Skip to main content

Melissa “Sasi” Chambers


Melissa "Sasi" ChambersI am an artist whose artwork is informed by its setting and its function. Where is it going to be seen and what does it need to express? I paint 2-D paintings as well as on 3-D objects. I also create artwork using unorthodox materials such as polyvinyl tarps and duck tape in my process of evolving a new art form. My work is playful, colorful, highly patterned, inspired by ethnic, traditional, or domestic motifs. Sometimes it is representational, sometimes it is decorative, often it is a combination of both styles. I create art for exhibition, art that is translated into public art, and art in situ.

Tarp Art

2021 “Checkmate” and “House of Cards” two 8″ X 8″ beadquinned tarpages created for the Violet Protest Exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum, Spring 2021.

2020 “Boobs” 13″ X 16″ beadquinned tarpage created for “We Art Women” Exhibition at the Art Source Gallery, Boise, ID in October 2020.

2017 “Arbol de la Vida 10’ X 8’ tarpage commissioned by the Nampa Public Library for the Spanish Language Section, Nampa, ID. Celebration of the Installation on October 18, 2017.

Received a 2C Spotlight Award for “Arbol de la Vida,” October 25, 2018.

2017Great Circle of Life” 60″ X 60″ tarpage created for Black Elk Exhibition, the inaugural exhibition at the Canyon Crossroads Museum, Melba, ID.

2016 – 2017 Ongoing series of Social Justice tarps for Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The non-profit organizations receiving tarpage in this series are: C.A.T.C.H.; Family Medical Center Refugee Clinic; BUUF Partner Church; Learning Lab Literacy Skills; Planned Parenthood; BUUF Refugee Scholarships; Women & Children’s Alliance; Idaho Humane Society; Habitat for Humanity; Malheur County Search & Rescue.

From You I Receive, To You I Give Volume II A Collection of Art and Poetry Celebrating Social Justice was produced as a book including poems by Dena Parker Duke and Wanda Jennings illustrated with images of each organization’s tarpage.

2015 – 2016 Created twelve 3ft. by 4ft. tarps for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Social Justice Plate Partners, November 2015 through October 2016. The twelve non-profit organizations receiving the tarps were: Farmer’s Market Mobile Market; ACLU of Idaho; BUUF Partner Church Scholarship Fund; Feed the Gap; Interfaith Sanctuary; Women’s & Children’s Alliance; Planned Parenthood of Idaho; Habitat for Humanity; Boise Autism Moms; Head Start of Idaho; Suicide Prevention Action Network; and the BUUF Pay it Forward Fund.

From You I Receive, To You I Give A Collection of Art and Poetry Celebrating Social Justice was produced as a book including poems by Dena Parker Duke illustrated with images of each organization’s tarpage.

2016 Provided a variety of tarps from my inventory as decorative enhancements at the Global Lounge, World Village Festival in Capitol Park in Boise, Idaho, June 10, 11, and 12,2016.

2015 “TarpestriesA solo exhibition of my tarps through their evolution from Tarps Picada to their present iteration, at the Student Union Gallery of Boise State University in Boise, ID.

Received a grant from The Alexa Rose Foundation for materials required to complete the “Tarpestries” Exhibition.

2015 Created a tarp inspired by the International community in Boise to be translated into a wrap for a traffic box. The piece is titled “Walk. Don’t Walk.”

2015 Ten Contiguous “Fish Tarps” created for Reel Foods in Boise, Idaho. Displayed on Capitol Blvd. in front of the Reel Foods establishment, July 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015.

2014 “Treefort Tarps Picadas,” Seven 8′ x 10′ double layered hand-cut, painted and duck taped tarps celebrating the Treefort Music Fest, displayed on the exterior of the Record Exchange, Boise, Idaho. March 14 – July 19, 2014

“Treefort Blues” was featured as the cover of the Boise Weekly March 19-25, 2014 issue. The original tarp was sold in the BW annual charity art auction in November 2014.

Public Art

2019 “Eagle’s Nest” painted Bench for The City of Eagle, September 2019.

