Melissa Chimera Cane Fire original oil on canvas 36 x 48


Melissa Chimera

Melissa Chimera

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Melissa Chimera Cane Fire original oil on canvas ©  36 x 48

Melissa Chimera original oil on canvas Cane Fire 36 x 48

Melissa Chimera original oil on canvas Cane Fire 36 x 48

In person, the figures in the foreground vanish and emerge before your eyes.  The subtle and lovely background detail that Melissa describes below adds a dimension of a shared memory.

Cane Fire (36×48)
Oil on linen, 2018
36 x 48, white floater frame
The painting references the immigrant and native Hawaiian field laborers who worked the sugar cane fields for harvest for nearly 200 years. The artist’s connection to the industry is through her grandparents who came to Hawai‘i as field laborers among the thousands of immigrants from Asia and Europe. The intricate damask pattern references the ornate barong tagalog, or traditional Filipino men’s dress shirt, implying that the beauty and finery inherent in the Filipino culture could never be diminished by the difficulty of their labors. The work is a testament to the sugar industry’s role in transforming Hawaii’s environment and social fabric in the world’s most isolated archipelago.
From Melissa’s recent show at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Migrant.

Melissa Chimera  original oil painting on linen 36×48

We’re delighted to share Melissa’s mixed media paintings.  They join her paintings of native flora and fauna.  These explorations in color, line, form and texture illustrate her extraordinary vision and range of styles; they are united by her deep aloha for the environment.

Melissa Chimera Bounty 28″ x 72″ oil and mixed media on canvas

From the artist:

Melissa Chimera (b. 1972) is a conservationist and 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 conservation manager. She keeps a studio on Hawai‘i Island where she lives with her husband and son.

Chimera’s work investigates species extinction, globalization and human migration. Her most recent project as artist and curator is The Far Shore: Navigating Homelands for the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI). The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War and the begining of the upheaval of the Arab World. The contemporary art and poetry of The Far Shore concerns a highly politicized issue–Arab immigration to America–viewed through the lens of the personal and familial. Chimera’s solo shows include Migrant(2019) at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Agents of Change (Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, Maui), and Splendor: Portraits of the Natural World(ARTS at Marks Garage).

In 2009, Chimera was commissioned with her mother poet Adele Ne Jame to create Inheritance: Reclaiming Land and Spirit, a poetry-painting collaboration for the Sharjah Bienniale 9, United Arab Emirates. That same year she joined Moving Cultures, a collaborative art-making train ride across 2,000 miles of China. Chimera’s group exhibitions include the Levantine Cultural Center (Los Angeles), Uri-Eichen Gallery (Chicago), the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, GC Art Yard (Tibet), and Orange Gallery in Guangzhou, China.

© Melissa Chimera

Melissa Chimera Cane Fire original oil on canvas 36 x 48

Additional information

Weight 71 lbs
Dimensions 42 × 54 × 6 in

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Honolulu, Hawaii (808) 596-0074