Photo courtesy Dinno Morrow and Above The Equator Gallery

Melissa Chimera (b. 1972) is a Honolulu native of Lebanese and Filipino ancestry. She studied natural resources management at the University of Hawai‘i, a world epicenter for plant and animal extinction and worked for two decades as a conservationist. She keeps a studio on Hawai‘i Island where she lives with her husband and son.

Chimera’s mixed media paintings and installations are research-based investigations into species extinction, globalization and human migration. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the U.S., Asia and the Middle East, published in anthologies and reviewed by the Washington Post and Hyperallergic. Chimera's recent solo shows include Remittance (2021) at Above the Equator Gallery and Migrant (2019) at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Her debut as both artist and curator was The Far Shore: Navigating Homelands for the Arab American National Museum (2018, Dearborn, MI). Chimera has twice collaborated with her mother, Lebanese American writer Adele Ne Jame on painting-poetry exhibitions such as Inheritance: Land and Spirit, for the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates. Other projects include Moving Cultures, a collaborative art-making train journey between Chinese and Western artists across 2,000 miles of China.

Chimera is the recipient of the Catherine E. B. Cox Award and a finalist for the Lange-Taylor Prize. Her work resides in the collections of the Arab American National Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Hawai'i State Foundation of Culture and the Arts.