2019 Zoo Boise Gorongosa National Park Exhibit Public Art Commissioned by Friends of Zoo Boise and the Boise Department of Arts & History to create a permanent outdoor art installation depicting the animals of the Gorongosa each highlighted by the ethnic designs of the Capulana textiles worn by the people of Mozambique. The installation is sited next to the E.O. Wilson Interpretive Center located in the Gorongosa Exhibit at Zoo Boise. The exhibit opened July 17, 2019.

2016 Walk, Don’t Walk HAWK Pedestrian Control Box installed at the corner of Curtis and Edson in Boise, ID.

2015 “Featured Artist: Chalk Art for July 4, 2015” for the third year in a row.

2014 Idaho Statesman Chalk Art Festival Featured Artist for the Idaho Statesman’s 150th Anniversary, Boise, Idaho. July 4, 2014

2013 “Trastero Folklorico,” a traffic control box located at 16th Ave. South and 2nd St. South in Nampa, Idaho.

2013 Idaho Statesman Chalk Art Festival Featured Artist for Boise’s Sesquicentennial, Boise, Idaho. July 4, 2013

2011 “Good Luck Sweet Cookie,” a traffic control box located at 9th and Jefferson next to the Yen Ching restaurant in Boise, Idaho.

2012 “Y Not Ride the Bus?,” a bus transit shelter at 10th and State in downtown Boise, ID.
2011 “The Buck Stops Here,” a bus transit shelter at 8th and Idaho in downtown Boise, ID.
2011 “Tabula Astrum Omnibus,” a bus transit shelter at Capitol and Main in downtown Boise, ID.

All three transit shelter designs were collaborations with artist, Will Spearman, who translated our designs incorporating silhouettes of local flora, fauna, and people engaged in outdoor activities into vector based art which was then laser cut out of vinyl and applied to the shelters’ glass.

TVAA Exhibitions

I exhibited one or more artworks in each of the following Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance art exhibitions presented (unless otherwise specified) in the offices of Boise State Public Radio, 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd., in Boise, Idaho.

2017 “Salon des Refuses: Rejection Collection 2017” Juried exhibition of confirmed rejected artwork from the Boise Art Museum Triennial 2017. I exhibited the tarp “Granny Squares” as well as curated and hung the show.

2016 “6 X Six” Juried exhitibition of TVAA artists’ work, shown in the Art Source Gallery and featuring work measuring 6″ X 6″. I showed three “Tapas-tries” — tiny tarps featuring Spanish Tapas.

2016 This American Life Exhibited the tarp “Walk, Don’t Walk” created as the artwork for a HAWK Pedestrian Crossing Control Box, inspired by the International Market in a neighborhood where many families who are new to America reside.

2015 Spring Awakening Exhibited a Tarp titled “Spring Awakening (The Unconscious Arsonist)” at the offices of Boise State Public Radio.

2015 “Menagerie” An exhibition juried by Richard Young and Cheryl Shurtleff in which I exhibited a 10′ x 3 1/2′ tarp titled “Sss(mmm)sss….”

2014 “Foray IV – Pusing the Envelope” Exhibited a tarp titled “Deja Vu All Over Again.”

2014 “Water Works” A juried TVAA exhibition at Track 13 Gallery in Nampa, ID. Exhibited a watercolor painting titled “The View from Logan.”

2014 “Monsters” Exhibited two asseblages using doll limbs, one with a doll leg titled “Venus in Fur” and the other with clasped doll hands titled “Idle Hands are the Devil’s Playthings.”

2014 “Four Eyes – An Optical Collusion” An Exhibition of Collaboration. Exhibited a collaborative woodcut “Confluence” created with artists Terry Burkes, Marilyn Frazier, and Shirley McCarter, and another collaborative piece “The Abdication of the Sylvan Beauty Queen on the Occasion of Her Epiphany” with artist Barbara Bowling.

2014 “Metamorphosis” Exhibited a triptych papel picado progression of three tree forts titled “City of Trees.”

2013Foray III Exhibited an acrylic painting of hot air balloons called “Up, Up and Away (Hither and Yon).”

2013 “Souvenir” An exhibition of works small enough to fit in your carry-on luggage. Exhibited a painted set of souvenir kitchen utensils titled “Family Vacation.” This exhibition took place at the Creative Access Arts Center, Boise, Idaho.

