mother Adele Ne Jame to create Inheritance: Reclaiming Land and Spirit, a poetry-painting collaboration for the Sharjah Biennial 9, United Arab Emirates. That same year she received a grant from RTMI University (Australia) to accept the Chinese government's invitation to join Moving Cultures, on a collaborative art-making train ride across 2,000 miles. Chimera's exhibitions include Saatchi Art and the Levantine Cultural Center (Los Angeles), Uri-Eichen Gallery (Chicago), The Maui Arts and Cultural Center, 1708 Gallery (Virginia), GC Art Yard (Tibet), and Orange Gallery in Guangzhou, China.