2013 Local Color An exhibition juried by Jacqueline Crist, of work about Boise, for the city’s Sesquicentennial celebration. In addition to creating and exhibiting a watercolor, “Le Boi-cycle,” I also designed and laid out the catalog for the exhibition.

2013 “What the World Needs Now…,” exhibited 8” x 8” acrylic painting on canvas, titled “Be Steel My Heart.”

2012 “Inside View,” exhibited 22” x 30” watercolor painting on paper, titled “My Favorite View.”

2012 “Foray – 2nd Annual Artists’ Alliance Art,” exhibited decoratively painted 11” x 15” box of altered miniature plants, animals and insects displayed on a hand dyed, appliquéd, beaded and embroidered altar cloth, titled “I Prefer to Be Where there is No Jostling.”

2012 “Text Messages,” showcasing artwork containing text. Exhibited “Text Book” an altered magazine, “Medicine Cabinet” an altered jewelry box, and “Outside the Box” a painted box containing another painted box.

2011 “Double Take,” an exhibition of original works alongside matching giclee prints. Exhibited original and giclee versions of “Pieced and Bound Stories” and “New Orleans Ladies.”

2011 “Complement,” Inspiration in Blue and Orange. Exhibited watercolor portrait, titled “Lina and Logan.”

2011 “FORAY – Annual Artists’ Alliance Art” First annual show of the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance. Exhibited watercolor and acrylic painting, titled “Democrats in Idaho.”

Other Exhibitions

2019 “En El Año del Cerdo” Exhibition at Arte de la Vida, Tucson, AZ. An exhibition of Mexican piggy banks altered by artists, crafters and creatives. My piggy was titled “Cerdo Chino”.

2017 Black Elk, Lakota Warrior, Mighty Visionary Inaugural Exhibition at Canyon Crossroads Museum at Celebration Park, Melba, Idaho. Exhibited the 60″ X 60″ tarpage titled “Great Circle of Life.”

2017 “Cycling Through: A Story of Community and Change” an Exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the invention of the bicycle. I exhibited “Le Bois-cycle” a watercolor painting created for the Boise Sesquicentennial.

2014 “Pom Pow” An exhibition of crocheted blankets embellished with pom poms I create. This show was for the “soft opening” of our in house gallery, The Random.

2014 “Wingtip Press Leftovers Print Exchange” Exhibited “Pieces of Summer.”

2013 “Boardwalk” Exhibition and Fundraiser for the Creative Access Arts Center, Boise, Idaho. Created and sold a 12″ x 12″ board titled “Cabinet of Curiosities.”

2013 Art Source Alumni Exhibition Invitational exhibit of work in honor of the Art Source’s 20th Anniversary. Exhibited watercolor painting, titled “Pay Attention.”

2012 Dia de Los Muertos “Heartfelt” Altars & Offerings, Gallery Alexa Rose, Boise, Idaho. Exhibited an ofrenda created from an altered jewelry box.

2011 “Helpers” Invitational group show at VSA Arts – Idaho, Creative Access Arts Center, Boise, Idaho. Exhibited an altered jewelry box, titled “Medicine Cabinet.

2006 “Retrospective,” portraits of children and families of the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Boise, Idaho. Exhibited a selection of original watercolor portraits of families and individuals from the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, painted between 1993 and 2003.

2005 “18th Annual Women’s Works,” Northwest Area Arts Council juried exhibit. The Old Courthouse Art Center, Woodstock, Illinois. Exhibited “New Orleans Ladies.”

2004 Celebrate Creativity – Mirror, Mirror, juried art exhibit. The Old Courthouse Art Center, Woodstock, Illinois.

2003 Celebrate Creativity – Frameworks,” juried art exhibit. The Old courthouse Art Center, Woodstock, Illinois.

2000 Her Dream is of the Forest,” one-woman show at the Art Source Gallery, Boise, Idaho. Exhibited watercolor paintings, pencil drawings framed behind etched glass, painted sticks and painted antlers.

1999 “Treasure Valley Juried Art Exhibit,” Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. Received award for First Runner Up.

1998 “Draw, Paint, Man, Woman,” two-person show with painter Michael Chambers at Boise State University Student Union Gallery, Boise, Idaho.

1997 “Unbroken Course,” juried art exhibit during Women’s History Month, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.

1994 “Lawn D’Art,” exhibition and auction sponsored by the “No On One” Campaign, Boise, Idaho.

1993 “Boise Fine Arts Alliance Juried Show,” Boise State University’s fine arts exhibition, Boise, Idaho.

1991 “Silent Songs,” Carol Robinson Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

1989 “Art Against AIDS Ornament Exhibition,” Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

1989 “A Family of Work,” two-person show with painter Michael Chambers. Carol Robinson Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

1989 “Wearable Art II – Art of the Kimono,” RHINO Contemporary Craft Co., New Orleans, Louisiana.

1988 “NOCCA Celebration – 15th Anniversary Gala Invitational Exhibition,” New Orleans, Louisiana.

1988 “Wearable Art ’88,” RHINO Contemporary Craft Co., New Orleans, Louisiana.

Design Projects

I create original artwork in a variety of media which is then translated into graphic form (generally it’s photographed or scanned) and then incorporated into designs for CD covers, T-shirts, advertisements, greeting cards, brochures, etc. These are some of those projects.

2018 Painted Plates for Life’s Kitchen – painted the borders on several plates at Ceramica for donors to Life’s Kitchen.  Finished works hang in the Life’s Kitchen Café.

2015 Shakin’ Not Stirred – Long Road, CD Album Cover, CD and liner notes artwork for the group’s third album. Boise, Idaho. Designed in collaboration with artist Will Spearman.

2014 See Spot Walk – Benefiting the Idaho Humane Society. Created artwork used for the T-shirt, poster and brochure highlighting the event October 4, 2014.

2014 “24th Annual Lawn Party – Benefiting the Idaho Humane Society”. Created two collages, one was used as the cover of the invitation to the event, the other as a greeting card in a set of cards which were sold as a fund raiser. The original collage was also sold at the Benefit Auction.

2011 “Shakin’ Not Stirred – In the Wood”, CD Album Cover, CD and liner notes artwork for the group’s second album. Boise, Idaho. Designed in collaboration with artist Will Spearman.

2010Shakin’ Not Stirred, CD Album Cover, CD and liner notes artwork for the group’s first album. Boise, Idaho. Designed in collaboration with artist Will Spearman.

Selected Experience

Portrait Commissions:

1992-2006 commissioned for over fifty individual and family portraits.

Boise Peace Quilt Project (BPQP):

Designed and made squares for quilts for Rosa Parks, World Watch, Habitat for Humanity, Anne Frank, ACLU, and William McDonough.

Designed layout and masthead for newsletter “Peaceful Pieces.”

Designed t-shirt graphic still in production.

Idaho Theater for Youth:

Created three season production illustrations and three icons for the 1994-95 touring season brochure and poster.

Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship:

Commissioned to design and create four ecclesiastical stoles for three UU ministers: Rev. Elizabeth Greene, Rev. Drew Johnston, and Rev. Jean Pupke.

Created logo and layout for Pastoral Care Team, Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF)

Created cover illustration and four icons for Religious Education brochure, BUUF

Created cover design for BUUF building dedication program.

Created logo for Pacific North West District annual meeting, BUUF


Non-profit leadership roles:

BOSCO Served as Co-juror with Betty Mallorca reviewing applications for 2021.

Alexa Rose Foundation Served on a jury committee reviewing requests for grants to help with purchase of materials for artist’s projects. This was because I had received a grant for materials needed to complete my exhibition “Tarpestries” in 2015.

Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance Founder and Member since 2010. The mission of the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance is to forge connections among visual artists in the Treasure Valley in order to create opportunities for creative collaboration, community and connection.

Positions held:
Board Member, 2010 -2014
Chair, Exhibitions Committee, 2010 – 2015

2010-2011 member of VSA Arts of Idaho advisory council

2010-2011 board member at Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL), umbrella organization for VSA Arts of Idaho


. 2013 Public Art Academy, member of the first cohort of the Pilot program developed by the Boise City Department of Arts & History, Boise, ID
· 1978-80 BA Art, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
· 1977-78 Undergraduate courses, Boise State University, Boise, ID
· 1976-77 Graduated “Highly Recommended” in Visual Art, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), New Orleans, LA